Former two-time world champion James DeGale and former world title challenger Chris Eubank Jr. both weighed-in within the 168-pound limit for their 12-round super middleweight clash that headlines a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader tomorrow/Saturday live on SHOWTIME (3:45 p.m. ET/12:45 p.m. PT) from The O2 in London.
DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KOs) measured 166 pounds while his fierce rival tipped the scales at 167 pounds for their all-British grudge match. At stake for both men in the long-awaited showdown are British bragging rights, but more importantly a chance for another world title shot in the deep super middleweight division.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve been for a long, long time,” said DeGale, who reigned as champion for more than two years. “When I feel like I feel no one can beat me.”
Eubank Jr., the son of British legend and former two-division champion Chris Eubank Sr., has faced champions George Groves and Arthur Abraham and is now seeking a signature win against DeGale, the first British boxer to win an Olympic gold medal and a world championship.
“I know this is the defining fight of my career,” Eubank Jr. said. “Beating James DeGale sets me up for a world title, which is the whole reason I started in this game.”
Undefeated heavyweight Joe Joyce has knocked out all seven of his professional opponents but will face the toughest test of his professional career in Bermane Stiverne, a former WBC Heavyweight World Champion and the first fighter to push reigning champion Deontay Wilder the distance. The 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist Joyce (7-0, 7 KOs) measured 265 pounds while Stiverne tipped the scales at a career-high 273 pounds for their 12-round bout for the British Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship.
“Each fight is getting me closer and closer to a world title shot,” said Joyce, who is hoping to join Lennox Lewis, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua as recent winners of the British Commonwealth Heavyweight Title. “This is quite a step up for me but I’m confident that towards the end of the year my name will be amongst the top five heavyweights in the world.”
Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) is looking to bounce back from a one-sided defeat to Wilder in a 2017 rematch and prove that he’s still a threat in the deep and vibrant heavyweight division.
“That’s why I’m hungry,” Stiverne said on Friday. “I feel I have more to offer in this division.”
Veteran broadcaster Brian Custer will host the doubleheader from London with versatile 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.
12-Round Super Middleweight Bout
James DeGale – 166 Pounds
Chris Eubank Jr. – 167 Pounds
Referee: Howard Foster; Judges: Michael Alexander (U.K), Phil Edwards (U.K.), Terry O’Connor (U.K.)
12-Round Heavyweight Bout
Joe Joyce – 265 Pounds
Bermane Stiverne – 273 Pounds
Referee: Michael Alexander; Judges: Howard Foster (U.K), Jerome Lades (France), Olena Pobyvailo (Belgium)
Note: Former featherweight world champion Lee Selby and Omar Douglas will fight in a 12-round lightweight swing bout. Selby measured 134 ½ pounds for his lightweight debut while Douglas weighed-in at 132 pounds.