Groves beats Eubank Jr. says DeGale
By Scott Gilfoid: James DeGale is picking WBA super middleweight champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) to hand Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) his second loss of his career in their fight on February 17 in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
DeGale, 31, thinks Groves is too big for Eubank Jr., who moved up in weight from the middleweight division to the 168 lb. division in 2017 to go after the vulnerable IBO champion Renold Quilan. Had Eubank Jr. remained at middleweight, he would have had to tangle with Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs, and he clearly didn’t want any part of those guys.
When Eubank Jr. was in the position to fight Jacobs after beating Gary O’Sullivan, he failed to take the fight. Likewise, when Eubank Jr. was in negotiations for a fight with Golovkin last year, he didn’t agree to that fight either. It’s unclear what the hold-up was for Eubank Jr. Perhaps it’s a confidence issue. But it’s a good thing that Eubank Jr. has moved up to super middleweight, because he obviously wasn’t going to do anything at 160. Eubank’s actions showed that he wanted no part of the top fighters at middleweight.
“I do think Groves beats Eubank. I just think his size, he’s so much bigger than Eubank, and when you look at Eubank’s record, the best name on his record is Billy Joe Saunders and he got beaten by him,” said DeGale to the Telegraph.co.uk. ”It’s an intriguing fight, a good one, and I look forward to watching it.”
DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) will be defending his IBF super middleweight title next Saturday night on December 9 against #15 IBF Caleb Truax (28-3-2, 18 KOs) at the Copper Box Arena in London, England. DeGale says he’s had his front teeth put back in after getting his bridge knocked out against Badou Jack in his 12 round draw against him last January. DeGale has also had nose and shoulder surgery. DeGale has had a lot of physical problems with his body. It’s good news that DeGale has those things taken care of, but it’s a sign that he’s no spring chicken at 31. DeGale is starting to show his age with all of his injuries.
DeGale says he asked his manager Al Haymon to set him up with a unification fight against WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez in his next fight if he gets past Truax. The 29-year-old Benavidez will be a tough fight for DeGale due to his age, size and power.