The Big Question: DeGale vs Eubank Jr - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
22/02/2019 6:29pm

Photo: James Chance/Getty Images

Former IBF champion James DeGale faces Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday night in an intriguing super-middleweight contest. Members of the BM team are here with their picks and predictions...

Had this fight taken place a few years ago I'd have picked DeGale with conviction. Eubank Jr is blessed with supreme athleticism and has inherited his father's jaw, but at elite level is lacking in fundamentals, a failing which has always been ripe for exploiting by a Saunders or Groves type. DeGale is another stick and move type in theory, but years of tough fights and a peccadillo for late round breaks could allow Eubank Jr to get the signature win he craves. I like both fighters, regardless of their flaws, and Eubank at his physical peak against a slightly slipping DeGale should mean a cracking fight. - James Oddy

A few years earlier and I’d have heavily fancied DeGale to beat Eubank Jr in similar fashion to how Saunders and Groves did. But I feel this is coming at the right time for Eubank Jr now. He’s younger, fresher and has less mileage than DeGale. With a new coach on board as well to help guide him, along with his already present constant pressure and athleticism, I feel he could be too much for DeGale. The Londoner is in the final stages of his career and may have to dig deep in the later rounds here, with his persistence in going to the ropes being a potential downfall again (as it was in the first Truax bout). Eubank Jr by decision. - Lee Gormley

I'm going with DeGale. He may well be in the final part of his career and unfussed about world titles, but I think he's up for this one and it'll motivate him a lot. Watching Groves make Eubank look silly, I don't see why DeGale won't do the same - probably less so as Eubank will have improved in defeat, but not enough in my opinion... DeGale via a clear, unanimous points decision, in an entertaining fight with lots of bravado and tense moments. - Colin Harris

I’m really excited about this fight. While DeGale is undoubtedly the more talented of the two, he has a habit of having hard fights with everyone he faces. Whether it’s world champions in Badou Jack, or fringe contenders like Porky Medina. He’s a fighter that has slowed down in recent years and is starting to look “gone”. Because of that I pick Eubank Jr to outwork and perhaps hurt DeGale en route to a close but decisive points victory. - Callum Rudge

DeGale looks like he's prepared well and seems happy and relaxed. You'd have to lean towards him and his superior boxing skills. Whether he 'schools' Eubank Jr remains to be seen and it could be a close-run affair on the cards. And as is often the case with hyped fights, they don't always live up to their billing. I'm going DeGale by majority decision or narrow points win. - Luca Rosi

I am backing Eubank Jr for the first time in a major fight. I think the narrow preference that the bookmakers have for the Brighton man is about right. Looking at the two of them it is hard to believe that there are only four years between them.
DeGale looks old all of a sudden. At various times in the build-up, he has mentioned having maybe three or four more fights, then one more and now potentially that this will be his last. Although DeGale looks physically and mentally ready I have a feeling that he unconsciously has one foot already in retirement. I just think Eubank Jr has more to lose and he is meeting DeGale at just the right time. This is the kind of fight where the established veteran is usually taken by the young up and comer. The flaw in that hypothesis is whether Eubank is capable of improvement. If he isn't, then it's hard to see where he can go next. - Garry White

If DeGale can find around 75 per cent of what he’s showed when at his best versus Andre Dirrell, Lucien Bute or Badou Jack then he beats Eubank clearly for me. DeGale’s pedigree and wealth of experience is several levels above the second-generation Brighton braggart, whose peripheral adjustments to training set-up appear too little too late from my perspective. Reports from DeGale’s training camp have been extremely positive and although I don’t often gamble, DeGale on points at 2/1 looks an absolute steal. - Chris Williamson

DeGale for me. When the fight was first announced, a lot of the initial reaction seemed to be that this was a bad style match-up for DeGale - that Eubank Jr’s relentless output would mean a rough night for DeGale, a fighter known for his lapses in activity partway through a contest. That’s a fair angle, particularly with Eubank Jr making his own changes to his training set-up and the notion that this is DeGale’s last roll of the dice. However, I can’t get away from the feeling that an on-form - and, crucially, switched-on - DeGale is a level above. We saw similar underlined in Groves-Eubank Jr where Groves prevailed with one working arm against a man whose career has so far largely been more sizzle than sausage. DeGale by unanimous decision. - Tom Craze

It’s an extremely close fight, there are so many questions. Has DeGale got one eye on retirement? Does Eubank Jr fall short at the top level again? It’s Jr’s best chance at a top name and best shot at getting back to world title level again should he win, so will that give him extra incentive? Without sitting on the fence I’ll pick DeGale on points due to his experience at the highest level. - James Lupton

For my sins, I'm still a believer in Eubank Jr's ability. He's a talent, arguably campaigning a weight division too high, having won the majority of his fights on his natural gifts and inadequate fundamentals/preparation. A peak or middling DeGale outslicks him. But the shopworn, banged-up DeGale who went to the wire in two fights with a solid, but unspectacular Caleb Truax is not the same animal. This looks headed for points. A rebooted, properly coached Eubank can get over the line this time, having fallen just short vs Billy Joe Saunders and way short vs George Groves. Eubank Jr W12. - Mark Butcher

Really interesting fight, this one. I think a lot has been made of DeGale's recent performances, however he suffered defeat in one of those bouts and opted for a rematch in which he emerged with his belt again. He has plenty of heart and when faced with a challenge that interests him, he generally comes out on top. For me, Eubank just isn't a technically great fighter. He looked to be plodding a lot during recent sessions with Nate Vasquez (the man who openly criticised his footwork). Also, the corner of Eubank Jr seems to be a tad convoluted. Vasquez, the head trainer, will be accompanied by Eubank Sr who has previously worn sleeveless waistcoats when issuing his own advice, mid-rounds.  DeGale with an appetite wins on points. - Craig Scott

While there are some tempting odds available for both the draw (18-1) and a final round Eubank victory (33-1), when it comes to the crunch, I believe two factors will swing the outcome of this fight in favour of DeGale - namely the advantages that the former IBF champ has in both size and experience. DeGale on points. - Luke G. Williams, in his online preview of the fight

Final tally: DeGale 7 Eubank Jr 5