Chris Eubank Jr. picked up the biggest win of his career as he took back the vacant IBO Super Middleweight title in a unanimous decision win over James DeGale. Eubank previously won the title against Renold Quinlan before defending the belt two more times. After losing his belt to George Groves in September of 2018, Eubank came out and put on an impressive display of punching power to and cardio to wear down the technically superior James DeGale.
Many expected that while Eubank was the favorite, should the fight go into the deeper rounds that DeGale would have an increasingly better chance to win given the fact that he is the more technical fighter. Instead, the world saw what the devastating power of Eubank is capable of as he was repeatedly able to brutalize his way through DeGale’s defense.
Let’s take a look at how the fight went down.
A fairly uneventful round, Eubank came out of the gates throwing bombs but struggling to consistently land early. DeGale didn’t do much outside of trying to set up his jab but landed it enough times to most likely come away with the round.
Probably Eubank’s strongest round. After trying to set up the heavy right hand in the first, Eubank started to find it a home in the 2nd round. With about 2:20 to go in the round, Eubank landed a heavy left hook that staggered DeGale. Eubank followed with a flurry of punches, ending with a vicious right hook that put DeGale to the canvas. DeGale wouldn’t look the same the rest of the fight.
Eubank continues to pick his spots and land the heavy right hand. DeGale looked to have his legs back under him but was tentative to engage as he clearly learned to respect Eubank’s power the hard way in round 2.
DeGale came out firing early in the 4th and actually looked to be stealing back the momentum of the fight from Eubank. DeGale did a great job of establishing his range early, however, in what would become a running theme for the fight, Eubank would come back and land a heavy flurry of punches late that did noticeable damage.
At this point in the fight, Eubank started to look like he was fading after his early rush of intensity. DeGale was having a ton of success dictating the pace of the fight and essentially kept him at bay the entire round. DeGale started peppering in his left a bit more and did some clear damage to Eubank, opening up a clear cut under his right eye.
After a lackluster 5th round, Eubank came out and began mixing up his shots. The variance compared to his head-hunting strategy in the first 5 rounds paid major dividends as he was able to do significant damage to DeGale for essentially the entire round.
This was likely Eubank’s weakest round of the fight. He came out flat and frankly looking a bit tired while DeGale seemed to be the more fresh and composed fighter despite the damage he sustained over the first half of the fight. Despite dominating most of the round, DeGale once again disappeared late and allowed Eubank to claw his way back and nearly win back the round.
At this point in the fight, DeGale realized he was likely too far back on the scorecards and started to hunt for the knockout. The fight started to get sloppy with the two fighters at times electing to stand in a phone booth and trade shots. Although DeGale landed a few crisp left hands, Eubank landed heavy and precise bombs that continually had DeGale backing up into the ropes.
Although Eubank didn’t land any massive shots, the 9th round was for the most part a technical clinic put on by Eubank. DeGale was clearly starting to tire and hunting for the knockout, so Eubank elected to pepper him with effective combinations and evade his looping left hands.
Eubank started to smell blood in the water after his impressive 9th round and came out pressuring DeGale hard again. DeGale had absolutely no answer for the swarming Eubank and was wobbled once more. Eubank then unleashed another flurry of haymakers which forced DeGale to go to the ground and take a count.
Continuing to headhunt in the 11th, Eubank didn’t ease up despite being very clearly up on the scorecards. After punishing DeGale with his patented uppercuts, the two tied up and Eubank basically shoulder checked DeGale sending him to the mat. Eubank was deducted a point but hardly seemed phased as it was apparent he knew a win was just a matter of minutes away.
Somewhat shocking, the 12th round saw Eubank pursue DeGale with the same level of intensity we had seen all fight. Despite being miles ahead on the scorecards, Eubank was very obviously hunting for the finish and came close on a few occasions. Specifically, a left hook from Eubank nearly took DeGale’s head off and essentially put the finishing touches on a masterful performance from the young Brit.
All in all, an extremely impressive performance from one of the pound for pound hardest hitting fighters on the planet. Despite looking incredibly raw, Eubank showcased that he doesn’t need pinpoint accuracy to wear down and brutalize more skilled opponents. A scary matchup for just about any boxer in the world, big things should be in store for Chris Eubank Jr.