Former two-time super middleweight champion James DeGale and former world title challenger Chris Eubank Jr. faced off at the heated final press conference on Thursday for their 12-round showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING this Saturday, February 23 live on SHOWTIME (3:45 p.m. ET/12:45 p.m. PT) from The O2 in London.
DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KOs) and Eubank (27-2, 21 KOs) will finally settle their long-running score when the two outspoken rivals meet in London. In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature bout, Olympic Silver Medalist and top prospect Joe Joyce (7-0, 7 KOs) will measure against former WBC Champion Bermane Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) in a 12-round heavyweight clash.
The event is promoted by Poxon Sports and presented by Premier Boxing Champions. Joyce-Stiverne is promoted in association with Ringstar Sports and Don King Productions. The doubleheader will air live in the U.S. exclusively on SHOWTIME and on ITV Box Office in the U.K.
Veteran broadcaster Brian Custer will host the doubleheader from London with combat sportscaster Mauro Ranallo calling the action ringside alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein. Three Hall of Famers will round out the telecast team – Emmy® award winning reporter Jim Gray, boxing historian Steve Farhood as unofficial ringside scorer, and world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr.
Here’s what the fighters and their respective camps had to say during Thursday’s press conference at Intercontinental at The O2:
“I vacated my title for fights like this. Chris Eubank has been calling my name for a long time and finally I get a chance to punch him in his face.
“I have no respect for him. None. This guy is a diluted idiot. And on Saturday night I can’t wait to deal with him. I’m going to come and give it to him properly. He can’t box. We’ve all heard this before.
“This is the biggest fight of his career. It’s retirement time. Whoever loses this fight is finished. It’s do or die on Saturday…His retirement fight is here. It’s his last fight, I promise you that.
“I’m proven. I’ve been there, done that. I’ve won everything. He’s done nothing. And I’m going to retire him.
This is my opportunity to prove that once and for all to set the record straight and prove I’m the real deal. I know this is a defining fight in my career. It is do or die and I’m ready for that.
“James knows what’s coming. At the end of the day, his last performances haven’t been up to par, but i don’t think he respected his [past] opponents. He respects me, and I respect him and that’s why this is a real fight.
“I’ve been in the game for a long time but this is just the beginning of a long journey for me. This is my biggest fight. I have to win. If I win, I’m back on the world stage. Beating James DeGale sets me up for a world title which is the whole reason I started in this game.”
“There are levels to boxing. Chris was a good prospect coming through but he’s not on the same level as James. He’ll find out what it takes to be a world champion. James DeGale is levels above Chris Jr.
“Chris may have all the drive he needs but he doesn’t have the skills to beat James DeGale.
“I know James is not losing. James DeGale is probably the best British fighter I’ve seen in my country.”
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