James DeGale’s coach has poured cold water on claims Chris Eubank Jr. did anything other than participate in a short-cut training session alongside his fighter.
Trainer Jim McDonnell, a former European Featherweight Champion himself, was in his corner for the ill-fated sparring session between the pair.
McDonnell did not hold back and was more vocal about the incident ahead of the February 23 clash in London.
He said, “I think it was a get up from the start and there was a hidden agenda for a publicity stunt. Eubank didn’t want to do the last two rounds with James. He just got out of the ring.
“I compare it to a fighter stopping after ten rounds of a 12 twelve round fight. Pulling out and then doing shadow boxing for the last two rounds.
“I don’t know if Eubank Jr. thought that the last two rounds of shadow boxing made up the eight rounds?
“Do you really believe a fighter who had not won any amateur titles and only had a few fights took James, who won everything as an amateur culminating in the Olympic Gold, the British title and was challenging for the European title, to school? Please!
“To be honest, I had forgotten about it because we had gone on to fight and win the European title. James then went on to World honours, but he has never forgotten about it.
“I can see now for Eubank Jr. it was a major coup to spar with James. He milked it for everything he could. It got his name in the papers and he did a great job of it.”
On the ongoing feud between the Brits, McDonnell (📸 Lawrence Lustig) added: “He’s talked himself into the fight and got what he wanted. I’ve got to give Eubank Jr. credit for stepping up and taking the fight. Whatever you say about him, he’s a tough man.
“I look at Eubank Jr’s record, though, and I see it ending up a very one-sided fight for James. Who has he beaten as an amateur or pro? The only two times he stepped up against Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves he’s got beat.”
Tickets for the fight are on sale. Tickets available from www.AXS.com and Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality from www.sportandmusic.co.uk.
This fight will be shown exclusively on ITV Box Office. For further information and updates, please go to www.itvboxoffice.com.