Twelve months of steadily simmering acrimony reaches boiling point here Saturday when world middleweight king Gennady Golovkin faces off against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in their long-awaited Las Vegas rematch.
That showed at Friday's weigh-in, when the two fighters had to be separated in their only face-to-face appearance before the fight. Some thought Alvarez shied away from a physical brawl with Golovkin that betrayed the warrior reputation that Mexican fighters and fans embrace.
Golovkin and his team have contended that they simply don't believe him.
A planned rematch for May 5 was cancelled after Alvarez twice tested positive for the banned performance enhancer Clenbuterol in February and was subsequently hit with a six-month suspension.
Golovkin, the unbeaten WBA, WBC and IBO champion, will be chasing a place in boxing history as he attempts to make a record-breaking 21st consecutive defense of his middleweight crowns against Mexican idol Alvarez at a sold-out T-Mobile Arena. "Every night before bed I visualize what I'm going to do, which is to get a knockout".
That means they won't have a staredown until the final instructions before the first bell rings.
Most fans and analysts watching live or at home scored the bout in favor of Gennady Golovkin, so it came as a huge shock when it was announced that judge Adelaide Byrd had turned in a scorecard of 118-110 in favor of Canelo Alvarez.
This Saturday is the night boxing fans have been waiting for! This is the best GGG I have ever trained.
"I just want him (Alvarez) to do what he says he will do and try for a knockout", said Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez.
Alvarez brushed it off. I defeated the weigh-in, now it's time for me to defeat him on Saturday.
Haye went on to mention that the main reason the fight is happening is because of money.
Both fighters comfortably made weight for the 160-pound world title fight.
"Those are the kicks and screams of someone who is drowning", Alvarez said of Golovkin's doping claims.
Topping the undercard is rising Mexican star Jaime Munguia, who saw off Britain's Liam Smith on BT Sport in July to extend his flawless record to 30-0 (25 KOs). He will make his second title defense against Brandon Cook (20-1, 13 KOs), 32, of Toronto, who weighed 153.2 pounds. And that could be a real problem against a fearsome puncher who has knocked out 34 fighters in his 39 professional fights.