Kiwi boxing star David Nyika has already begun a war of words with opponent Jessie Maio ahead of his professional debut on the Joseph Parker-Junior Fa undercard on February 27.
The two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist is confident of an early round knockout of Maio, a West Auckland retail manager and security guard.
“We asked some very credible boxers to fight and we offered them good money,” Nyika said.
“I hope they’re paying him well because I wouldn’t want to fight me on my pro debut either.
“I’ll be ready to go six [rounds], but if it only goes one, it only goes one.”
Maio had an unusual start to his 3-0 career, after being persuaded to take up the sport by top boxing coach Issac Peach when the two got into a fistfight during a rugby league game.
“We had a bit of a punch up out there and he sort of made mention as we got sent off like, ‘Oh, you know, you can actually punch,’” Maio said.
Fellow Peach boxer Jerome Pampellone is also on the undercard.
The David Haye look-a-like is a three-time national light heavyweight champion and even went close to upsetting Nyika late last year.
“He’s got so much potential, I don’t think he’s even reached his peak yet,” Nyika said of Pampellone.
While the two friends would be in separate fights this time around, Peach believed a matchup in the future was a possibility.
“One day if they can both earn millions of dollars, they can fight each other.
“But at the moment New Zealand should just get behind both of them.”
The Joseph Parker-Junior Fa fight is set for February 27.