TANTALISING PRIZE

Binned by George Groves last year, the IBO super-middleweight title will be the prize for this all-British clash in London

James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr will fight for the controversial IBO super-middleweight title when they do battle on February 23.

The fight at London’s O2 Arena will be broadcast exclusively live on talkSPORT for fans, in what promises to be an intriguing domestic clash.

James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr posed for promotional shots

ITV Box Office

James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr posed for promotional shots

Of the boxing organisations, the IBO is considered to be far less credible than the belts offered by the IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC.

Eubank Jr picked up the title himself in February 2017 when he beat Renold Quinlan. However, his defeat to George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series saw the belt vacated as the WBA ‘super’ title holder at the time refused to pay the sanctioning fees.

Former IBF champion DeGale will now challenge Eubank Jr for the belt in London, having vacated the far more prestigious title to make the domestic fight happen.

Head of the IBO governing body Ed Levine confirmed the news, saying: “I am very excited for the upcoming IBO world title contest between James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr.

Eubank Jr poses with the IBO belt back in 2017

Eubank Jr poses with the IBO belt back in 2017

DeGale is a two-time IBF super-middleweight champion

DeGale is a two-time IBF super-middleweight champion

“I believe this is the most intriguing match-up in the super-middleweight division at the moment, and I will be delighted to see either one of the fighters emerge as IBO world champion as they will have earned it the hard way.

“Fights like DeGale and Eubank Jr are the fights that fans want to see, and we want to have contested for IBO titles.”

In 2017, Tony Bellew and Eubank Jr clashed over the legitimacy of the title in a hilarious Twitter exchange. Following the Brighton-born fighter’s victory against Quinlan, Bellew claimed he ‘had seen better belts sold in Matalan’.

After a back-and-forth on Twitter, Eubank Jr finally offered to fight the former cruiserweight champion at catchweight, before the argument was defused.

talkSPORT

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