UNEXPECTEDLY Chris Eubank Jr’s sparring partner Denis Douglin has picked Junior’s opponent James DeGale to win their February 23 contest at the O2 Arena in London.

Douglin spent six week’s in Eubank’s training camp in Brighton sparring with the Briton and living with him. Having returned to Las Vegas Douglin told Jeff Mayweather’s youtube channel: “I’m picking DeGale, man. I feel bad saying it but I just think DeGale is more intelligent in the ring and that’s what it comes down to.

“Eubank is not going to fade but I just think DeGale is too crafty. It was just little things in sparring that I was doing and he didn’t know how to handle it.

“I know DeGale has been doing this a while because he’s a vet. If we get a decent DeGale he wins but if we get the DeGale who fought [Caleb] Truax, he gets knocked out. It all depends on what DeGale turns up but if I was a betting man I’d be putting my money on him.”

That surprised both Eubank and DeGale. The latter told journalists today, “Well there you go… When he was over here he was saying ‘James DeGale is rubbish’ and now he is over there saying that.”

“I have known it all along but it is about putting it in to practise,” he added. “He has obviously got home, got the paycheck and said that.

“If one of my sparring partners had done that then I would not be happy.”

Chris Eubank Jr

Eubank was not particularly happy. “That surprises me after what he said to everyone else,” Junior said. “I have not seen the comments but the spars went very well, it was a successful training camp.

“I do not feel I was falling for his traps, they were competitive spars, that is why I brought him over.

“Maybe he is trying to get some publicity because he has previously said the complete opposite.

“I did a lot of technical spars with him but they were physical, I spar hard but I enjoyed it.”