Former IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale 25-2-1 (15) has turned up the heat on Chris Eubank Jr 27-2 (21), saying that the former world title challenger will need to retire once he beats him.
The British rivals will lock horns in a non-title contest at the O2 Arena in London on February 23.
“After he has lost to me I’m not sure where he is going to go,” said DeGale in comments published by the Daily Star. “Call this a retirement fight. Whoever loses can knock it on the head. Whoever loses, game over.
“A lot of people think I am in decline but they are in for a shock.”
The 32-year-old Olympic gold medallist took issue with Eubank’s claims that he deserved victories over George Groves and Billy Joe Saunders, who he lost to by unanimous decision and split decision respectively.
“And he’s deluded because he thinks he beat Groves and Saunders, and me in sparring. I have sparred him, I know what he is like and I have watched him lose. He is all talk,” said DeGale.
“He is too arrogant and ignorant to change or listen to anyone but himself. Have you seen him in the corner between rounds with his dad and his trainer Ronnie Davies? It’s pathetic and bizarre and a new coach will make no difference.”
DeGale relinquished his IBF world title rather than defend it against little-known mandatory challenger Jose Uzcategui for short money. The Eubank Jr fight promises a much higher payday along with the promise of another world title shot.
“Everyone thinks this is my last fight and that I am just cashing out. It’s annoying me,” Degale said. “I gave up my title because my adviser Al Haymon told me who I was fighting and how much I was getting and it was annoying.
“Then two days later he came back and said, ‘I have someone better for you, I have Eubank’.
“It’s for much more money and I had to give up my title but I said yes. And he has promised me another title shot before the end of my career.
“It’s a difficult one, knowing what to do after boxing, but I’m going to f*** Eubank up first and then I’m probably going to beat George Groves and call it a day. That would be perfect.
“Or I could beat Eubank and then have another shot at a world title and then knock it on the head.”