A ring of their own

Ed Hervey talks to the media at Friday's Edmonton Eskimo's training camp. (SUN/Perry Mah)

Ed Hervey talks to the media at Friday's Edmonton Eskimo's training camp. (SUN/Perry Mah)

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

Slap a boxing ring on the 55-yard line and sell enough tickets to fill Commonwealth Stadium?

In this town an Ed Hervey-Davis Sanchez main event would pretty much guarantee a mob of 60,000. And why not?

Following Hervey's one-off verbal tirade against Sanchez Thursday, every available television camera was at Edmonton Eskimos training camp yesterday.

With Hervey resting his strained left knee, there were no fireworks for the talking heads to document.

All the veteran Esks wide receiver could do was watch from the sidelines as Sanchez and the other Green and Gold hopefuls hit the field for Day 6 of camp.

It was a contrite Hervey who laughingly suggested a bout between himself and Edmonton's feisty cornerback. "We'll get out there and dance around for 12 rounds," Hervey said with a smile.

"We probably won't even throw a punch at one another. We'll see if we could fill the stadium with it. There'd be a lot of clutching and grabbing."

It was Sanchez's penchant for clutching and grabbing that set Hervey off.

After attempting to slip past Sanchez while running a route during Thursday's early session, Hervey got tangled up with the coverman and wound up on the ground without the ball.

After getting up, Hervey fumed: "I still don't like that mother..., he's always pushing off and holding!"

NASTY TEMPER

Hervey - who has had challenges with, and received counselling for, his at-times nasty temper - then wondered aloud: "Should I count to 20?"

The USC product took a deep breath and went back to the huddle. Sanchez and Hervey went one-on-one later in the same session without incident. "As long as we keep talking about it, it won't go away," offered rookie Esks head coach Danny Maciocia. "It's a big deal with everyone else except this football team. It's a non-issue. You live with it."

Although Sanchez declined to discuss Hervey's outburst with the media, the two men have talked about it.

INTRIGUING FOR PEOPLE

"We spoke about it and we laughed," Hervey said. "We actually said we should come out each day and tussle just so we can give somebody something to talk about.

"It's intriguing for people who know our history. Davis is a good guy. He's a teammate of mine. I'm going to go to war with him."

Had Hervey got into it with veteran Malcolm Frank or any of Edmonton's other defensive backs, the incident would have been a blip on the media radar screen.

Because of the now-infamous incident during the 2003 Labour Day Classic - in which Hervey swung his helmet at Sanchez - and bad blood between Hervey and Sanchez prior to and following that, the pair are under close scrutiny.

"I don't think anyone expected us to hold each other's hands up and down the field," Hervey said.

"We're going to battle in camp. I don't hate Davis Sanchez and I don't think he hates me. When we're out here, the game goes to another level. I play best when I'm upset."

Hervey and Sanchez sat next to each other during yesterday's break. According to Hervey, the pair discussed property locations during the 20-minute work stoppage.

"I asked him if he'd bought a house yet," offered Hervey. "We talked about the advantages of being close to the stadium and close to downtown as opposed to being far away.

"It shows there's no animosity between us. The animosity is created by those itching to see something happen based on the past.

"We may end up getting into another incident again. But it's not to say we don't like each other. It's just two great competitors competing at a high level."


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