The pair are close friends and have enjoyed countless training sessions together at RJ’s Gym in Essex.
“It’s so strange how we have never sparred before but we are very good friends,” confirmed the Devonian-turned-Londoner Ben Day. “We nearly went to America together recently to the Wild Card and the Mayweather gym but I just had too much on at the time, which could have been a blessing in disguise because we could have got closer and potentially been a hell of a lot harder to take the fight.”
Each of the challengers have held Southern Area belts before – Day won the super-lightweight strap with a first round stoppage over Ryan Taylor last December and Devine was the Southern Area super-featherweight champion back in 2013.
Day, 37-years-old, recently challenged for the lightweight version earlier this year in a bid to become a two-weight Area champion but narrowly lost to Floyd Moore 95-97 on points in a barnstormer of a fight, which, arguably, the decision could have teetered either way.
Devine, 27-years-old from Luton, was next in line to challenge the champion for the 135lbs belt but Portsmouth’s Moore withdrew with injury, consequently forced to vacate the title and Day was immediately put forward by promoter Steve Goodwin to contend for the vacant strap.
Devine told Irish Boxing that it will all be put aside for fight night, “It’s the first time I will be in the ring with a friend but we will put friendship aside for 30 minutes and put on a cracking fight for everyone.”
Day stated his own intentions, “I have been to some deep, dark, lonely places in my life so, unlike many others, I can rely on this strength when it’s needed in the ring.
“We’re doing a job at the end of the day and we’ve just got to put friendship to the side for one night, it’s as simple as that. Bless the struggle!”
The festive show titled ‘Christmas Cracker’ features 11 unbeaten prospects and four debutants. The card boasts 25 scheduled fights including John O’Donnell back in action again fresh from his Southern Area welterweight title win on October 1st.
Follow Ben Day on Twitter @benday32