Nick Blackwell’s decision to return to sparring was “absolute madness”, says Chris Eubank Junior

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Nick Blackwell vs Chris Eubank Jr at Wembley Arena (Photo: Rex)

Chris Eubank Jnr has labelled Nick Blackwell ’s decision to return to sparring as “absolute madness” after he needed brain surgery for the second time this year.

Blackwell spent a week in an induced coma in March after Eubank Junior took the British middleweight title from him in a brutal clash.

The fight was stopped in the 10th round but Blackwell later collapsed, leading to his hospitalisation.

Blackwell, 26, made a full recovery and after retiring he picked up his trainer’s license from the British Boxing Board of Control in October.

Nick Blackwell vs Chris Eubank Jr

However, following a secret sparring session last month it was confirmed he needed sedating and doctors operated to reduce a swelling on his brain.

Eubank Junior said: “It’s just madness – absolute madness. I understand how strong a love can be for the sport because I have that love inside me.

“But there is a difference between loving your sport and being able to spend time with your family and enjoy life.

“That is what he risked when he had that sparring session. I can’t understand that.

Eubank Jr with his dad at the London Eye (Photo: Mark Robinson) Video thumbnail, Chris Eubank, Jr. explains why he was shocked that Nick Blackwell was angry

“He has done it and it’s a shame, but hopefully he pulls through again and everything is fine and he can learn from his mistake.”

The Eubank and Blackwell camps got embroiled in a war of words while Blackwell was in hospital the first time round.

Chris Eubank Senior revealed he told his son to stop hitting the face and go to the body as the fight went on because he could see Blackwell was struggling.

And the Blackwell camp put pressure on the Eubanks not to hold a press conference about the situation, but they went ahead.

Nick Blackwell’s swollen face

Blackwell also said that if he could throw one more punch it would be at Senior.

Junior wanted to visit his opponent in hospital earlier in the year but he won’t try to this time.

He added: “The last time I tried to be there and I wanted to see him but everyone around him blocked it.

“Then he came out of the coma and said the things he said about me and my father so I’ve kind of got the message now – to just leave it. But I’d love to see him again and shake his hand.”

Eubank Junior takes on Australian IBO super-middleweight champion Renold Quinlan in February as boxing returns to ITV.

Chris Eubank drapes a flag on the shoulders of his son Chris Eubank Jr

He said: “It’s a huge opportunity. It’s a great time for British boxing. ITV is terrestrial TV going out to millions and millions and millions of viewers, people who can’t afford Sky.

“People who can’t afford to have monthly subscriptions to see fights.

“Now boxing is going to be on ITV Box Office and regular ITV showings, where you don’t have to pay for it.

“So it’s just more exposure for boxing, which is what we want. It’s a hell of an opportunity and it’s a great chance for me to be exposed to the British public even more so than I am at the moment.”