James DeGale v Chris Eubank Jr clash close to reality
James DeGale is set to face Chris Eubank Jr. in one of the most attractive all-UK match-ups of the year.
Former two-time IBF champion DeGale and one-time IBO ruler Eubank are set to square off on home soil in December.
WBN understands a deal is in place for a date on December 1 or 8 for the long-awaited super-middleweight clash.
The encounter is set to be broadcast on ITV Box Office in Great Britain, with The O2 Arena in London frontrunner to host.
Recently addressing the prospect of trading blows with Eubank Jr. in his next bout, DeGale spoke to Lem Satterfield of Premier Boxing Champions.
“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,” predicted the Olympic Gold Medallist.
“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.”
On the potential to land a world title shot with a victory over Eubank, DeGale added: “I would love to win another world title, and I’m not fussy about who I have to fight to get it. I’ll leave that decision to my management to decide, but they’re all young, ambitious fighters who would all be game.
“(Callum) Smith (current WBA champion) got his opportunity at a world title shot, and he looked good taking it, doing so with both hands. But I’m only 32, so I’ve still got a couple of years in me yet.
“I’m feeling brilliant, right now, but as an athlete, there is always something you can improve on and make yourself better. I’m simply taking it one fight at a time.”
DeGale made a low-key return to action recently after taking the decision to drop his IBF belt having been ordered to face Jose Uzcategui.
‘Chunky’ stopped Fidel Munoz in three rounds late last month. The fight took place at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in California.
“It was pleasing to feel the buzz in the crowd and to have another good win. But it was a routine eight-rounder. Nothing spectacular. I’m not going to get too excited about the performance (against Munoz),” said DeGale.
“But along with the injuries, the last couple of years have been a bit frustrating. I had a problem called ‘Gilmore’s groin’ and was still recovering against Periban. I couldn’t punch hard against (Dyah) Davis, move properly or get my shots off because of the sharp pain. But it’s nice to be boxing injury free and in good health.”
Concluding on the Uzcategui avoidance, DeGale explained his choice.
“To be brutally honest, (Uzcategui) was a high-risk fight for lower reward. The purse 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.”