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Eubank Jr: DeGale fight is do or die

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Chris Eubank Jr. and James DeGale will collide on Feb. 23.

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Premier Boxing Champions, ITV Sport & Poxon Sports Boxing press conference Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Chris Eubank Jr. will continue his run in the super middleweight division when he takes on rival James DeGale on Feb. 23, at London’s O2 Arena — and Eubank knows he needs to put on a good performance if he’s to achieve what he believes he’s capable of.

“This is a make or break fight for me, I can’t afford a flat performance,” Eubank says, in his gym below the brutalist King Alfred Leisure Centre. “I definitely can’t afford a loss. So it’s do or die.”

Eubank Jr. (27-2, 21 KOs), who now employs a full-time trainer, is recently coming off a stoppage win over JJ McDonagh, which followed a unanimous decision loss to George Groves in the WBSS semifinals last February. That was a humbling loss or Eubank Jr., but he still shows the determination to try to claw his way back to the top.

“I have an amazing fan base. I also have an amazing amount of haters: believe who don’t believe, people who don’t want me to succeed. I don’t really mind having those people around. If anything it’s actually a good thing for me because it keeps me in the gym, keeps me working hard - knowing there are people out there who don’t want me to succeed.”

Conversely, DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KOs) most recently stopped Fidel Monterrosa Munoz in a step down in competition following a string of pretty grueling fights between 2017 and 2018. A lot of people view DeGale as a spent fighter at this stage of his career, but if there’s any fight he should be able to get up for, even if it’s only one last hurrah, it should be against Eubank Jr., whom he personally disdains.