Kris Andrews is taking a page out of Tony Badea's book - literally.
Andrews didn't show up to watch Badea, the former world-ranked Canadian and British Commonwealth light middleweight champ, fight Vancouver's Claudio Ortiz in last night's main event at the Italian Cultural Centre.
But he and manager Ken Franczek were confident Badea would make short work of Ortiz and then resume his "Bad Boy" banter in hyping a June 20 showdown with Andrews at the Shaw Conference Centre.
"When Kris saw the story in the Sun this week, where Badea was babbling about hurting him and knocking him out, he asked me to rip out the page and tape it on the wall of the gym, where he can see it during training," said Franczek.
"Maybe Tony keeps his press clippings in a scrapbook, but this one's going up on the wall.
"We won't take the bait and get into a war of words with Tony, because talk is cheap. All I can tell you is that every time Badea opens his mouth and says something disparaging about Kris, it just feeds our motivation. In a way, we'd like to thank him."
Badea returned to the ring in March after a six-year absence that included a long stretch of living on the street.
After notching a quick KO over Justin Berger, he made it clear he wants a shot at the Canadian junior middleweight crown owned by Winnipeg's Gareth Sutherland - who won the belt in a close decision over Andrews last fall.
The quickest route to that title shot runs through Andrews, who himself is coming back from a brief retirement.
"I sparred a lot with Tony when I was an amateur, so it's not like he's transformed himself into a different fighter," Andrews said when the June 20 fight was announced.
"I don't mind being perceived as the underdog against him; he's had 35 fights, and I've only had a little more than half that number.
"But he's older and slower ... and he's had a lot of stuff happen to him over the last six years.
"I don't know if he's a committed as he used to be."
For his part, Badea is scornful whenever Andrews is mentioned. "It will be like the teacher giving a lesson to the student," is how he describes the upcoming bout.
"Andrews shouldn't be in the ring with me ... it's too dangerous for him.
"His manager made a very big mistake in taking this fight."
In addition to Badea-Andrews, the June 20 KO Boxing card at the Shaw Conference Centre will feature Sutherland defending his title in a rematch with former Canadian and Commonwealth welterweight champ Donovan Boucher. Sutherland stopped Boucher in nine rounds last month, but Boucher's manager, Ray Rutter, blamed the result more on a lingering case of flu rather than his 46-year-old fighter's advanced years ... Promoter Brad Hortie dedicated last night's card to the memory of his late parents, Paul and Sylvia. Both were longtime mentors to hundreds of amateurs at the Cougar Boxing Club, and Sylvia Hortie went on to become Alberta's first licensed female promoter for pro shows.