James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr will meet for the vacant IBO Super Middleweight title on February 23 at the O2 Arena, but where does this serious beef stem from?
Title fights always make for better spectacles when there is an element of bad blood attached, and this contest is no different with their feud stretching all the way back to 2012.
DeGale, who won the 2008 gold medal in the Middleweight division at the Beijing Olympics, was still relatively early in his professional career with an impressive 12-1 record.
In late 2012, DeGale won the European super-middleweight title defeating Piotr Wilczewski in a majority decision.
He followed that success with a TKO against Italian Christian Sanavia, and in the lead-up to his second defence against Frenchman Hadillah Mohoumadi, DeGale inlisted the services of Eubank Jr to help him prepare.
Eubank Jr had made a promising start to his professional career with a 5-0 record and took up DeGale on his offer.
Instead of a close bond developing between the pair, what followed next was a simmering feud which has lasted to this day.
For starters, DeGale did not take kindly to Eubank Jr entering the ring in an over elaborate fashion, and to make matters worse, the youngster then took to Twitter to document what went on in the sparring session.
In the process of sending the tweet, Eubank Jr broke the unwritten rule of boxing - detailing what went on in a sparring session.
talkSPORT reported Eubank Jr as saying: “It was the first time I’ve seen a fighter trash talk while getting hit in the face.”
Since then, the pair have taken none too subtle digs at each other.
Speaking recently about the encounter, DeGale remembers the details like it was yesterday.
"He came down and sparred me then the next day went on twitter and said he schooled me. It was all set up.
"You can’t read much into a spar, but obviously he does."
DeGale went into further detail about his dislike for the 29-year-old at the promotion shoot for the fight which will be shown on ITV Box Office.
"I can’t stand him. I’m counting the down the days until February 23 when I get to finish him off once and for all. It will be 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 Jr took great delight in the fact that he was getting under the skin of the 33-year-old.
"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.”
Both men have only lost two fights in their career and have had a similar number of bouts (DeGale 25 wins from 28 fights, and Eubank 27 from 29).
One thing is for certain, come Saturday week, one man is certainly going to savour the moment if victory comes their way.News Now - Sport News