A potential Chris Eubank Jr vs DeGale super-middleweight world title fight could be in play for 2017.
In one of the more questionable and glitch-ridden pay per view events in recent memory, an ever confident Chris Eubank Jr delivered on his promise to capture a world title (IBO).
He followed in his father’s iconic footsteps, dismantling an over matched Renold Quinlan in London on ITV box office.
Eubank was quick out of the gate to assert his dominance against his first challenger in the super middleweight division, establishing a snappy jab and following up with several sporadic barrages of power shots.
Some of them looked heavy enough to take out even the sternest of opponents.
Still, Quinlan endured as much punishment as he could take for ten rounds before Howard Foster finally stepped in.
Straight after the fight Jr dived into his dream list of potential opponents – Canelo and Golovkin included of course.
But the most realistic of these choices was undoubtedly that of now fellow world super middleweight champ James DeGale.
A fellow British fighter and a fellow Londoner, DeGale last came away with a close-fought majority draw against Badou Jack in the States.
Originally his plan was to rematch the Mayweather endorsed Jack, plans which were unfortunately dashed after Jack has now made his move to light-heavyweight.
Both men need a dance partner right now and, despite some bad blood and less than friendly correspondents raging between the two, this is one grudge match that may actually see the light of day.
Unofficial reports suggest that both teams are in negotiations and that talks are going well, with late summer being eyed as an appropriate time to get the fight made.
It’s a fight that certainly makes sense – both men are reigning world champions, both represent the same fighting city and neither man legitimately has any respect or love for the other.
It has all the makings of a good old fashioned, personal feud.
So, if we are to see these two limitlessly confident chaps share a ring together the question remains – who would win?
Let’s start with the obvious.
In terms of his ring resume and displays thus far the edge in skill is understandably in DeGale’s corner.
He has more rounds under his belt and has had the time to develop and produce a much wider boxing repertoire than Eubank.
He also has much more ‘big fight’ experience.
While Eubank may have been the main event in his fair share of cards, he is yet to participate in a fight which genuinely garners major interest both at home and overseas.
Yes, Jr’s respective bouts against Saunders and Quinlan may have had wide-spread ramifications in the boxing world as a whole, but in terms of capturing public interest he is yet to reach the international scale ‘Chunky’ has.
But it’s probably on the way.
Having said that, DeGale has shown himself to be vulnerable against big power punchers – a category Jr falls under whatever way you try to phrase it and in whatever weight class he chooses to fight.
Having found himself hurt badly against Jack it isn’t unthinkable that his chin may falter against one of Eubank’s now trademark uppercuts.
(DeGale vs Jack full fight video – hat tip and credit PBC YouTube)
But, for all the effort he puts into his training – his stellar physique is evidence enough of that – Eubank doesn’t always fully apply himself in his fights in place of showboating and playing to the audience.
A technique which cost him dearly against Billy Joe Saunders.
Also, while he did show flashes of a super outside fighting style and jab in his win against Quinlan, Eubank still left himself hanging every time he missed one of his many lunging left hooks.
Against a crisp counter puncher like DeGale this might just cost him more than his balance.
It’s an interesting match up because neither man is the finished article yet.
They may both hold world title belts but there’s a nagging feeling that we haven’t seen the perfectly realised vision of what they can both achieve in the ring.
In terms of where they both stand now the edge is surely with DeGale – he has more experience and a higher class of opponents on his record.
But, in the Quinlan fight we saw from Eubank what could be the potential to improve an awesome offensive fighting style.
If only he remembers to keep his gloves up and to stop taking silly, unnecessary shots.
In a strange turn of events I’m going to go out on a limb and side with Chris Eubank Jr.
He isn’t anywhere near as complete a fighter as DeGale, but I’ve seen less worrisome flaws from Eubank’s show reel than I have yet from his potential opponent.
You don’t have to like either of these two, but for the explosion of egos if nothing else, for British boxing fans this one has ‘Unmissable’ written all over it.
Eubank Jr vs DeGale – who have you got?