In an enticing all-British fight, longtime rivals James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr will finally square off on February 23 at the O2 arena in London. Looking for value in the DeGale vs. Eubank Jr odds? Read on to inform your DeGale vs. Eubank Jr prediction.
A close look at the James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr odds
The Money Line odds suggest this will be an extremely competitive fight. Chris Eubank Jr, despite being beaten by George Groves recently, is the favourite, and the odds suggest the younger man has around a 60% chance of victory.
The Total Rounds is set at 9.5, with over 9.5 rounds priced at 1.314*, which suggests there is a high probability that the fight will go the distance.
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What does recent form suggest?
DeGale spent 2018 reviving his career as he bounced back from a surprise loss to American fringe contender Caleb Truax, by recapturing his IBF super-middleweight title in an instant rematch. He considers himself to have far too much ability and experience for Eubank Jr. - but the odds disagree.
Eubank Jr. was defeated by George Groves at the beginning of 2018 in the World Boxing Super Series semi-final, but after a third-round stoppage of JJ McDonagh in September, he will enter the fight off the back of a victory, which should rejuvenate his confidence.
Analysing the strengths and weaknesses
In boxing, the saying goes, “styles make fights”. Analysing both fighter’s strengths and weaknesses is significant to finding an edge in this bout. Eubank Jr. has come under heavy criticism for his losses against Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves and many experts feel that when the Brighton man is challenged by a boxer who has superior pure boxing ability than him, that he is not good enough to overcome the challenge.
DeGale is the better boxer, but for all his talent and technical ability, he doesn’t punch hard enough to prevent Eubank coming into range and letting his flurry of shots go. The one thing that dictated the pace of Eubank Jr.’s fight with Groves was his jab and punching power, not so much the movement. Eubank was unwilling to come in so consistently due to the power Groves possesses in the right hand, and DeGale doesn’t punch as hard as Groves, which means the probability is higher that he will have success in this fight.
Will size be a factor?
One factor that could become apparent once the first bell sounds is the size difference between the two fighters. Jr. is naturally the smaller man, and fighting a weight class up from his natural size. He is strong enough to compete but DeGale won’t need to worry about getting knocked out with one punch, as at 168lbs Eubank needs to overwhelm opponents rather than hit them with single shots to demand their respect. The former IBO champion has a ferocious work rate, but if DeGale can use his size advantage correctly, it will certainly give the former world champion an added edge in the fight.
Skills and talent will often make the bookmaker favour a fighter in their odds but this fight is the opposite. DeGale is the bigger and better-rounded fighter, but the odds sit in Eubank Jr.’s favour.
The reason for the edge is that despite these advantages, Degale is possibly damaged goods. The 33 year-old has encountered a lot of grueling 12-round bouts since he became champion and this is why the bookmakers are giving the advantage in favour of the younger, fresher man.
James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr: Where is the value?
The key factor in this fight is how well each fighter can implement their style on their opponent. Eubank Jr. is facing a fighter in James DeGale who is more talented and naturally more gifted than him in boxing ability, so he will need to out-fight, out-brawl, and push DeGale to the limit where he breaks.
Eubank Jr. is more of a fighter than a boxer and the probability of him out-boxing DeGale is extremely low. DeGale brings a 25-2-1 record into the fight and has plenty of experience at the highest level, but the signs have been there in his last few performances that he is beginning to slow down as a fighter.
The Harlesden man has the better pedigree of the two, but boxing is often about timing and Eubank Jr could be getting DeGale just at the right time. DeGale often gets lazy in the championship rounds and he cannot afford to sit on the ropes like he has done in previous fights, especially against a warrior as persistent in their fighting style as Eubank Jr.
It is difficult to ignore Eubank having success at some point in the fight and bettors should expect this fight to have plenty of drama. For all his technical flaws, Eubank is extremely game, tough, and throws punches in high volume which has the potential to unsettle DeGale’s rhythm, but at the highest level of boxing you need more than that. His style makes him dangerous against anyone, it’s whether he can implement that style against the elite boxers in the division that remains the big question.
A sensible bet would be for the fight to go over 9.5 rounds at odds of 1.314*. Both have good chins, and lack one punch KO power at the highest level. The odds suggest the bookmakers are expecting this also, so the potential value pick has to be DeGale to win the fight on points.
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