David Haye: Eubank Jr to edge an explosive battle of the Brits
David Haye is back on Betting.Betfair with his views on James Degale v Chris Eubank Jr and Anthony Joshua's lively week in New York where he met next opponent, Jarrell 'Big Baby' Miller
"My prediction is a Eubank points decision here. Both men have great chins, and neither is known as a one-punch knockout specialist. While they both have respected power, I feel they can absorb each other's punches best shots to hear the final bell."
Fresher Eubank has edge
UK boxing fans are in for a treat on Saturday night when James Degale and Chris Eubank Junior get it on for the IBO Super Middleweight belt. These two are not the best of friends and it could be an explosive bout with so much on the line.
It looks a close fight and that is reflected in the betting but I agree with the Betfair odds here and I'll be backing the favourite, Eubank Jnr, to come through after 12 gruelling rounds.
For me, it's the younger man's superior physical condition that sways it. Degale (pictured below) has had serious shoulder surgery and I speak from experience when I say it has an impact on a fighter.
I was never the same boxer after having shoulder reconstruction. I did so much rehabilitation that my left arm was probably stronger in certain instances but my timing never recovered. You are never quite as fast and over time you recover a lot slower. Once I started having operations - and I had a few big ones over the years - I then started to slow down significantly.
Coach in corner is big for Chris!
Both fighters are at very different stages of their careers, you have to go back a good few years to Degale's breakthrough - gold at the 2008 Olympics. That is a long time and for him to still be here after having very intrusive shoulder surgery in the latter stages of his career, well, I understand why the younger man without any real physical issues would be the favourite.
Yes, Eubank has been defeated in a couple of fights but he didn't disgrace himself in losing to either Billy Joe Saunders or George Groves. He is a young guy, he may be hungrier than Degale, but the key thing is he just has a lot less wear and tear.
He also lacks Degale's experience of course and the seasoned veteran of the two won't be overawed in any way.
But I don't feel that Eubank Jnr has fulfilled his full potential yet. Maybe getting a coach and actually listening this time will give him the extra 10-15% he needs. He got some criticism for that - hopefully now he has a new mindset taking on and listening to his trainer he could be victorious in World Title Challenges.
Points win for the younger man is my bet
It's a huge fight at the O2 Arena, both men have huge fanbases and it looks like one of those classic fights of old. I remember the good old days of Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins - they were pick'em fights, you never quite knew who would win.
And just to add to the mix there is the bad blood between the two. It has been there from many years ago after a controversial spar they had. Degale claimed he schooled him and Eubank Jnr (pictured below) said he did a number on him. I wasn't there personally but I've heard contrasting stories of how it went down. It certainly adds a nice bit of spice to the fight and it should make for an explosive meeting which should be fun for the fans.
Both men have very fan-friendly styles, both throw lots of punches but they back that up with big engines, both have big hearts, have been there at the top level for many years and I just think it's a match made in heaven.
In Degale you have a slick southpaw, a high-intensity puncher and Eubank Jnr is a chip off the old block in terms of toughness but throws more punches. However, it remains to be seen if he has the same punch power though! His father was known for his big single punches but his boy throws crazy high volume combinations. I have seen him throw 50-60 punch combinations. Nobody does that in the game today!
My prediction is a Eubank points decision here. Both men have great chins, and neither is known as a one-punch knockout specialist. While they both have respected power, I feel they can absorb each other's punches best shots to hear the final bell.
This is Degale's last chance for glory but in a tight fight that's hard to call I'd rather be on the younger fighter who has had fewer operations.
AJ, don't underestimate the Big Baby
The odds might be short on another AJ win against Jarrell Miller but don't underestimate his opponent. Trust me, there is always danger in the heavyweight division! Whenever there is a heavyweight who is undefeated, who stands 6ft4 tall and weighs 23 stone - possibly one of the heaviest fighters to have fought for the heavyweight belt - well, all it takes is one punch.
Anthony Joshua got decked by a 17 stone Vladimir Klitschko, why can't Big Baby Miller do the same? If he detonates a big shot on AJ's chin then he's vulnerable.
Our man must be on his best, he can't overlook this guy. This fight reminds me of when Hasim Rahman went over to South Africa to fight Lennox Lewis - no-one gave him a prayer, no-one gave him a shot in Hell. Lewis was busy away from the sport, filming cameos in Oceans 11 and so on, he got to South Africa late and the unthinkable happened. Lewis got tired as he didn't do enough altitude training and walked onto one of the biggest right hands he'd ever taken and that was goodnight.
That fight showed you that, even for a great like Lennox, if you are not 100% focused, if you haven't prepared diligently the unthinkable can happen.
But Joshua's coach Rob McCraken is one of the best in the world and he will make sure that his man is better physically for this fight than he was for the last one and the one before that.
AJ is always at risk of his opponent raising his game and fighting better than before. We don't know how good Miller is because he has never fought anyone of AJ's quality. Just because we haven't seen it, doesn't mean he can't do it.
Miller doesn't want AJ to use his long-range boxing skills, what Miller wants is to drag him into a close-range, toe-to-toe slugfest where his short arms have more chance of landing. He wants to get AJ angry and give himself a better chance of landing that big shot, and we saw that in the press conference in New York earlier this week.
I completely understood the gamesmanship we witnessed there. It seemed to rattle Joshua. I hope he calms down, listens to his coach and picks his punches because if he goes toe-to-toe, gets angry and fights with his heart on his sleeve he could end up walking onto a knockout shot.
Remember, he nearly came a cropper against Dillian Whyte because there was so much heat before the fight that AJ went into the ring desperate to do a number on him. Come fight night, he got too close and walked onto a big counter left hook that nearly knocked him out. Hopefully AJ learned his lesson from that one - not to let his emotions rule his head.
AJ may be super cool and calm when the cameras are rolling but if anyone gets in his face he can go back to the streets. Miller was trying to bring that out of him. I completely understand what Miller did, a lot of people said it was uncalled for, but it was a complete strategy. He wants a war, not a boxing lesson!
There's been some criticism of what they said but I don't pay too much mind to that, it's all part of the game.
Back a Eubank points decision