Adrien Broner is unbeaten, cocky, 22, and a world champion who survived the mean streets of Cincinnati.
Eloy Perez is unbeaten, humble, 25, and a challenger who's made continued sacrifices since leaving home five years ago to train in the agricultural town of Salinas, Calif.
The pair fight Saturday night on HBO as the co-main event in St. Louis to the featured battle between former junior-welterweight champion Devon Alexander and Marcos Maidana.
"This can be war, a fight of the year," Perez said. "The person who deserves to win is the person who's sacrificed the most. So I'm going to win."
Broner, who became World Boxing Organization super-featherweight champion one fight ago, is 22-0 with 18 KOs. He carries himself with the confidence of a Floyd Mayweather Jr., and has been likened to the sport's unbeaten star in terms of his savvy, speed, skill and defense.
"I'm fresh, I'm fly, I'm flashy," Broner said. "Who [doesn't] want to see this young man get a knockout and brush my hair when I'm done?
"I look up to Floyd Mayweather, but I don't try to be like Floyd Mayweather. He's done great things, he's a role model. But those who say I try to be Floyd can go kick rocks."
While this bout can help Broner, nicknamed "The Problem," burnish his star before an ultimate date with the winner of the April 14 Brandon Rios-Yuri Gamboa lightweight fight, Perez (23-0-2, 7 KOs) is focused on the belt.
"I have nothing to lose, everything to gain, and I'm not even supposed to be here," Perez said. "Nothing was handed to me in life, nothing came free. We literally fought to get to this point, sacrificing everything to leave my family for a boxing gym. This shows what a good foundation with positive people around you -- and dedication -- will do. Look where we're at."
While Perez said he's "ready to handle everything [Broner] will throw at me," he was in a pickle late Thursday night waiting for Broner to sign a fight contract that did not include a rematch clause.
"I signed my contract a month ago," Perez said. "For someone to criticize me as a fighter, but then not sign without a rematch clause ... what does that say?"
Golden Boy Promotions officials did not immediately comment on Broner's contractual status.