Boxing fans are in for a treat when James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr. finally go toe-to-toe at the O2 this weekend.
With the IBO Super Middleweight title on the line, as well as plenty of pride, we chatted to our boxing trader Tommy Young about what to expect in the ring…
Ladbrokes News: DeGale and Eubank Jr. have been sniping at each other for ages now. How high are the stakes for this one?
Tommy Young: It’ll be an intriguing all-British affair on Saturday night between Olympic gold medalist and former world champion James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr. Very much a crossroads fight, the winner will be propelled back to the top table of the super middleweight division and the loser won’t really have anywhere to go.
LN: Eubank comes into this as the favourite, how is he shaping up?
TY: Eubank is currently the 8/11 favourite having opened as slight underdog when the fight was first announced and he’s subsequently been well backed.
Eubank was last seen on the undercard of Groves v Smith where he schooled JJ McDonagh for three rounds, causing him to retire on his stool at the end of the 3rd.
However, his last meaningful fight was his WBSS semi-final with George Groves. That night was pretty damaging for Eubank. He had absolutely no response to Groves’ speed and movement.
LN: Could that loss be a big setback for Eubank?
TY: In his previous loss to Billy Joe Saunders, Eubank came on strong at the end. Many thought he could have nicked that fight and so were willing to make excuses for what was a close defeat.
But after the Groves display there were no questions about the result or how poor Eubank’s performance was. He needs a big performance in this fight if he is to have aspirations at a World title.
LN: What about DeGale? He’s said that he’ll retire if he loses. How is he looking?
TY: DeGale’s (who is 6/5 in the betting) last outing was also a nothing fight but before that he faced Caleb Truax in a rematch. He turned the tables after losing their first fight to regain the IBF Super Middleweight strap.
But even though DeGale avenged his defeat to Truax, the manner in which he lost the first fight was pretty shocking.
DeGale has always had a questionable work rate and is renowned for taking rounds off. He seemed to take that whole fight off. Truax is a limited fighter but all he had to do was work hard and throw while DeGale stood around and tried to clinch.
In the rematch he managed to do just enough to win. He was so poor in both those fights it leads me to believe he’s nearing the end of his career.
His fight with Badou Jack back in 2017 was a total war, by the end of it DeGale was missing front teeth and looked awful. That night may have taken a lot out of him.
LN: It sounds like you’re leaning towards Eubank there. What bets do you like the look of?
TY: The circumstances look ideal for Eubank. He’s a limited fighter who can work very hard, but the fact that he’s better than Truax means I think his chances look pretty good in this fight.
I’m in two minds as to whether Eubank wins with a wide points decision or grinds DeGale down and stops him late, so I’ll cover both bases with my tips.
Eubank to win by Unanimous Decision – 7/2
Eubank to win in Rds 9-12 – 6/1
Click here for the latest DeGale v Eubank Jr odds.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication