Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Nick Blackwell "gutted" after loss in Ukraine

TROWBRIDGE middleweight Nick Blackwell admitted he was “gutted” to lose a controversial decision in Kharkiv, Ukraine to Max Bursak on September 21.

Travelling abroad last weekend with just two weeks’ notice, the 22-year-old dropped his rival in round four, and appeared to have the fight won until he was denied on all three judges’ cards.

Blackwell, 13-3 (6), was devastated at the final verdict. “I really thought I won the fight,” he sighed.

“Once I watched the fight back, without sounding biased I thought I caught him with the harder, cleaner and faster shots. He didn’t hurt me once, I’m just so frustrated. I thought I’d stop him in the fourth but looking back I should have used my jab a little more.”

Down but not out, the former British title challenger will try to take the positives. “I’ve learned so much from the experience,” said Blackwell. “If you look at the amount of fights I’ve had, I’ve improved a lot during the last year. Bursak is already 29 and at the peak of his career, so when you consider how well I did to stand up to him, I think I proved a lot of people wrong.

“We never expected to get a decision away from home but I would rather take a big fight abroad than stay in England, fight a journeyman, and not learn anything. These are the kind of fights that make me excited to be in boxing. The world is my oyster and you never know what may be around the corner.”

Indeed, flanked by his influential promoter PJ Rowson, Blackwell could be in line for a string of domestic thrillers after another brave performance.

With Kerry Hope from Wales and Sheffield’s Adam Etches on the horizon in the near future, there is one other fight which Blackwell has his eyes on.

“A lot of people would like to see me knock out Chris Eubank Jnr,” he laughs. “Although Chris always comes across as a nice, quiet lad whenever I’ve met him, he’s very arrogant and disrespects a lot of fighters. Now that the public know me, I think it’s a fight they want to see. The middleweight division is so exciting right now and there are a lot of fights out there to be made.”

Next on Blackwell’s agenda, though, is a trip to New York in November to spar the fearsome WBA king, Gennady Golovkin. “It might be painful!” the young prospect chuckles. “But it’s going to be a hell of an experience and a true honour to share the ring with, in my opinion, the best middleweight in the world.”

“I think to myself, if I can stand in there with Golovkin, I don't need to worry about any other fighter for the rest of my career. I’m aiming to earn some respect as well - although it’s only sparring Golovkin will try to take my head off and I’ll give as good as I get.”

By Alistair Hendrie, from Boxing News September 2013 

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