Feature | Feb 20 2019

Billy Joe Saunders breaks down James DeGale vs Chris Eubank Jr

Former world champion Billy Joe Saunders has shared a ring with both Chris Eubank Jr and James DeGale, writes John Dennen
Billy Joe Saunders
Billy Joe Saunders Homecoming Press Conference  |  Action Images/Reuters/Adam Holt

FORMER WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders is more than familiar with the work of James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr.

Saunders has been in the ring with both. He famously outpointed Eubank and as Olympic amateur team mate has sparred plenty with DeGale.

DeGale takes on Eubank on Saturday (February 23) at the O2 Arena in London and Billy Joe gave his break down of their contest.

“I think it’s a very interesting fight. I’ve obviously beat Eubank and I’ve done many rounds with DeGale,” Saunders said.

“I think that it’s strange, anybody with a little bit of boxing ability, like George Groves, he’s a good fighter and I think he was past his best even when he beat Eubank. Holding Eubank off with that stiff back hand, as he come, in bam, hit him and made him think. How you make him think even more is use your feet, and DeGale’s got better footwork than Groves. The way I weigh it up is if he [DeGale] turns up how he boxed [Caleb] Truax the first fight, he gets beat. If he turns up the way he boxed the second fight I still think he’ll win. Just that much improvement. Because anybody with footwork and a jab can beat him.

Billy Joe Saunders

“But good luck to both of them. I hope DeGale wins.”

On April 13 Saunders will move up to super-middleweight to box Shefat Isufi for the now vacant WBO 168lbs title. “Hopefully please God I become world champion and I will invite one of them [the DeGale-Eubank winner] in the ring with me to have a chance to be world champion,” he said.

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