Former two-time world champion James DeGale and former world title challenger Chris Eubank Jr. both weighed-in within the 168-pound limit for their 12-round super middleweight clash that headlines a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader tomorrow/Saturday live on SHOWTIME (3:45 p.m. ET/12:45 p.m. PT) from The O2 in London.
DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KOs) measured 166 pounds while his fierce rival tipped the scales at 167 pounds for their all-British grudge match. At stake for both men in the long-awaited showdown are British bragging rights, but more importantly a chance for another world title shot in the deep super middleweight division.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve been for a long, long time,” said DeGale, who reigned as champion for more than two years. “When I feel like I feel no one can beat me.”
Eubank Jr., the son of British legend and former two-division champion Chris Eubank Sr., has faced champions George Groves and Arthur Abraham and is now seeking a signature win against DeGale, the first British boxer to win an Olympic gold medal and a world championship.
“I know this is the defining fight of my career,” Eubank Jr. said. “Beating James DeGale sets me up for a world title, which is the whole reason I started in this game.”
Undefeated heavyweight Joe Joyce has knocked out all seven of his professional opponents but will face the toughest test of his professional career in Bermane Stiverne, a former WBC Heavyweight World Champion and the first fighter to push reigning champion Deontay Wilder the distance. The 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist Joyce (7-0, 7 KOs) measured 265 pounds while Stiverne tipped the scales at a career-high 273 pounds for their 12-round bout for the British Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship.
“Each fight is getting me closer and closer to a world title shot,” said Joyce, who is hoping to join Lennox Lewis, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua as recent winners of the British Commonwealth Heavyweight Title. “This is quite a step up for me but I’m confident that towards the end of the year my name will be amongst the top five heavyweights in the world.”
Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) is looking to bounce back from a one-sided defeat to Wilder in a 2017 rematch and prove that he’s still a threat in the deep and vibrant heavyweight division.
“That’s why I’m hungry,” Stiverne said on Friday. “I feel I have more to offer in this division.”
Veteran broadcaster Brian Custer will host the doubleheader from London with versatile combat sportscaster Mauro Ranallo calling the action ringside alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein. Three Hall of Famers will round out the telecast team – Emmy® award winning reporter Jim Gray, boxing historian Steve Farhood as unofficial ringside scorer, and world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr.
Chris Eubank Jr is in the best shape of his life heading into his huge super-middleweight showdown with foe James DeGale on Saturday 23rd February at The O2, promoted by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and Poxon Sports, exclusively live in the U.K on ITV Box Office in the U.S on Showtime.
Eubank Jr. arrived his flashy new McLaren supercar as the Brighton star opened his gym to the media today to go through a power-packed session with trainer Nate Vasquez in the ring and with long-time trainer Ronnie Davis closely watching on.
The Brighton star displayed his ripped physique ahead of the 168 pound battle for supremacy and looked sharp and powerful on the hand mitts, while slamming power shots into the body belt with just over a week left until the big fight.
Eubank said, “I can’t wait for the fight now, I’m just counting down the days,”
“I’ll be relentless in the fight and I won’t stop,”
“James will be on form, he respects and fears me so we will see the best James Games come to this fight”
“He’s had some hard fights in his career and this one against me could be career ending for him, but I think we’re going to see the best DeGale in a long time,”
“He’s had some hard fights, that’s for sure. It’s one of those things – a fight like this, especially against me, could be career ending.”
A Storm Is Coming is headlined by the long awaited domestic blockbuster showdown between James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr for the Vacant IBO World Super-Middleweight Championship; Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Joe Joyce defends his title against Challenger and Former WBC World Champion Bermane Stiverne; Former IBF World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby returns to action and takes on Omar Douglas; The British Heavyweight Title Eliminator between Andre Sterling and Ricky Summers. Plus an action packed undercard featuring super-featherweight Anthony Cacacae; welterweight Chris Kongo; light-heavyweight Seb Eubank and the pro-debut of cruiserweight Chez Nihell.