James DeGale talks Chris Eubank Jr: ‘I don’t hate him, I just think he’s a doughnut’
The two-time super-middleweight world champion believes his domestic rival is ‘limited’
James DeGale insists he’s got the beating of Chris Eubank Jr ahead of their domestic showdown on February 23.
The pair will settle a long-standing grudge at the O2 Arena next month, with the former IBF champion having vacated his title in order to pursue this all-British battle.
Having reached the pinnacle of the sport and at one point being considered the world’s best super-middleweight, DeGale is well aware of what it takes to make it at the top level – something he thinks Eubank Jr in incapable of.
“I know what Chris Eubank’s about,” the 32-year-old told the Sports Bar on talkSPORT, “He’s tough, he’s strong, he’s game, he’s got b****cks, but he’s limited.
“He’s shown that through his career, he’s been stepped up twice and he’s lost twice. Groves made him look bang average.
“But let me tell you something about Chris Eubank, if you’re shot or if you’re not in shape, he’s gonna get on top of you because he is that kind of fighter.
“But I’m too good for him, I come from crazy pedigree, I’m a two-time world champion. I’m a lot bigger than him and I’m so glad I only have to wait six more weeks to get my hands on him.”
In December 2017, James DeGale suffered the second defeat of his career in what was a woeful performance against sizeable underdog Caleb Truax.
Four months later, the Brit travelled to his opponent’s home country and beat him to regain the world title, but still looked far from his best in doing so.
Since then he has had just one fight – an off-TV tune-up – so hasn’t put in a ‘world class’ performance in two years, prompting speculation of a decline in his abilities.
DeGale continued: “He [Eubank Jr] honestly believes I’m shot and he thinks I’m gone and this is the perfect time for him to get me.
“He knows, if he gets a good win against me, this is gonna catapult him right back up with the big boys.
“There’s a lot on the line here because it’s embarrassing if I lose to him, it’s embarrassing.”
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Despite the clear animosity between James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr, the former insists he has no deep, bitter intentions towards his rival.
In his younger days, DeGale expressed strong feelings against domestic enemies – most notably when he fought George Groves – however now, at 32, he is more relaxed.
“No I don’t hate him,” the London man explained, “I just think he’s a proper doughnut.
“Him and his dad.”