no romance in this fight

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Newlywed IBF and WBO lightweight champion Nate Campbell says although February 14 is usually a date reserved for romantics, he warns that Ali Funeka must not expect hugs and kisses when they clash on Saturday.

The "Galaxy Warrior" from Tampa in Florida, who will defend his IBF and WBO lightweight belts against Funeka, told Fightnews that this year's Valentine's Day arrives laced with pain.

"It is the pain of a long-distance runner, patiently laying them down, or the climber who scales the mountain top only to be confronted by a larger, more ominous cliff dead ahead," he said.

"What I'm going to bring to that table is pain, and he ain't gonna like none of it.

"Funeka says he doesn't need special sparring for me because I'm an open book. Well, I don't know what book he's been reading.

"He's been running his mouth and I like it. I'm gonna hit him in that mouth, and then I'm gonna show the world how to walk through somebody's business before wiping my feet on their rug."

Last week Campbell made it clear that their scrap - it will take place at the Bank Atlantic Centre in Florida - had become personal.

Campbell, 36, threatened to hit the Mdantsane fighter, who is nicknamed "Rush Hour", "everywhere it's legal and maybe where it ain't if the referee turns his back".

"I will beat Funeka like he tried to steal something from me. He's got to pay the retail American price for his words, not the South African price," said Campbell who was outpointed by Isaac Hlatswayo for the IBO belt in 2006.

Campbell will bid for the first defence of the two belts he won with the WBA strap from Juan Diaz in March last year.

"My first defence really means everything to me. I want to show the world that the first time wasn't a fluke. It wasn't just Juan Diaz having an off night, it was me being the great fighter that I am."

Both Campbell and Funeka have tremendous punching power, with 25 knockouts each.

Campbell has 32 wins, only two more than Funeka.

Your truly tips Funeka, 27, the former SA and WBC International undefeated champion, to win in a stoppage within five rounds. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark at 10pm.