Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
“I was trying to get under Chris’ skin”
Last Updated: 12/07/20 7:19pm
Chris Eubank Jr is being targeted by Denis Douglin, his former sparring partner who controversially picked him to be beaten by James DeGale.
Eubank Jr admitted he was “surprised” last year before his fight with DeGale when Douglin, a training partner he hired, said: “Chris fell for the simple traps I set him and James is much better and slicker than I am.”
Even DeGale admitted: “I would been very unhappy if one of my sparring partners had said something like this about me.”
Eubank Jr earned a career-best result in by beating DeGale, who retired shortly afterwards, via a unanimous decision last year.
Douglin has now told Sky Sports: “I said that if he fought the DeGale from before his Badou Jack fight, it would be too much for Eubank Jr.
“That DeGale had more experience and was an Olympian.
“But the DeGale we had seen as of late? The DeGale that fought Jack? I knew Eubank Jr would beat him.
“I said it because I was trying to get under Chris’ skin. I want to fight Chris. We have a good relationship but, now I’m at 160lbs, I want to fight him.
“I have no problem with Chris but I’m calling him out.
“I respect Chris – he is a hell of a fighter with a hell of a work ethic. Just because I’m calling him out that doesn’t mean I think less of him.
“But we’re in the same weight class and I think I could beat him.
“We’ve sparred since when he was getting ready for his last fight. It was super competitive. We talked a lot and banged a lot. I would say I got the best of the work. He would say that he got the best of it. That’s how fighters are.
“So let’s fight, and let’s see.”
Eubank Jr won on his US debut last time out and has relocated his career stateside with Roy Jones Jr as his newest trainer.
Douglin, a former opponent of George Groves, remembers his part in Eubank Jr’s biggest-ever win fondly.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “I stayed in his house, not a hotel, which was cool.
“Eubank Jr is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around.
“Because he trained himself he doesn’t have some of the skill. But his work ethic? That’s great. He is a very focused fighter.”