Paul Butler has been accused of 'shooting his mouth off' as the tension grows between him and IBF world bantamweight champion Stuart Hall.
Great Sutton boxer Butler and Darlington-based Hall will go head-to-head at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on June 7.
Both men have a confident swagger as fight night nears, but Hall, 34, reckons he will have too much experience and power for the 25-year-old.
“He thinks he’s the bees-knees,” said Hall, who beat South African Vusi Malinga last December to win the world strap.
“He talks more than anyone in my whole career, so I can’t wait to get in the ring and start punching him and see how good he really is.”
Butler had a stellar amateur career with Vauxhall ABC and has won 15 straight fights since turning pro.
He rocketed up the super-flyweight rankings, but has now stepped up to bantamweight as he bids to become a world champion.
Butler has sparred Hall and claims he came out on top in those sessions, while bookmakers have him as a short-priced favourite for the fight.
But the champion disputes those claims, and insists past exchanges count for nothing.
Hall said: “He is good, I’ve sparred him, but he’s been saying he handled me.
“It was two years ago and back then I felt I had too much strength for him and his punches weren’t doing anything.
“I’m not one for talking, I’m just happy to be in this position and fighting again for the world title.
“He’s shooting his mouth off and they can try and put me down all they want, but I’ll be ready on June 7.”
Tickets for the fight are on sale now from Paul Butler Snr on 07934 562132 and include free transport to and from Newcastle.