Amir Khan can't wait to get into the ring with Andreas Kotelnik
In football, it's a favourite way for a manager to wind up his team: Take the tiniest comment by an opposition player that suggests an even tinier piece of criticism, pin it up on the dressing room wall, and the team come out fired for revenge. It's no wonder, then, that these days most players have followed their managers in becoming far too cute to say anything that might stir things up before a game.
In boxing, however, it's different. There it's big news if anybody says anything nice about the other guy. But it doesn't stop people getting upset when they are on the wrong end of the trash talk.
It's almost certainly cost David Haye his chance to become world heavyweight champion this year. If you want to back him to win any world title this year you can offer anything up to the current lay price of [7.6 @ Betfair] and expect to get it matched, simply because it looks like there will be nobody for him to fight.
After being forced to call off his fight with Wladimir Klitschko last week because of a back injury, he was hoping to fight his brother Vitali in September with his WBO, IBF and IBO titles at stake. Instead the 37-year-old has opted to meet WBA champ Nikolai Valuev to try to unify the world titles. The decision to ditch Haye is almost certainly due to the way the British boxer tried to promote his fight with a tasteless tee-shirt showing the heads of both brothers ripped off.
Meanwhile Amir Khan, at his training camp in Los Angeles, has got hurt feelings from being described as a child by his forthcoming opponent Andreas Kotelnik. The Ukrainian called off their meeting earlier this month because of toothache. If Khan has his way he'll finish the fight, when it does happen at the MEN Arena on July 18, with a few teeth knocked out!
Khan has told today's Daily Star: He is going to be in for a shock because his trash talk has made me train harder. It has made me focused.
Knowing someone out there is talking bad about you makes you want to go out there and prove him wrong. I'm going to give him a boxing lesson. I am going to be the teacher and show him what boxing is all about. If he thinks it will be an easy fight he has got something else coming.
Khan is priced anywhere between [1.46] and [2.62] to collect a world title by the turn of the year, and it's more than tempting to try to back him at [2.5] to see if it will be matched. The boy from Bolton is 22 now and growing gradually more mature, and his fast hands will make him a genuine threat against 31-year-old Ukrainian Kotelnik.
Five things you might not know about Andreas Kotelnik
1. Born in Lviv in the Ukraine in 1977, his dad encouraged him to take up boxing because he was small and getting bullied at school
2. Coached by Dmytriy Sosnovskiy he won 135 of 150 fights as an amateur, and won the silver medal at the Sydney Olympics
3. He moved to Germany when he turned pro in 2000, and is still based in Hamburg
4. He's founded a charity to develop boxing clubs in the Ukraine and give other deprived kids a chance. He's also a special advisor on sport to the mayor of Lviv.
5. Married since 2000 to Tetyana, they have a three-year-old daughter