The volume was turned up in the countdown to tomorrow night’s British lightweight title showdown between Lytham’s Scott Cardle and Sean Dodd in Liverpool.
There was a war of words between the pair at a pre-fight press conference, and the heated exchange of dialogue lasted so long that promoter Eddie Hearn stepped in to halt it.
Both boxers were in defiant, upbeat mood.
Champion Cardle, who won the first fight between the pair with a 12th-round stoppage in November, said: “Dodd can only box one way. There will be a lesson on Saturday and I will be teaching.”
Cardle said he performed way below his best in the first fight – and challenger Dodd, from Birkenhead, insisted that the same applied to him.
Speaking of the eagerly-awaited rematch at the Echo Arena tomorrow, Dodd countered: “I was only 50 per cent in that last fight. Wait till Saturday.”
Unbeaten 26-year-old Cardle knows full well that the vast body of support in the Echo Arena will be with the man from just across the Mersey.
Cardle insists it won’t affect his focus on doing the job in hand to keep his grip on the coveted Lonsdale Belt, while Dodd says he intends to make the most of home advantage.
Dodd said: “When there are thousands and thousands of people cheering for you, it pushes you forward and you just find energy and answers through the crowd.
“If it wasn’t for the crowd, I would not be in this position right now.
“With the tickets that I sell, it is thanks to them they have got me here.
“It was only last year, when I boxed Liam Richards, that I was thinking of becoming a journeyman.
“Fights were getting cancelled and I was having to sell a lot of tickets, and for the money I was getting it was not worth it.”
But since that time Dodd’s career has been reinvigorated.
It is the second time the pair have met – Cardle made his first title defence against Dodd at the same venue in November, stopping Dodd in the 12th round
An under-par Cardle had a struggle on his hands until he produced a dramatic stoppage, referee Terry O’Connor intervening.
It was rated one of the best domestic fights of the year.
Dodd said: “If he can stay away from me, then it won’t be the same fight; but if I can close him down and get into him, then it will be a bit of a repeat of the last one, but a bit more devastating.”