Alen Babic raged that Tom Little had shown him “disrespect” by mentioning him alongside Filip Hrgovic.
Heavyweights Babic and Little will clash on Conor Benn’s undercard on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, but got into an argument at the press conference that raised the temperature of fight week.
Little has previously spoken highly of his former opponent Hrgovic, who Babic is locked in an emerging all-Croatian rivalry with.
SAVAGE ACTIVATED ⚠️
Tom Little has officially been removed from 'The Savage army' ❌ pic.twitter.com/8Amj1OoSXZ
Babic stared at Little and demanded to know: “Why does he talk like that? I said nothing but nice things so why do you take Hrgovic’s side?
“That’s a sell-out. You can’t be in ‘The Savage’ army anymore.
“There is a lot of disrespect. They always talk about Hrgovic. I don’t care about him – he has fought no-one.”
A slimmed-down and fit-looking Little replied: “I will worry about respect after the fight is done.”
Babic hit back: “You are not a friend, you are a sell-out. Hrgovic said you are a bum but you take his side?
“You have done cross-fit for one month and you talk like you have the biggest arms.
“He talks like I am nothing. I have five fights, 10 rounds. Everybody beat you, brother!”
Alen is back! 🔙
A brief appearance from 'The Savage' at today's press conference before Alen swiftly returned, much to Andy Scott's relief 😅 pic.twitter.com/tri1uwple2
Dillian Whyte’s protégé Babic has blazed through his first five fights, taking less than three rounds to knock out his opponent in each.
Little is his most experienced opponent so far – he has won 10 out of 18 and has shared a ring with Hrgovic, David Price, Daniel Dubois and Mahammadrasul Majidov.
Babic, who morphed into his alter-ego, raged on: “‘The Savage’ is mad. I was his friend when he was as fat as a doughnut.
“Now he says he will finish me then say ‘Hrgovic is better’. Why does he say this?
“Everyone can keep doubting me. I’ve heard enough. I keep knocking everyone out in two rounds.
“I’ll knock him out in one round.
“One round is my plan. Everyone keeps questioning me.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “Once the switch goes, Babic convinces himself that he is someone else! That is pretty scary.”
Little said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if both of us have to climb off the canvas.
“There is not a cowardly bone in my body. I am there to fight, bleed and win.”
Babic replied: “[My former opponent] Shawndell Winters said exactly that. He will be on his back foot from the first moment.”
"Blood, snot and guts"🤨 @tomnotsolittle#BabicLittle pic.twitter.com/TvrcNzaEIW
Little insisted that he is a changed man after his most recent fight, a stoppage loss to Majidov.
“I had an epiphany when I got home from Saudi Arabia,” he said. “This runs deeper than just myself.
“For what I want to do, this is the first stop on the way.
“I’ve said a lot of cheap words but they were masking agents.
“I rate Babic highly. But this isn’t about how I rate him.
“If he can manage to get the job done, he is fighting [a better version of me] than Hrgovic, Dubois or Majidov fought.
“Me and this man have promised everyone a war. Blood and guts. We will go out and deliver.
“I’m not going to run. I’m a man of my word and I’ll meet him in the middle. I won’t give any ground.”
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