It started out as a rumor but talk concerning an all-British classic between super middleweights James De Gale and Chris Eubank Jr is gathering pace. So much so that bookmakers have jumped the gun and are offering punters the chance to beat the queues, get in early and secure a piece of betting value.
We’re still without a time, date and location but the fighters haven’t let that stop them from getting involved in a war of words. DeGale recently vacated his IBF world title to allow him a chance to pursue huge bouts and that’s the biggest hint fight fans have had to date that he’s set to share a ring with Eubank.
Chunky DeGale would enter the ring as the more experienced fighter of the two, having fought 26 more professional rounds than his rival during a 28-chapter career that has taken him from amateur sensation to champion of the world.
The 32-year-old Londoner has won 25, lost two and drawn one so far, the spare coming against Badou Jack in Brooklyn last January. Jack remains one of the most underrated fighters on the circuit, so that result shouldn’t be taken lightly.
James lost next time out, beaten on points by Caleb Truax at the Copper Box Arena, Stratford’s Olympic 2012 venue. He lost his IBF title on a majority decision that night, 114-114, 112-115, 112-116 the scores but instantly avenged the result. Facing the American in a rematch at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas the Brit punched his way to a convincing points win.
He was last seen stopping Columbian Fidel Monterrosa Munoz inside three rounds in September, but that form seems to hold little weight with bookmakers. The latest boxing odds have DeGale second favorite for the win with backers able to get their hands on 6/5. Chris Eubank Jnr is 4/6 jolly, but the draw will be difficult to ignore at 20/1.
If the fight is made Junior will duck between the ropes needing to prove himself following a bitterly disappointing performance against George Groves that ended in a points defeat. Despite being betting favorite to beat Saint George in the semi-finals and go on to win the World Boxing Super Series, the 29-year-old from Brighton was taught a lesson on-route to a 112-117, 112-116, 113-115 tally at the Manchester Arena.
That result moved Eubank’s record to 27-2-0 with the other negative on his card coming at the hands of Billy Joe Saunders back in 2014 with British, Commonwealth and European titles on the line. Many domestic fans believe Chris has failed to deliver every time he has stepped up in class and that’s sure to result in support for DeGale, both at the arena on fight night and in the betting ring.