BOXING: Nick laces up for dual tests
NICK Blackwell earned a host of admirers with his hearty display against Billy Joe Saunders last December and the Trowbridge fighter is looking to build on the buzz with two fights in the space of three weeks in March.
‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell, 22, will top the bill in front of his home crowd on Friday March 2 when he takes on tough Latvian Ruslans Pojonisevs, who has been in the ring with the likes of Patrick Mendy, Cellow Renda and Blackwell's regular sparring partner Chris Eubank Jr, at Trowbridge's Civic Hall.
Then on Thursday, March 21, Blackwell will come face-to-face with Saunders again – but the pair won’t be renewing hostilities for the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles as the Trowbridge man boxes on the undercard of the former Olympian’s televised first defence of those belts against Matthew Hall at the famous York Hall in London.
Blackwell’s Contender Gym trainer Mark Kent says his fighter is looking to the future after the added respect he gained in the wake of his double-title challenge against Saunders.
“Nick may have lost that fight but he’s lived to fight another day,” said Kent.
“He’s been getting praised up from everywhere and he even had a phone call from Francis Warren (son of top promoter Frank) , who took the time out to say ‘we underestimated you’ and to apologise for announcing his name wrong at one of the press conferences.
“PJ (Rowson, Blackwell’s promoter) spoke to Frank Warren and that’s how him fighting on the undercard of the Saunders fight comes about. We’re just waiting to see who he’ll be up against.
“He’ll be doing six rounds in both fights and the lad he’s against in Trowbridge is very tough. He’s been in with some good people and he took Eubank Jr eight rounds so stopping him would be a big statement.”