British champion Nick Blackwell is relishing the challenge Chris Eubank Jr will bring him, despite revealing that the date and venue for the title defence is still yet to be fully confirmed.
The 25-year old middleweight Is seeking to make the third successful defence of the British strap – a belt he won by stopping John Ryder in May of last year. In doing so, Blackwell (19-3-1, 8 KO) will add his name to the impressive list of boxers to have won the Lonsdale belt outright.
The famed Eubank Jr (21-1, 16 KO) – whose sole defeat came at the hands of Billy Joe Saunders – is the man who stands in his way, but Blackwell remains confident and thinks much of his challenger’s ability has been over exaggerated.
“There is no doubt that he is a very good fighter, but his power and ability is not as good as a lot of people are making out,” Blackwell exclusively told World Boxing News. “Eubank is entertaining, fast, has a good style and is great for the sport, but if he underestimates me – he will get a massive shock.”
“I’m so confident for this fight and I know I will win. We were supposed to fight three or four times before, but it never happened and now I can’t believe it actually will. He had a chance to get big money and a world title shot, but chose to come down for the British – he obviously isn’t too confident in his own ability.
“People say this fight is a step back for him and it might be belt wise, but it certainly isn’t opponent wise. The Lonsdale belt is special and It will be brilliant to win it outright. This is the biggest fight of my career to date and victory will open so many doors for me.”
The fight has currently been pencilled in for March 5 at the Glow Arena in Bluewater, Kent, but Blackwell – promoted by Mick Hennessy – admits it is still yet to be fully finalised.
“Me and my team really wanted the fight and I knew Mick would put in a big bid for it – so it was great to win and to now have it on our terms. It is scheduled for Bluewater and Mick knows he will sell the arena out and get a top-class atmosphere for the TV, which is what he wants,” Blackwell added.
“The arena has had a lot of bad publicity over the years, but more because no one has ever really sold too many tickets there – but this fight will be different. I think the fight could sell out bigger arenas still and get more ticket sales, but Mick knows the deal and will get it right.
“I’ve heard rumours that the venue could change and have heard Wembley Arena mentioned. I know it isn’t 100% yet that it will be on March 5 as well, so we are just waiting for a call to say it has all been finalised – whatever is decided.”
Matt Horan is a lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123