Channel 4 interviewer Matt Frei has been blasted on social media following his controversial interview with Chris Eubank Jr and the boxer’s father, following last weekend’s British middleweight title fight against Nick Blackwell.
Blackwell, 25, remains in an induced coma after suffering a bleed on the brain but surgeons are not planning to operate on the Trowbridge-born fighter.
Frei asked Eubank Jr if he would be prepared to lose the fight, with the benefit of hindsight, if it meant Blackwell would have avoided serious injury in return - and the boxer, his father and almost every boxing fan on social media felt this question was out of line.
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“If you had the choice of having Nick Blackwell in perfect health - he didn’t have to be in an induced coma - or holding onto your belts, which would it be?” Frei asked.
“That's not a fair question, I'm not going to answer that,” Eubank Jr responded. “This is my career, this is my life, I'm in there to do a job. I don't wish any harm on anybody outside the ring and I wish him a full recovery.”
Video: Channel 4's interview with the Eubanks
Eubank Snr hits out at another question
Eubank Snr had hit out at Frei minutes earlier, accusing the Channel 4 broadcaster of asking a question that was “not conducive to a good interview”.
“If it's about winning; is this advice you gave to your son giving him mixed messages; is it confusing?” Frei asked.
“Your line of questioning is not conducive to to a good interview,” Eubank Snr interrupted.
Eubank Snr: “It just isn't; it's not going anywhere. You're asking me…”
Frei: “What's wrong with the line of questioning?”
Eubank Snr: “It's unfair.”
Frei: “Why is it unfair?”
Eubank Snr: “The objective is to score your points. If anything, this fight wasn't an exception in that I gave him this advice, it's a rule of thumb.
“If you don't need to land shots to the head, then don't. It was a command I gave him in telling him to go to the body. A command. I walked back and left him to it and he has to make the decision.”
Eubank hailed as a hero after fight
Eubank was hailed after a video emerged of him telling his son to aim for the body, rather than the head, after the 8th round of the fight.
Many people assumed the former boxer feared for the safety of his son’s opponent and subsequently intervened, preventing Blackwell from an even more serious injury.
But not everyone agrees...
However, former fighter and current boxing pundit Johnny Nelson does not believe Eubank was protecting Blackwell with his instructions.
"What Chris said was, 'the only way you are going to stop him is throwing shots to the body'. It wasn't out of concern [for Nick Blackwell] that Chris was saying don't go to the face,” Nelson told talkSPORT.
"He was saying the only way you are going to stop this guy is by going to the body. That's what he was saying.
"Let's not get silly and jump on this bandwagon and say Chris saw something we didn't see. If Chris could have got Junior to knock him out, he would have got him to knock him out.
"He knew Nick Blackwell was very strong and he was trying to get him stopped to the body. Obviously it is a concern but it was not his major concern."
"Chris would have seen one or two things and thought this kid is tough but nobody at any stage until Nick Blackwell was taken out on a stretcher saw it at all."
What do you make of Channel 4’s interview with the Eubanks? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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