BRITISH middleweight champion Nick Blackwell insists Chris Eubank Jnr never wanted to fight him but is pleased they will finally meet on March 26.

Eubank ended his contract with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing after they lost the purse bids for the fight to Hennessy Sports, who promote Blackwell.

Although Eubank was the number one challenger to WBA ‘regular’ world champion Danny Jacobs, he opted to pursue the British title though Blackwell feels he cornered into the fight.

“I know this isn’t a fight Chris has wanted and I know he wouldn’t be fighting me if I wasn’t British champion and he wasn’t the number one contender,” he said.

“But we won the purse bids, we’ve got him, and, having twice swerved me in the past, I’m pleased Chris has now decided to do the honourable thing and try to set the record straight. I think it must have been weighing quite heavily on his mind – ducking me before – and he obviously feels he needs to do right thing this time around, if only to save a bit of face and restore his reputation.”

The pair will meet at the SSE Arena in Wembley with Channel 5 broadcasting in the UK. In his last outing, Blackwell outpointed Jack Arnfield in a 12-round thriller while Eubank stopped Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan in seven rounds in December.

Blackwell is confident they can combine to create a dramatic fight. He said: “Now it’s finally on, I look forward to going to war with him. Our styles should make for a classic.

I refuse to take a step back – I feel I’m fitter and stronger than any middleweight in the country – and Eubank Jr. fancies himself as a bit of a brawler, too.

He likes to fight up close and he tries to look for the knockout. But he knows, having sparred me in the past, I’m not going anywhere on March 26. I just hope this time he can keep up with me for a few more rounds.”