Hull will be a city divided next Saturday when Luke Campbell MBE and Tommy Coyle meet for their highly-anticipated clash at Craven Park.
Campbell, the city’s sporting hero after his gold medal effort at London 2012, will tackle local rival Coyle as the main event of the ‘Rumble on the Humber’ event.
The pair go back many years, but a recent Campbell interview has led to a war of words, with Coyle accusing his opponent of being ‘unnecessary’.
“I was annoyed that he called me an associate, I think that was personal,” said Coyle.
“He forgets the days when we didn’t have any money at all and we were selling toys for a pound a go, I travelled five hours to watch him in the ABA finals, shared a room with him in Australia – I think that’s a bit more than an associate.
“It had been playing on my mind.
“He’s said a few things in the press and even in the press conference, it’s disappointing and I think it’s unnecessary.
“The fight doesn’t need bad blood, it would sell on two Hull lads that are mates getting in there and the best man winning a tear-up.”
Campbell insists he wasn’t listening to Coyle during the press conference and is choosing to focus on hunting down the division’s big names in the pursuit of world honours.
For the 27-year-old, the fight is the perfect opportunity to prove he is ready to step-up in his 12th pro fight and close in on joining James DeGale MBE as British Olympic gold medallists who went on to win world titles.
“It’s very exciting,” said Campbell. “People keep saying I need to step up – you don’t get a better step-up than a world title eliminator, my team sees me day-in day-out and I am making great progress.
“This is a massive event for the city – it’s a one-time thing, I don’t think they’ll see a fight like this here again.”
Hall of fame MC Michael Buffer will also be on hand to announce the main event on the evening.
“The stage is set for the one of the biggest sporting events the city of Hull will ever see,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.