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Blackwell retains title in thriller

14th November 2015
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Trowbridge warrior Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell retained his British middleweight title this evening in Bristol with a thrilling 12-round unanimous decision over Blackpool’s game Jack Arnfield.

The 25-year-old, making his second defence of the belt, had to adapt to Arnfield as a late-notice challenger, having watched him replace the injured Elliott Matthews, and did so brilliantly, outhustling the taller man through much of the rounds and dropping him in the fifth round.

That’s not to say Arnfield didn’t play his part, though. In fact, in the early going, he capitalised on Blackwell’s tendency to start slow and bagged the opening couple of rounds with some well-picked jabs and uppercuts. He moved around the ring smoothly, frequently turned Blackwell and spun away from him, and seemed to be the superior boxer at long range.

But then, as is seemingly always the case, Blackwell warmed up, found his groove, and was soon pushing Arnfield to the ropes and letting his hands go with increasing speed and ferocity. At times, there was no stopping him. Head shots, body shots, they were thrown with abandonment but also no shortage of skill, and soon Arnfield’s own work-rate jammed up and he was doing all he could to keep the champion away from him.

A fifth-round knockdown suggested the fight was nearing its end, but Arnfield, to his credit, battled back gallantly from the mini-crisis and looked to match Blackwell punch for punch down the stretch. Not that Blackwell minded, of course. He wanted Arnfield close, he wanted him to punch with him, and even as the pair entered the twelfth and final round – a time when the fighter ahead typically looks to preserve their lead and coast – ‘Bang Bang’ was more active than ever, eager to find the stoppage even in the dying moments of the contest.

In the end, Arnfield made it to the final bell – deservedly so – and Blackwell settled for a unanimous decision verdict by way of scores of 117-111, 117-110 and 115-112.

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