Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |



All-British James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr. clash to be shown on Showtime

Eubank Jr. (right) and James DeGale. Photo by Lawrence Lustig
Fighters Network

It’s the new business as usual in play on Feb. 23, when Showtime will screen a super middleweight tango between British vets James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr, along with a heavyweight scrap, pitting English prospect Joe Joyce against comebacking ex-champ Bermane Stiverne.

The scraps will unfold at London’s O2 arena, and will be presented to the American audience at a time to be announced.

The card will be will part of a jam-packed Saturday, with DAZN screening fights from Mexico topped by a Brandon Rios (35-4-1, 26 knockouts) vs. Humberto Soto (68-9-2, 37 KOs) welterweight scrum. Then, on FS1, Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) meets Avni Yildrim (21-1, 12 KOs) tops their slate in a super middleweight fight.

You can pick and choose, and DVR and dive in and out if you like, and probably do some laptop juggling, as well, if you choose.

DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KOs) and Eubank (27-2, 21 KOs) have had a lengthy history of scuffling via social media, so they’ll be able to settle the score in a more direct fashion.

Who has the more likeable persona aside, it feels like something of a coin-flip. DeGale is coming off two wins after a loss to Caleb Truax. He edged Truax in the rematch and then beat a journeyman, Fidel Munoz, in his last live action, last September.

At 33, are his best days deep in the rear view mirror, and could he conjure some energy for a later-chapter career climax, starting with a win over Eubank? At 29, the son of the Brit all-star Chris Sr., he too comes off a win against a non-world-beater when he battered JJ McDonagh on Sept. 28.

British fans have noted that he’s told the Express of his desire to fight not at 168, but at 160. “Me fighting at middleweight in the future is definitely going to happen at some point. After this it’s belts. It’s just belts. I want to challenge the best, I want to fight the best,” he said.

This make ones wonder, perhaps, if he’s fully invested in the task at hand…or is he maybe salivating at the lotto ticket hitters at 160 and maybe not keeping eyes fully trained on “Chunky?”

Then again, maybe his head is screwed on tight and straight, as he told the Telegraph, “I definitely can’t afford a loss – so it’s do or die.”

He’s looked to derive some fire and maybe fury by training in Las Vegas, with Nate Vazquez, so that could be looked back on as a smart strategy…or band aids on too leaky vessel.

Yeah, Eubank is a character who isn’t that well known to the US public. He also told the Telegraph, “It’s the first time I’ve had a full hands-on trainer leading up to a fight, which might sound crazy to a lot of people. The truth is I’ve trained myself for much of my career. I’ve had a lot of guidance from my father and [trainer] Ronnie Davies – and I’ve worked with Floyd Mayweather Snr. But I’ve never had a full time trainer, somebody there day in day out, working on the things I need to work on to prepare for a big fight.”

So, he’s mostly trained himself? Not a typical recipe for success. Maybe that’s why he’s lost step up fights to Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves.

And over on the DeGale side, the Olympic stud has also been chatty. “Trust me, it’s (PED usage) rife in America, in America it’s mad, it’s crazy. I speak to Paulie Malignaggi, he’s part of my team now. When I sit down and speak to him it’s mind-boggling, some of the stuff he knows, some of the stuff he tells you and some of the stories he knows. It’s so interesting,” he told TalkSport.

Now, should we read anything into that, regarding who he’s fighting? Not for me to say.

Both have a bunch to prove, with DeGale saying to TalkSport, “If I’m being honest, a lot of people think I’m on the decline. A lot of people think I’ve seen better days. But, I’m not going to go on about it, I’ve had a lot of injuries, a lot of problems, but that’s all sorted. I’m healed up and I’m ready to go. Listen, a lot of people are writing me off but judge me after this fight.”

That they will; now you can. Readers, does DeGale have enough left in the tank to best Eubank? Is Eubank now dead set on realizing his potential, and mentally situated to translate his determination into a career best win? Maybe his explosivity, with some newfound focus, could help him sacrifice speed for accuracy, and get closer to dad’s resume level.

Talk to us…who wins and how?


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