EXCLUSIVE: Nick Blackwell talks continued recovery and coaching ahead of Alzheimer’s charity walk
Nick Blackwell has revealed he feels ‘amazing’ as he continues his recovery from the devastating brain injuries he sustained during his time in boxing.
The ex-British middleweight champion was forced to retire from the sport in 2016 after he was put in an induced coma from his defeat to Chris Eubank Jr.
The worst was yet to come. Blackwell was then rushed back to the hospital after a sparring session in the gym.
The aftermath would see him require a second operation to reduce the swelling on his brain.
Speaking about that tragic night at the SSE Arena, Wembley, Blackwell exclusively told World Boxing News: “I remember not feeling 100%. When I threw my jab it just didn’t feel right.
“I was trying again but the arms just weren’t throwing enough shots.
But the best rivalry I had was with Eubank because I wanted to beat him up so bad!” he added.
Words which come to mind when thinking about Blackwell are heroic, brave, a warrior, inspiring and courageous.
Today Blackwell holds no bitterness towards Eubank or boxing. Instead, Nick has a new purpose in life. He simply wants to be happy and become an established trainer.
Blackwell is currently coaching in a local gym. He’s passing on his knowledge to next crop of fighters, which includes five National champions.
“I’d love to be a professional coach one day like Gary Lockett. I’d hope to be as good as coach as he is,” Nick says with excitement.
“I love the coaching side of stuff and personal training. I love being able to have the chance to pass it on to future gems.
“My dad has helped me out so much. He’s a legend. I want to be half the man he is when I’m older. He’s brought me up to be the man I am today. A nice young man, I think.
“When I was ill, he helped me so much. He’s helped me walking, fed me, bathed me. Dad’s done everything for me. I always tell him how much I love him.
“He sat there and watched me go through being in a coma twice, bless him. My mum has always been there for me as well, bringing me food up and supported me so much.
“My girlfriend also looks after me. It’s going to be a long process. I’ll never be the same man I was but I’m getting there slowly.”
The 28-year-old only spoke of his gratitude towards boxing. He revealed how it helped him to control his aggression.
“I started boxing because I was overweight and getting into trouble on the streets. I wanted to focus myself and put my energy into something that wouldn’t get me into trouble. That’s why I started boxing.
“I was beating up bouncers, so I thought I’d be quite handy at boxing! I was 16 when I started boxing but I loved it instantly. It’s the best sport in the world but it’s a dangerous sport.
“Even saying that it’s made me a better person.”
With no experience, Blackwell spent some of his teenage years as a white-collar boxer and fought 27 times.
Once he could drive at the age of 18, that’s when it all changed for him as he linked up with Lockett.
Learning his craft alongside the likes of Liam Williams, who he believes is destined to taste world glory, Blackwell became the youngest English champion in history at the age of 20.
He would then win the vacant Lonsdale belt in a personal best performance over John Ryder. Blackwell defended the iconic championship on two successful occasions.
Despite being told he would never walk again, he miraculously completed a half marathon for charity earlier this year for Southmead Hospital and Cancer Research.
The hero from Trowbridge in Wiltshire was also once told there was an 85% chance of him not surviving the brain injuries he endured.
Blackwell is now embarking on a charity walk in honor of his grandad and girlfriend’s father.
“We’re walking seven-miles for Alzheimer’s, it’s near where we live. I’m walking it for my grandad and Lisa is for her dad, who both died from Alzheimer’s.
“Apparently 100,000 people a year get it or something crazy like that. I’m trying to raise as much money as I can because Alzheimer’s is such a horrible disease.”
Please donate HERE, to help Nick and Lisa on their memory walk.