The Feb. 23 fight between James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr has found a TV home in the United States, as Showtime has picked up the bout, which will take place at London’s O2 Arena and air live in the States in the afternoon.
DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KO) is a former two-time super middleweight titleholder. He first won the vacant IBF belt in 2015 in a fight against Andre Dirrell, then made successful defenses against Lucian Bute and Rogelio “Porky” Medina. He drew with Badou Jack in a unification fight in Jan. 2017, then was stunned 11 months later, losing the title to Caleb Truax in what was meant to be a tune-up defense of the belt.
DeGale did beat Truax in a rematch last April, but vacated the title before defending it again. He fought in September, staying busy with a win over journeyman Fidel Monterrosa.
Eubank (27-2, 21 KO) has had plenty of fanfare in his career thanks to his last name and his general attitude, but is 0-2 in world title fights. (Nobody’s counting the IBO, sorry.) He lost a middleweight title fight to Billy Joe Saunders in 2014, and a super middleweight title bout to George Groves in Feb. 2018, part of the World Boxing Super Series. He does have some good wins — Nick Blackwell, Arthur Abraham, Avni Yildirim — but hasn’t broken through to that next level.
While none of the four recognized world titles will be on the line against DeGale, this is a big fight for both, a big fight for the super middleweight division, and neither of these guys can afford a loss at this level right now. At 33, what you’d expect to be DeGale’s best years are rapidly winding down. Eubank, 29, still has plenty of future as far as years go, but there’s a sense that if he can’t beat DeGale, he’s never going to win a fight like this.
Showtime will also air the co-feature, a heavyweight bout between prospect Joe Joyce (7-0, 7 KO) and former titleholder Bermane Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KO).