James DeGale vs Chris Eubank Jr – Domestic Clash on the Horizon
British fight fans can potentially look forward to an enticing clash towards the end of the year as it was revealed a fight between Super Middleweights James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr looks set to be made in December.
Chris Eubank Jr of course has only recently settled into the Super Middleweight division and the clash will give him the chance to shut the mouth of DeGale – who has been sparking the war of words between the two whenever he has been given the opportunity.
The two have exchanged words over social media for some time, although much of DeGales arrows have been aimed at the father of Eubank Jr, Chris Eubank Sr. The losses both fighters have taken in the past 12months also have only added fuel to the fire but with Eubank Jr now in the same division as DeGale, a showdown was always on the cards because the back story has already been built, making this an easy fight to sell and hype for which there will surely be an intriguing build up.
The fight itself will be an interesting clash of styles, mostly because there are questions over whether DeGale can regain the form that made him one of the best names in the division. With the injury, which at one point was seen as potentially career ending and his, which is now pushing into the early 30’s, this gives Eubank Jr a far better chance of winning the fight than had they fought a couple of years ago. DeGale has been in some tough fights and it would have taken its toll on him both physically and mentally. I am guessing he will be able to summon up the resolve to fight what will be a huge domestic rivalry.
However, Eubank Jr is yet to really have a chance to show he has learnt from the Groves defeat, where at times he look amateurish with his footwork and tactics. His last fight didn’t really last long enough for us to see whether he had corrected those mistakes. Fighting someone like DeGale who likes to move will create problems for Eubank Jr, who really needs to have someone stand infront of him and be willing to engage with him. Eubank Jr, with his poor footwork, needs to set his feet to allow him to get his punches off, something DeGale will not let him do. DeGale though, usually has a high work rate so the chance for Eubank Jr to throw his combinations will be there for the taking.
Back in April, DeGale had plenty to say about Eubank Jr – and Sr…“He’s too small. Eubank is a decent fighter but he’s too small for super-middleweight,” DeGale told FightHub TV.
“He got out-hustled, Groves was too strong, he got outmanoeuvred. The jab was too good.
“Eubank is tough, he’s game, he’s strong. He’s just like his dad. “But he struggles with the boxing bit. If someone stands in front of him and he can let his hands go, he’ll look good. He needs to change everything. I think maybe he needs to get rid of his dad because his dad chats s***. His dad doesn’t like me, by the way. It’s all about his father, really. Have you realised he trains himself? Eubank basically trains himself. His whole team is a bit mix-up”.
DeGale at least, has proven his mettle at this level and shown he can fight at a world class level, Eubank Jr always looks great until he faces an opponent who is world class – namely Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves, and both times he has been found wanting. Whereas the fight with Saunders could be explained away as coming too early in his career, there was no such excuse for his lacklustre showing against George Groves, which displayed a poor understanding of boxing fundamentals.
DeGale: I Finally Get a Chance To Outclass Eubank, Shut Him Up
As BoxingScene.com recently reported, former IBF super middleweight world champion James DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KOs) is heading in the direction of a year-end showdown with domestic rival Chris Eubank Jr. (27-2, 21 KOs).
Eubank suffered the second defeat of his career earlier this year, when he lost a twelve round decision to then WBA champion George Groves. He bounced back with a stoppage of JJ McDonagh last month.
DeGale reclaimed his IBF belt with a win over Caleb Truax in their rematch earlier this year – and then vacated the belt and stopped Fidel Monterrosa Munoz last month in California.
DeGale believes the Eubank clash will create fireworks in the ring.
Eubank, who previously held the IBO’s version of the 168-pound belt, has long claimed that he busted up DeGale in a sparring session, which DeGale disputes.
The fight has been a long time coming, with Eubank pushing for the contest for several years.
“Domestically, it’s a massive fight. I believe that our styles will gel, and with a lot on the line, it will make a great fight,” said DeGale said to Premier Boxing Champions.
“Eubank relies on his engine and his work rate to get him through, but he struggles every time he steps up in competition. He’s been calling me out since he was an amateur, so I will finally be getting a chance to use my skills and experience to outclass him and to shut him up.”
DeGale explained that he vacated the IBF’s title for bigger fights, because there wasn’t enough money for a bout with mandatory challenger Jose Uzecategui, who ultimately walked away with the full belt.
“To be brutally honest, (Uzecategui) was a high risk fight for lower reward,” said DeGale of Uzecategui.
“The purse (for Uzecategui) would have been significantly lower than I had been earning. I defended the title three times and there are better options available with bigger reward. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to box for another world title shot in the near future.”