James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr. Set For Feb. 23
SHOWTIME Sports will present the highly anticipated super
middleweight matchup between fierce British rivals James
DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr. Saturday, February 23 live on
SHOWTIME from London’s The O2. In the co-featured bout, fast
rising prospect Joe Joyce battles former world champion
Bermane Stiverne in a 12-round heavyweight clash. The event
will air live on air and via the networks’ streaming service
at a start time to be announced.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® event is presented by
Premier Boxing Champions on ITV in the U.K. and promoted by
Poxon Sports. The co-feature bout is promoted in association
with Ringstar Sports and Don King Productions.
DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KOs) and Eubank (27-2, 21 KOs) will
finally settle their long-running score when the two
outspoken rivals finally go toe-to-toe in front of the
excitable hometown London crowd in the all-British affair.
The 33-year-old DeGale was the first British boxer to win a
Gold Medal in the Olympics and a world championship as a
professional. He won his world title with a unanimous
decision over Andre Dirrell in 2015 and made two successful
defenses before fighting to a draw against Badou Jack in
2017. DeGale avenged his December 2017 loss to Caleb Truax
to reclaim his IBF Super Middleweight belt in April 2018 on
SHOWTIME. After voluntarily vacating the belt, DeGale
stopped veteran Fidel Munoz his last time out.
The 29-year-old Eubank Jr., the son of former two-division
world champion Chris Eubank, is highly motivated to
challenge for more world titles after he lost a unanimous
decision to George Groves for the WBA Super Middleweight
belt one year ago. The rivalry between DeGale and Eubank has
been brewing for several years after a series of run-ins.
The duo has sparred each other in the gym and have traded
several verbal jabs on social media. Eubank, who has been
training in Las Vegas at the Mayweather Boxing Club, has won
nine out of his last ten fights and has registered knockouts
in eight of those wins.
The 6-foot-6 Joyce, of London, England, has started his
professional career with a 100 percent KO rate after turning
professional in 2017 at the age of 32. An accomplished
amateur, Joyce claimed the super heavyweight silver medal
for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games. Joyce, who
trains in Big Bear, Calif. under renowned trainer Abel
Sanchez, knocked out Joe Hanks at 2:25 of round one in his
last fight on the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury undercard.
Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs), who was the first ever Haiti-born
boxer to own a piece of the heavyweight crown, won the WBC
title with a convincing sixth-round TKO over Chris Arreola
in 2014. Stiverne then lost the belt in his next fight
against Deontay Wilder, despite becoming the first fighter
to take the current American champion the distance. The
40-year-old has not fought since his loss in the 2017
rematch against Wilder but is anxious to bounce back with a
statement win over the highly regarded Joyce.