As was fully expected, British super-middleweights James DeGale and Chris Eubank Junior will clash, in London, at The O2, on February 23rd. The fight will go out live on ITV Box-Office and will be the first fight of the recently announced Al Haymon/PBC and ITV deal. As was also anticipated, it has been announced the fight will be a pay-per-view event. Further details such as the TV price tag are yet to come, but already some fans are grumbling that DeGale-Eubank is a pay-per-view fight.
Should it be?
It’s the name that has allowed this fight to be a pay-per-view event: the Eubank name. The son of the former two-weight champ and household name in the UK has featured in pay-per-view fights before – most recently against George Groves. But that fight was a feature of The World Boxing Super Series tournament, and it was a world title affair. DeGale-Eubank is neither. In fact, as good as DeGale has been, and as recognisable a name as Eubank Jr. is, it is entirely possible both men are past their best in a pretty big way, that they are damaged goods. DeGale, 25-2-1(15) was soundly beaten by Caleb Truax and before that was lucky to get a draw with Badou Jack, while Eubank, 27-2(21) was, in the opinion of some, exposed in his losses to Groves and before that Billy Joe Saunders. Does this really make for a Box-Office fight?
With a price tag expected of around £18 to £20 in the UK, will those fans who buy the fight get value for money? With a solid supporting under-card, maybe. The main event could well prove to be a great action fight, but there are only so many pay-per-view fights the average fight fan can afford. Might this one get bypassed for other, bigger fights?
With big pay-per-view heavyweight fights expected this year – with the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua set to be in action – it’s entirely possible the DeGale-Eubank Jr. clash gets somewhat ignored. Will YOU be buying this fight on February 23rd?
Both men are of course talking a great fight, and there is a good deal of genuine bad blood between DeGale, aged 32, and Eubank, aged 29. Some fans feel though, that this match-up was at its hottest a few years ago.