JAMES DEGALE vs. CHRIS EUBANK JR. FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Fri, 22 Feb 2019
FOR SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT SHOWDOWN THIS SATURDAY LIVE ON SHOWTIMEģ FROM THE O2 IN LONDON
Itís retirement time. Whoever loses this fight is finished.Ē Ė DeGale
ďThereís nothing he can do in that ring that I canít handle. Iím going to box his head off.Ē Ė Eubank
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGģ Begins Live At 3:45 p.m. ET/12:45 p.m. PT
LONDON Ė February 21, 2019 Ė Former two-time super middleweight champion James DeGale and former world title challenger Chris Eubank Jr. faced off at the heated final press conference on Thursday for their 12-round showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING this Saturday, February 23 live on SHOWTIME (3:45 p.m. ET/12:45 p.m. PT) from The O2 in London.
DeGale (25-2-1, 15 KOs) and Eubank (27-2, 21 KOs) will finally settle their long-running score when the two outspoken rivals meet in London. In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature bout, Olympic Silver Medalist and top prospect Joe Joyce (7-0, 7 KOs) will measure against former WBC Champion Bermane Stiverne (25-3-1, 21 KOs) in a 12-round heavyweight clash.
Former two-division world champion, Chris Eubank Sr., was in attendance and not shy about stating this is not going to be an easy fight for his son. ďThis is a 50/50 fight and for the first time I am petrified of what the outcome can be. I am petrified that Junior may not win this fight,Ē he said.
The event is promoted by Poxon Sports and presented by Premier Boxing Champions. Joyce-Stiverne is promoted in association with Ringstar Sports and Don King Productions. The doubleheader will air live in the U.S. exclusively on SHOWTIME and on ITV Box Office in the U.K.
Veteran broadcaster Brian Custer will host the doubleheader from London with 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 Ė Emmyģ award winning reporter Jim Gray, boxing historian Steve Farhood as unofficial ringside scorer, and world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr.
Hereís what the fighters and their respective camps had to say during Thursdayís press conference at Intercontinental at The O2:
ďI vacated my title for fights like this. Chris Eubank has been calling my name for a long time and finally I get a chance to punch him in his face.
ďI have no respect for him. None. This guy is a diluted idiot. And on Saturday night I canít wait to deal with him. Iím going to come and give it to him properly. He canít box. Weíve all heard this before.
ďThis is the biggest fight of his career. Itís retirement time. Whoever loses this fight is finished. Itís do or die on SaturdayÖHis retirement fight is here. Itís his last fight, I promise you that.
ďIím proven. Iíve been there, done that. Iíve won everything. Heís done nothing. And Iím going to retire him.
ďEubank is a tough fighter, heís strong. He has a lot of good attributes, but Iím too good for him. To mix it up and go to the very top you need more than strength and toughness. Every time heís stepped up, heís lost.
ďThe fear of losing is because I know whatís on the line. This is do or die. If I canít beat him, if I canít beat Chris Eubank Jr., Iím done.
ďA lot of people think Iíve seen better days. A lot of people think Iím on the decline. Iíve had issues in the past, but I can honestly say Iím fully fit. Iím in the best shape Iíve been for a long, long time, physical and mentally. When I feel like I feel no one can beat me.
ďIf I canít beat Chris that means Iím shot, that means Iím over the hill.Ē
CHRIS EUBANK JR.:
ďThis guy is a bum. He talks a good game. Heís going to have a good go, but at the end of the day Iím going to be too much for him.
ďWe are both at a stage where we canít lose. We are both fighting for our careers. He knows he canít handle me. Heís asking himself, ĎCan I survive?í And the answer is absolutely not.
ďThereís nothing he can do in that ring that I canít handle. Iím going to box his head off.
ďIíve got a full time trainer now. For the first time in my career, I have a trainer day in and day out focusing on strategy to prepare me for what James is Ė a slick southpaw. Thatís why Iím so confident. If he wants to run, we have the gameplan. If he wants to stand and swing, we have the gameplan. We have a plan for everything.
ďWhat matters is that Jamesí career is over in a few days. I sent him a message after he lost to [George] Groves saying he needs to keep up because we are going to fight one day. And now that weíre finally here I look into his eyes and I donít see a confident guy.
ďItís my time. Iím expecting the best heís ever been and thatís still not going to be enough.
ďIím a world-level fighter. Anyone in the boxing game knows that. This is my opportunity to prove that once and for all to set the record straight and prove Iím the real deal. I know this is a defining fight in my career. It is do or die and Iím ready for that.
ďJames knows whatís coming. At the end of the day, his last performances havenít been up to par, but i donít think he respected his [past] opponents. He respects me, and I respect him and thatís why this is a real fight.
ďIíve been in the game for a long time but this is just the beginning of a long journey for me. This is my biggest fight. I have to win. If I win, Iím back on the world stage. Beating James DeGale sets me up for a world title which is the whole reason I started in this game.Ē
ďThere are levels to boxing. Chris was a good prospect coming through but heís not on the same level as James. Heíll find out what it takes to be a world champion. James DeGale is levels above Chris Jr.
ďChris may have all the drive he needs but he doesnít have the skills to beat James DeGale.
ďI know James is not losing. James DeGale is probably the best British fighter Iíve seen in my country.Ē
CHRIS EUBANK SR.:
ďIíve seen the pinnacle of James and itís intoxicating. With Chris, not everything Iíve said has been applied. It may have been heard, but not applied. What I said works. I wouldnít have 19 championship wins if it didnít.
ďIím not convinced [Chris will win] because James DeGale has pedigree. Being an [Olympic] Gold Medalist and former world champion is real. I respect the manís abilities. Junior hasnít.
ďMy son looks at the physical aspect of boxing and, from a physical point of view, I donít think there is anyone who can stand with him. But boxing isnít just physical Ė itís also spiritual, and thatís where Junior lacks. I donít know whether he has that.
ďThis is a 50/50 fight and for the first time I am petrified of what the outcome can be. I am petrified that Junior may not win this fight.
ďThis is the wisdom of someone who has been here. You never underestimate your opponent based on past performances. Anyone who thinks this guy is on a slide because of past performances is making a mistake.
ďFrom a physical aspect, Junior has the upper hand. From a spiritual aspect and pedigree aspect, James has the upper hand, and thatís why this is a 50/50 fight.
ďI do know Chris has learned and letís see what is produced. It can be a brilliant fight.Ē
ďI like our chances. I know the guy that I have been in camp with. The things Iíve seen, I like. They are much more positive this time around.
ďYou canít underestimate a guy like Eubank. He always comes to win. But, regardless of the gameplan, there is a certain mentality and my guy has it. Heís a Gold Medalist and he knows what mentality to bring on Saturday.
ďJames has won two major world titles, an Olympic Gold Medal. Chris has had some good wins but when he went to that elite level, he lost. Chris is a good fighter but heís not beaten this level of opposition.Ē
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