Chris Eubank Jr. defeats James DeGale – RESULTS
By Scott Gilfoid: Chris Eubank Jr. (28-2, 21 KOs) handed former IBF super middleweight champion James ‘Chunky’ DeGale (25-3-1, 15 KOs) his third career loss in beating him by an ugly 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant IBO 168 lb title in their grudge match on Saturday night on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
The judges scored it 114-112, 115-112, and 117-109. Boxing News 24 had Eubank Jr. winning by a 117-109 score. DeGale, 33, looked utterly shot to pieces. Eubank Jr. knocked DeGale down in rounds 2 and 10. In the 11th, Eubank Jr. had a point deducted for using a professional wrestling body slam move of DeGale.
The negatives that jumped out at you in looking at DeGale’s performance tonight was his punch resistance, or lack thereof, which was totally gone. DeGale literally couldn’t take a shot without staggering like a drunk. The balance was gone. In his prime, DeGale was a good mover, and had great mobility and balance. Tonight, he looked like he was half stunned just entering the ring. The way DeGale was stumbling in there, you have wonder if he had some kind of a problem with one of his ear drums, because he was fighting like was on ice skates for the first time. Eubank Jr. should have been able to move DeGale down without any problems, but his limited boxing ability prevented him making easy work of Chunky.
In fairness to Eubank Jr., he was fed up with DeGale’ nonstop holding that he’d been doing the entire fight. The referee let DeGale get away with his octopus holding the entire fight without taking points off from him. I mean, the referee should have taken MAJOR points away from DeGale early on, and then disqualified him, because his holding was beyond what acceptable in the sport of boxing. The holding that DeGale was using in the fight was just out of this world bad. The referee just let DeGale get away with it for some reason.
DeGale suffered a cut on the right side of his eye in round 1, after he came charging in head first looking to clinch. Eubank Jr. couldn’t get out of the way of DeGale, and the two rammed heads. DeGale used the same charging clinching style the entire fight. It was the same thing that we’d seen from DeGale in his second fight with Caleb Truax last April. That was the match that DeGale won a controversial 12 round decision despite doing little more than holding and running the entire 12 round fight. It was hoped that DeGale wouldn’t resort to his same old tricks for the Eubank Jr. fight, but sure enough, that’s what he had in store, and it was awful to look at.
If he doesn’t retire off this loss then you have to feel sorry for the deluded former IBF champion. DeGale’s right shoulder that he had surgery on a little over a year ago, it’s not the same. This is the shoulder that DeGale injured in the Badou Jack fight in 2017. It’s not responded to training, from what Gilfoid can see. The power that DeGale once had in his right hand is absolutely gone. He’s now just a guy with a left hand, and little more than that. DeGale had no chance against Eubank Jr. fighting with just his left hand. Eubank Jr. is a limited fighter, but it still requires a 2-handed fighter to beat him. DeGale likely isn’t going to get his power back in his right arm. If it was going to come back, it would have by now. The shoulder just isn’t the same.
As for Eubank Jr., he looked a little bit improved from the fighter that was beaten by George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series tournament last year. There’s some improvement there. Not much improvement, but there’s some improvement. What we saw from Eubank Jr. tonight wouldn’t be enough to help him out against Callum Smith, Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez or David Benavidez. Those guys would beat him, but he might have enough to get him past the likes of Anthony Dirrell or Caleb Plant. Eubank Jr. might be wise to just hold onto his IBO trinket title, and just focus on defending against the guys that are ranked with that sanctioning body. If Eubank Jr. fights anyone good, I can see him getting beaten. Although he is improved a little, but not enough for him to deal with the better fighters in the super middleweight division. Heck, Eubank Jr. couldn’t even do the job against the shot DeGale tonight. The fight was WAY too close for what should have been had Eubank Jr. had a shred of talent. Eubank Jr. just needs to be calculated with the type of guys he faces. If he wants a big payday, then maybe he can get Saul Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin to fight him if he calls them out long enough, but he’s clearly not going to beat either of those guys. They’re too good for him, and so is Callum Smith.