Forty-eight hours before the biggest fight of his life, Frank White was smiling and joking.
The reason the Canadian cruiserweight champ wore a bemused expression for most of Thursday's media conference for Saturday's title defence against Ryan Henney was simple: he has a hard time taking Henney seriously.
"He said he's surprised I showed up -- but he had to get the promoter to say it for him," White chuckled.
"He doesn't even have the balls to man up and be here in person; he has to get someone else to do his talking.
"That's typical. Henney's a chicken; he doesn't have the guts to stand here in front of me and talk his s**t. And I guarantee he won't stand in front of me on Saturday night, either.
"He's going to pay for this when I knock him cold."
The champ, who hails from Sarnia, Ont., found it curious that the Saskatoon-based Henney couldn't make the short trip to attend his own media conference.
"Last month, I spent 12 hours in airports and airplanes in order to come to Edmonton just to tell Ryan that I will knock him out," said White (7-2-1, 5 KOs)
"You'd think he'd wanna respond like a man. But no ... he has to hide behind the promoter."
For the record, Henney (14-3, 9 KOs) told promoter Glen Carriere that work commitments would prevent him from attending the media conference.
He also asked Carriere to make a couple of statements on his behalf -- including a claim that White has ducked him since winning the title in June 2008.
"He's a paper champ; he just wants to hang onto the belt so he can walk around Sarnia like a big man," said Henney.
"Yes, he took the title from me, but anyone who saw that fight knows I wasn't at my best. We could have had this rematch a lot sooner, but he's ducked me ... and everyone else out there."
Saturday night at the Shaw Conference Centre will mark the third meeting between the two men -- both of whom are ranked in the top 15 North American cruiserweights.
Henney made his initial title defence by notching a TKO in their first fight in 2007, but White lifted the crown on a lopsided decision in their rematch.
"(Saturday) will be the end of the road for Henney," said White. "After I bust him up, there won't be any need to listen to his crap anymore; he'll probably have to retire."
"After that, I can concentrate on bigger and better fights. I love being the Canadian champ and I love the respect that comes with that title. I'll fight anyone, any time. That's always been my philosophy, and it's not going to change."