Both fighters gave their everything in a twelve round battle that ultimately saw the classier Blackwell come out on top against Arnfield, who took the fight as just eight days notice.
Credit must be given to Arnfield for making the fight as enthralling as it was and forcing Blackwell work every mintue for the win.
Judges carded 117-110, 117-111 and more surprisingly 115-112 for the champion as Blackwell stayed on course for bigger challenges in the New Year.
Heavyweight Hughie Fury demolished an out-of-depth Emilio Zarate in two swift rounds to march on to his date on the Klitschko v Fury undercard in two weeks’ time.
Fury, 21, came out with intent from the word go and caught the Argentinian with crushing right hands and uppercuts at will in the first three minutes.
In the second, ‘Fist Of’ stepped up his efforts further and dropped the lighter Zarate to the canvas. Complaining of a hit to the back of the head when hurt by a head shot, Zarate was then counted out by referee Howard Foster as Fury moved to 17-0.
Hughie’s cousin Young Fury, brother of upcoming world title challenger Tyson, won a four round points decision over Imantas Davidaitis. With the win, the strapping 19 year-old pushed his record to 6-1 and now boasts five wins on the spin since suffering his solitary setback in September 2014.
Craig Kennedy continued his good form ahead of British cruiserweight title challenge in 2016. Kennedy pushed on to 13-0 with a mid-round stoppage of Tamas Bajzath.
Earlier, flyweight star Andrew Selby (2-0) showed why he is considered a world champion of the future by scoring a second session win over previously undefeated Jozsef Ajtai. Amateur star Selby, 27, went through his considerable repertoire until the fight was called off with his opponent cowering on the ropes.
Lightweight up and comer Yusuf Safa made it five victories as a pro with a relatively easy fourth round stoppage over Jiri Jaros. The 21 year-old was in control for the majority of the contest and connected with some bruising body shots at times.
Referee Ian John Lewis had seen enough in the fourth round after Safa had put Jaros down in the previous session.