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THE bad blood between James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr meant that the bitter rivals had to be kept well apart to film their ITV Box Office promotional video at the iconic Pinewood studios this week.
With the spectre of James Bond looming in the background, the pair had to be allocated separate filming times for their parts in the thrilling, soon to be released, commercial for their A Storm Is Coming showdown at The O2 on Saturday February 23, exclusively live on ITV Box Office.
The animosity stems from an infamous sparring session in 2011 when Harlesden’s DeGale, then preparing to challenge for a European title challenge, said that Eubank jumped out of the ring after six rounds instead of completing the eight rounds as agreed and disrespected him.
Brighton star Eubank, who had only had a handful of fights at the time, later claimed that he had ‘schooled’ DeGale, during the session which infuriated the Olympic champion and the touch paper was lit for their rivalry.
For the last few years the pair have traded words, but they finally came face-to-face last week at the official press conference to announce the long awaited fight last week and ITV producers and executives did not want to take the risk of a fight before the big fight and kept them separated at all times during filming.
DeGale said, “I can’t stand him and I’m counting the down the days until February 23 when I get to finish him off once and for all for the good of British boxing. The posturing, his attitude, his personality, it’s all a joke to me, his career reminds me of a Carry On film. Believe me, he’ll be dropped to the cutting room floor.”
Eubank countered, “I’m glad I’m getting to him already, he’s done his best to avoid me since I arrived on the scene. He’s wanted no part of me and has done everything he can to dodge me until now. I was happy to film the commercial with him, I’m a man in control of my emotions, but clearly he’s not. James DeGale is history, like celluloid, I’m the future.”