Dillian Whyte claims that Anthony Joshua made a "big mistake" in accepting a fight against him as they get set to battle for the commonwealth, WBC international and British heavyweight titles at London's O2 Arena on 12 December. Having initially fought as amateurs, the rivalry between the two heavy hitters has intensified over recent months and such ill feeling has led to Matchroom's stacked 'Bad Intentions' show becoming arguably the most-anticipated domestic boxing card of the year.
"It's a big fight," former kickboxer Whyte, who defeated Joshua on points during that aforementioned amateur bout back in 2009 and even knocked his opponent down, said at a feisty final press conference held at the plush Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf. "I'm glad to be part of such a big fight, it will be the 17th fight of my career. I've trained hard and I can't wait to smash this robot to pieces. Simple as that.
"I grew up around big guys. I've got big brothers and big friends. With most big guys, when you put it on them in life, a lot of them crumble and fall under pressure. It's natural. A lot of big guys have, not a soft upbringing, but a lot of big guys are used to being the biggest in their class, the biggest of all their friends so they never ever get picked on or touched or have to defend themselves too much without people cowering under their size.
"So when somebody actually stands up to them and takes it to them, a lot of them crumble and I think that's exactly what's going to happen on Saturday night. I've trained hard, I'm in shape and I'm coming to destroy this man. You made a big mistake taking this fight, 100%"
Joshua's formidable reputation as an Olympic gold medalist and knockout connoisseur is well established, given that none of his 14 professional bouts to date have progressed past the third round. Whyte has also yet to taste defeat in 16 outings, however, and believes he has the ability to upset the odds in front of a sellout crowd.
"I'm not old, man. I've got ambition. I'm undefeated. I've beaten everyone I've fought amateur and professional... This is just the start. I'll go in there, listen to what my coach says and do what I do naturally. And what I do naturally is to fight... If I've got to fight then I'll fight, if I've got to box then I'll box. If I've got to go out there and try and rip his head off his shoulders early, then I'll do that. If I've got to box to a 12-round decision, then I'll do that."
Following the controversial Tyson Fury's remarkable victory over Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf a fortnight ago, many have speculated that it is just a matter of time before the impressive Joshua is handed the chance to compete for a world title. For now, though, the 26-year-old is fully focused on the task at hand and does not appear to share the view that Whyte will provide the first real test of his fledgling career.
"It's been a long time coming," he said. "We should have already had this fight done and dusted in September. We're in December now, we've both had some good fights to keep active. It's just another day in the office really... I just want to get in there and do my job.
"I don't know much about his ambition, his ability or where he's at now in 2015, but he talks a lot. He talks a good game and it would just be good if he backs it up.
"No disrespect to any fighter, but a real test would be someone like the fighters that just fought the other weekend, the Klitschkos, Furys, the [David] Hayes of the world....I'm just excited to push on really and just get on with my job. This is what I train for, so I'm just happy doing what I do day in and day out. This is what I dedicate my life to. It's just routine."
Elsewhere on an impressive card, Chris Eubank Jr faces Spike O'Sullivan in a final eliminator for a shot at Daniel Jacobs' WBA middleweight title, Merseyside's Tony Bellew fights Mateusz Masternak for the vacant EBU cruiserweight belt, Kevin Mitchell challenges Ismael Barroso for the WBA interim lightweight crown and Olympic hero Luke Campbell takes on Yvan Mendy.
There is also a return to the United Kingdom for veteran American welterweight Paulie Malignaggi, who will now compete against Antonio Moscatiello following the withdrawal of fellow Italian Gianluca Branco. Dereck Chisora has also been added to the bill against an as of yet unnamed opponent after Josh Warrington was forced to pull out of a scheduled bout against Jorge Sanchez due to a virus.