James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr trade verbal shots during face-off on top of the O2 Arena

Premier Boxing Champions, ITV Sport & Poxon Sports Boxing press conference

James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr squared up on top of London’s O2 Arena on Tuesday ahead of their highly anticipated fight on February 23.

The pair faced off 52 metres above ground level on the O2 walkway at the famous arena in North Greenwich.

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.

‘Chunky’ won his world title with a unanimous decision over Andre Dirrell in 2015 and made two successful defences before fighting to a draw against Badou Jack in 2017.

He avenged his December 2017 loss to Caleb Truax to reclaim the IBF super middleweight belt in April 2018 and looked set for a long reign at the top of the sport.

The Hammersmith-born southpaw then surprisingly vacated his IBF title to pursue more money and bigger names in the ring, before defeating Fidel Munoz in September last year via third round KO.

Twenty-nine-year-old Eubank Jr is the son of former two-division world champion Chris Eubank. ‘Next Gen’ is highly motivated to challenge for more world titles after he lost a unanimous decision to George Groves for the WBA super middleweight belt last year.

The rivalry between Eubank Jr and DeGale has been brewing for several years after a series of run-ins where neither man could see eye-to-eye. The duo have previously sparred together whilst in training and have traded a variety of verbal jabs through social media.

Eubank Jr has been training at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas and has won nine out of his last ten fights and has registered knockouts in eight of those wins.

Premier Boxing Champions, ITV Sport & Poxon Sports Boxing press conference

Former world champion DeGale is convinced he has the beating of the son of a legend, and echoed his concerns with his opponent’s ability in the ring when the pair went head-to head on top of the O2.

“He doesn’t have a clue what’s going to happen, he doesn’t have a f****** clue,” screamed DeGale.

“I’ve seen you sparring, your sparring partner beats you up!”

The 33-year-old was referring to Eubank’s training partner Dennis Douglin who DeGale described as a ‘nobody’ and a ‘rubbish boxer.’

Eubank Jr was quick to react to his rival when DeGale admitted he will retire from the sport should he lose to the Sussex-born fighter.

“I keep hearing him use this word retirement but it’s not in my thought process, it’s not in my psyche,” replied Eubank Jr.

“To me it’s a sign of weakness to even have that thought process, never mind say it out loud.”

DeGale was composed in his response and said: “I’m a realist, I’m not going to be one of those fighters who doesn’t know when to knock it on the head.

“I know what’s left in me and he’s been calling my name for a long time.

“When you lose, Chris, I promise you, what are you going to do?”

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