DATE: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013. VENUE: ODYSSEY ARENA, BELFAST.
All the talking is over, the verbal sparring is at and end. Tonight, Karl Frampton takes on Kiko Martinez in front of a packed home crowd.
And the north Belfast fighter has the window of opportunity to showcase his talents against Martinez as the fight is being screened live on Sky Sports.
On Friday, Martinez continued to goad Carl Frampton at the weigh-in ahead of their European super-bantamweight title fight.
The Spaniard, who currently holds the belt, had been vocal in the lead-up to the fight, saying Frampton was not as good as people were making out.
And after both men tipped the scales inside the 8st 10lb limit Martinez began a tirade of what can only be assumed as insults towards the ‘Jackal’.
Much to the delight of the raucous crowd, a minor melee on the stage ensued before MC John McDonald restored order.
The Odyssey Arena is likely to be packed out on Saturday ahead of the much-anticipated fight.
On Thursday, a war of words erupted between the boxers after Spanish fighter Martinez said he has come to Belfast to shut Frampton’s mouth.
But Frampton, from Tiger’s Bay, hit back with a stinging upper cut, telling Martinez: “We’ll see how strong you are when I’m hitting you on the chin.”
Twice before in the last 18 months Martinez has pulled out of the European Super Bantamweight contest.
However, Martinez didn’t blame himself, instead shifting the blame to internal issues in his camp for that.
“I’m here,” he told Frampton at the press conference on Thursday.
“It wasn’t my fault I wasn’t here the last time but I’m here now. I’ve come here to shut Frampton’s mouth once and for all.
“He’s talked too much and on Saturday I hope he comes to box and not to run.”
Frampton, who says he is in the best shape of his life under the mangership of former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan, said he isn’t running anywhere.
“We’ll see how strong you are when you get hit with the hardest punches you’ve been hit with in your life,” he replied.
“We’ll see if you want to run. I’ll stand in front of you and I’ll outbox you, outpunch you – do whatever you want.”
Frampton is top of tonight’s bill but the stacked undercard features several of Ireland’s favourites.
Belfast’s Martin Lindsay tackles British featherweight champion Lee Selby while Andy Lee faces Anthony Fitzgerald on his first outing since joining trainer Adam Booth.
Eamonn O’Kane is back in action for the first time since his defeat to John Ryder, while heavyweight Martin Rogan returns in a four-rounder just a fortnight before appearing in international Prizefighter.
Super-middleweight prospect Callum Smith has his third professional outing, against Tommy Tolan.