Shakur Stevenson twice grabbed the world title belt held by Jamel Herring as their face-off threatened to turn ugly ahead of Saturday’s fascinating fight.
Unbeaten Stevenson will challenge for Herring’s WBO super-featherweight championship, live on Sky Sports Main Event and Arena from 3.30am in the early hours of Sunday.
Herring held his belt over his shoulder and was twice forced to remove Stevenson’s hand as his young challenger antagonistically grabbed at it.
The rivals were speaking back and forth as they intensely stared at each other while members of both teams argued loudly.
“He’s nervous,” shouted Herring’s team towards Stevenson.
“These are your last nights with the belt, you’re going into retirement,” Stevenson’s team shouted back at Herring.
The complicated relationship between champion and challenger stems from the gym run by trainer Brian ‘Bo Mac’ McIntyre, where Terence Crawford trains.
Crawford is Stevenson’s mentor and McIntyre is Herring’s trainer.
But Stevenson trained under McIntyre, alongside Crawford, for his previous fight with Herring in the same gym. McIntyre is now back in Herring’s corner plotting to end Stevenson’s undefeated streak.
Stevenson said about his relationship with Herring: “He’s not my friend. I don’t talk to him outside of boxing.
“If he slips up and makes any mistakes, I am going to capitalise.
“You will see a special night – my coming out party. He said he spoil it? So let’s see.”
Herring said: “It’s not personal. I’ve heard worse and been through worse.
“We will put our personal feelings to the side and go to battle.”
Stevenson, aged 24 and 11 years younger than Herring, is unbeaten in 16 fights and is vying for a world title in a second division.
Herring stopped Carl Frampton, and forced him into retirement, in his most recent fight.
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
October 24 – Top Rank in Atlanta
Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson – WBO super-featherweight title
October 31 – Top Rank in New York
Jose Zepeda vs Josue Vargas
November 6 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Mikaela Mayer vs Maiva Hamadouche – IBF and WBO super-featherweight titles
November 6 – BOXXER in Liverpool
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Caroline Dubois professional debut
November 20 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title
December 11 – BOXXER
Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin
December 11 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles
December 18 – Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title
Source : Sky Sports