Former EastEnder Sid Owen and posh presenter Ben Fogle squared up today for the launch of a celebrity boxing bout in aid of Sport Relief.
In what could be the greatest sporting mismatch ever, the pair will face each other in the ring live on TV.
Sid “The Snake” Owen, who played Ricky Butcher in the BBC soap, is a former amateur boxer.
Former public school boy Ben “The Bear” Fogle, who found fame on reality show Castaway, has never raised his fists in his life and admits he is terrified of spoiling his looks by getting his nose broken.
They are undergoing six weeks of training for their three-round bout on July 10, which will be decided by a public vote.
The pair met for the weigh-in at the Sports Café in central London this morning and Owen immediately set out to intimidate his opponent, almost knocking Fogle off his feet by giving him a hefty shove.
“I have to say he’s quite strong,” said a nervous Fogle.
Owen said the boxing bout would be a walkover.
“He’s not going to hurt me,” he boasted. “We both want to win but I know I will. There’s already talk of me turning pro because I’m such a big hitter.”
Owen is being coached by legendary trainer Frank Maloney, who said Fogle would be no competition.
“He’s like a lamb to the slaughter. I feel sorry for him, I really do,” Maloney scoffed.
Owen, who now lives in France, is being mentored by former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan, while Fogle’s team consists of Frank Bruno as mentor and trainer Jim McDonnell.
Fogle admitted he has never been in a fight but is optimistic about his chances.
“I’m not a naturally aggressive person. I’ve never raised my hands in my life.
“I’ve asked if there have ever been any posh boxers before and Chris Eubank is the only name people could come up with.
“Breaking my nose is my biggest fear because I have a reasonably large nose as it is,” he said.
“I dread going to the training sessions and after the first round in the ring I was like jelly. I got my first ever black eye and had to cover it up with make-up.
“But to be honest, I used to play rugby at boarding school and I had more injuries with that than I’ve had with the sparring.”
McGuigan is convinced Fogle can be a champ.
“Ben is very fit, he’s just got to get himself in shape mentally,” he said. “Maybe there’s a whole new side to him just waiting to burst out.”
Previous celebrity bouts have pitted Ricky Gervais against Grant Bovey and Les Dennis against Bob Mortimer.