Johnny Hunt is fired-up for round two with Hearts heavyweight Uche Ikpeazu thanks to regular sparring sessions with his cousin - world champion boxer Callum Smith.
The Hamilton midfielder was left with a bloody nose when he last crossed paths with the Jambos battering ram in the English lower leagues.
And although he may be half the size of Ikpeazu, Hunt has a more than handy corner man in his WBA super-middleweight champion relative.
The duo came through school together back in Liverpool and remain the best of pals and each other’s number one fans.
Hunt has sparred with Smith and his three brothers who are also boxers throughout his career.
And he reckons it has him fighting fit for the relegation scrap with Hearts this afternoon with both sides locked on 12 points at the bottom of the table.
Ikpeazu is available for Daniel Stendel’s side again after being suspended for Wednesday’s defeat to Celtic.
And Hunt said: “I played against Uche a few times when I was at Mansfield and he was at Cambridge United. He’s a big strong lad.
“He absolutely done me in one game - an elbow right on the nose, I bet he can’t remember it but I certainly do!
“It wasn’t broken. There was a bit of blood at the end of the game but that’s all.
“But he is a good big player and Hearts are a good team. Their league position is only a league position for now and we know on their day they’re a very good side.”
Hunt has no problems with being dubbed a fighter on the park. It runs in his blood.
Smith has a 100 per cent record from his 27 professional fights leading to him being ranked as the world's best active super middleweight in October.
A potential bout with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvares has been mooted and a dream fight at Anfield is in the pipeline for next year.
Hunt, a summer signing from Stevenage, said: “I try to bring my fighting spirit to the team and to the young lads.
“My cousins are all boxers. I grew up with them all. I’m immensely proud of what they’ve done. I’ve spent my whole life following them and training with them. They’ve been through the highs and the lows and there’s so much to learn off them.
“Never give up, it doesn’t matter who you are playing against you work your hardest. You just never know what can happen in football, it might be your last game or it might be your first game to go as high as you can.
“If you work as hard as you can then you will get your rewards.
“Callum is elite now, he’s at the top of his game. I used to watch him since we were kids and went to school together at primary and secondary, we were in the same class, and he’s someone who had a dream.
“To follow someone who had a dream and to watch him first hand, how hard he worked, his dedication and putting everything into it, it’s helped me.
“After school he’d be in the gym and I’d be at football and then at weekends we’d be hanging around on the streets together.
“We always bounced off each other. We are best mates as well as cousins and it’s been great to see his journey.
“He is at the very top and he wants to carry on and unify his division and move up a weight and become three-weight world champion.
“I will be supporting him all the way.
“Callum has a big fight pencilled in at Anfield next year. That’s what he has dreamed of as a kid.
“So hopefully our season here can finish a bit earlier than expected and I can be there.
“That’s the ultimate. He just wants the big names now to fight him there.
“We are all Liverpool fans - we follow them whenever we can. It’s a bit of a release for us all.
“For him to fight there will be icing on the cake.”
In the meantime Hunt, 29, is focused on battling the drop with Accies and said: “You don’t really look at the league table just yet because you know one or two wins and it can all change again.
“If the performances are right then nine times out of 10 the results will follow. We have been a bit unlucky but we know you can’t keep claiming that.
“Hopefully it will change soon for us. We have to keep our performances at a high standard and keep demanding the best out of each other every day and I’m sure our luck will change.”