Heavyweight Joe Joyce has lifted the lid on a past sparring session opposite forthcoming opponent Bermane Stiverne.
The 2016 Olympic silver medallist shared a ring with Stiverne previously. Joyce goes at it with the former WBC champion for real on February 23.
London will stage the grudge match as part of the ITV Box Office event topped by James DeGale v Chris Eubank Jr.
Joyce said: “I had respect for Bermane Stiverne. We sparred in Las Vegas. He said he took me to school in an interview etc, it got ugly and it made this fight happen.
“I tried to be respectful of him, but he’s rude and was having none of it. He is a former World Champion that has gone 12 rounds with Deontay Wilder.
“He will give me a real challenge; but my engine and my power will be too much for him, a fact he should be aware of!”
Stiverne has far more experience despite being on the downside of his career.
In just his seventh fight, taking the challenge is a testament to where Joyce aims to be by the end of 2019.
Tickets for the fight are on sale. Tickets available from www.AXS.com and Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality from www.sportandmusic.co.uk.
This fight will be shown exclusively on ITV Box Office. For further information and updates, please go to www.itvboxoffice.com.
Late last year, ITV announced a ground-breaking new deal with Haymon Sports. Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) will bring exclusive coverage of exciting PBC world-class boxing events to ITV viewers and fight fans in the UK.
The unique collaboration is the first time that Haymon Sports and PBC has partnered with a UK broadcaster to stage boxing events regularly in the UK. The exclusive three-year deal will guarantee a minimum of 15 televised events each year.
Drawing from PBC’s unrivalled group of over 160 of the best boxers in the world, which includes more than 60 current and former world champions. Matches will be staged both in the UK and the US. PBC, the sports’ pre-eminent boxing brand, is broadcast over cable and network television in the United States.
The world-class action from events for the next three years will include free-to-air broadcasts on ITV’s channels, including ITV main channel and ITV4 and ITV Hub, and will also include pay per views on ITV’s PPV channel, ITV Box Office.
This new deal for boxing adds to ITV Sport’s portfolio of first class events, which includes exclusive free to air coverage of the England football team’s qualifiers for both the European Championship and World Cup, the 6 Nations and exclusive coverage of the Rugby World Cup, UK horse racing, the Tour de France and the French Open.