On Saturday, British boxing stars James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr. will battle for the IBO super middleweight title at the O2 Arena in London. The February 23rd bout can be viewed live on ITV Box Office (PPV) in the UK and on Showtime in the USA.
Tale of the Tape – DeGale vs. Eubank Jr.
|James DeGale||Chris Eubank Jr.|
|Record||25-2-1 (15 KOs)||27-2-0 (21 KOs)|
|Country||United Kingdom||United Kingdom|
Fight Breakdown – DeGale vs. Eubank Jr.
James DeGale is an Olympic gold medalist and the former IBF super middleweight champion. He holds win over Andre Dirrell, Lucian Bute, and Caleb Truax. Both of DeGale’s professional losses came via majority decision: the first to George Groves in 2011, the other to Truax in their first fight back in 2017. “Chunky” can be described as a tough, slick southpaw with solid boxing skills. DeGale is not an exceptionally fast or athletic fighter, but he throws decent combinations and usually has good footwork.
Chris Eubank Jr. (son of Chris Eubank, a former two-weight world champion) started his career 18-0 and was regarded as one of the top prospects in British boxing before he lost a close split decision to Billy Joe Saunders for the European, British, and Commonwealth middleweight titles in 2014. Eubank Jr. would rebound from the defeat by winning eight straight bouts, moving up to super middleweight along the way. After losing to George Groves in the semi-final round of the World Boxing Super Series last year, Eubank is looking to prove he truly is a world-level fighter with a win tomorrow night. Stylistically, Eubank Jr. is more or less a brawler who relies on power shots, aggressiveness, and his chin to get the job done.
Though he sometimes keeps his hands down and lunges in with his punches, James DeGale is usually hard to hit and hard to hurt. He needs to stick to the jab or Eubank Jr.’s superior power and explosiveness will eat him up, especially at medium and close range. In addition to pressing the action, Eubank Jr. should look to time DeGale’s lunging left hands with his uppercut.
Also on the card, fast-rising British slugger Joe Joyce (7-0) will take on former WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (25-3-1). Joyce has knocked out every one of his pro opponents to date, while the 40-year-old Stiverne has not fought since his first-round knockout loss to Deontay Wilder in November of 2017.
Prediction – DeGale vs. Eubank Jr.
I predict a late-round TKO victory for Chris Eubank Jr. DeGale has the experience and credentials, but at this point in his career I do not believe he will be able to weather the storm that Eubank Jr. will bring.
If DeGale stays on his bike, uses the jab, and keeps his hands up, he can definitely squeeze out a decision, but more than likely Eubank Jr. (who is working with new trainer Nate Vasquez for this fight) will eventually catch him with something big.
What are the chances this fight goes the distance? Do you think Eubank Jr. has improved enough to dominate the aging DeGale? Comment below with your opinion.