Chris Eubank Jr turns in a dominant performance against James DeGale
The build-up of James DeGale vs Chris Eubank Jr provided a lot of questions for both sides. Eubank Jr has lost both times he has stepped up his competition into the world class level. However, James DeGale has dramatically fallen from grace since recording a controversial draw against Badou Jack in 2017.
Would the perception of DeGale only being a shell of his former self cause his opponent to win? Or would the inability to rise to the occasion from Eubank Jr allow the former champion to prevail?
The former would end up being the case in this fight.
DeGale started this bout as thousands of fans expected him to. He kept the younger fighter on the end of his jab and dictated the pace using swift lateral movement. However, this would be the only round he would take convincingly.
The very next round, Eubank Jr realized that pressure would be the kryptonite for the aging champion. He applied it relentlessly and would land some nice hooks in close that put DeGale continuously on his back-foot.
Much like welterweight Amir Khan, the former champion lacks the ability to box while on the back-foot. This inability caused him to be in retreat while not mounting any offense as Eubank Jr attacked.
Additionally while in retreat, he would have his hands down. This eventually allowed the younger fighter to land a solid right hook that stumbled his opponent and led to a knockdown.
No Hope For DeGale
The way I have described the second round can be applied to the rest of the fight! DeGale had no answer for the relentless pressure applied by his opponent, though applied in a sloppy manner at times. Eubank Jr even lost a point later in the fight because he be a bit too wild, however, that didn’t matter.
The younger fighter did not allow his opponent to get comfortable at any point. Whenever his opponent wanted to reset and establish the jab, he would mount a full-on attack and keep him out of position.
Things would get worse for DeGale by the ninth round that would seal his fate. Seemingly behind by a wide margin, he succumbed to the pressure again as another hook caused his gloves to touch the canvas.
Eubank Jr has been ridiculed in the media as a fighter who cannot transfer how great he looks in training into the ring against top level competition. However, he dominated a former champion with little resistance from his opponent.
The final scorecards where 117-109, 115-112 and 114-112 all in favor of the fighter from Sussex. 3kingsboxing.com scored the fight 117-109.
In the post fight interviews, Eubank Jr declared himself to ready for any champion at middleweight and super middleweight. Meanwhile, DeGale would not commit to announcing his retirement. however, his tone sounded as if he may be done.
If the former champion is indeed finished, we at 3kingsboxing would like to thank him for bring us great fights over the years!
By: EJ Williams