When Dillian Whyte stepped on to the scales ahead of his war with Joseph Parker on Saturday, he did so proudly bearing the scars of another, ongoing, conflict.
Etched around his mouth was a goatee - half black, half orange. It's an eye-catching look but no fashion statement or lucky charm, rather a reminder of the dangers of switching off and of his need to exact revenge - lessons he will do well to heed over 12 rounds at the O2 Arena.
'I've got a big family and when you've got loads of brothers you get bored and play pranks. So I glued by brother's hands together while he was sleeping, I've glued his legs together and put mustard up his nose,' the heavyweight reveals.
Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker will get in the ring to do battle on Saturday night in London
Both fighters know the winner of the O2 Arena contest is closer to an Anthony Joshua rematch
Whyte is sporting a half black and half orange goatee which is the result of a family prank
'He thought it would be funny to do my beard. He did it while I was asleep. I woke up and thought it was paint, I was there trying to wash it off but nothing was happening. He was just laughing at me.'
He adds: 'It's good to have family because this is a hard, stressful job. It's good to have brothers where we can have a fight and be cool in two minutes. These are my real people.'
The mood will be less playful when he faces a hungry New Zealander ready to 'do damage'.
Whyte came in 17 pounds heavier on the scales but is unconcerned ahead of getting in the ring
Parker, who lost last time out to Joshua, has promised to produce the performance of his life
Certainly there was no love lost at Thursday's weigh-in, when the two
fighters came nose-to-nose and tempers threatened to boil over.
Parker, who tipped the scales at 17st 4lbs 8oz, is the slight favourite with the bookmakers. But for Whyte (18st 6lbs 9oz) this is another crescendo at the end of a 'long, hard, painful' journey to the top of the sport.
'When I was growing up I never knew I would even be alive at this age,' he claims.
Having grown up in Jamaica alongside his father, the heavyweight moved
here as a teenager to rejoin his mother and siblings.
'The lifestyle's different. I never even had a fridge in Jamaica... I never had money to go to the shop to buy sweets… we had to go to a little place to get water from a little tank,' he remembers.
Michael Buffer, the famous boxing announcer, will be in the ring at the O2 Arena on Saturday
'When I was 12, 13, I came over here. After (my mother) left when I was two to go and make life better for us, it was circumstance, it took me a while but I got here in the end.'
He wasn't given an easy ride when he did arrive: 'Everyone used to (beat me up) - when you're that middle child the older ones used to get you. Then I discovered I had punch power. That stopped real quick. Sisters or brothers weren't safe, I was like "I've had enough of this!"'
So much has changed for Whyte since those teenage days spent trying — and often failing — to avoid pranks at home and serious violence on the tough streets of Brixton. But despite his newfound popularity and riches, family remains at the centre of the 30-year-old's world.
He hasn't seen his children for two months of gruelling training and still lives with two brothers and a sister. But one person matters more than anyone else.
'You can think what you like about me, as long as my mother (Jane) is happy with me,' he claimed.
Whyte and Parker pose after the press conference but will be firing once Saturday arrives
The pair haven't pushed things over the edge whenever they have met ahead of the fight
'Even without me being a world champion, she's happy with me that I've turned my life around, I'm alive and doing something positive.'
Not that she ever knew the full horrors of his days on the streets, marred by shootings, stabbings and kidnap: 'My mum didn't know half the stuff I got up to because I always kept it away from her. I was scared of my mum, but not out of fear, out of respect...I didn't go to hospital out of fear of disappointing my mum.'
Whyte is one of 12 children ('I don't think my parents had a TV when they were young') but still his mother refuses to put her feet up.
'I tried to get her to stop working but… she comes from hard-working stock, she will work until she can't work anymore. She's a nurse and she likes helping people,' Whyte says.
Whyte's promoter Eddie Hearn (left) and David Higgins, who represents the New Zealander
'It's funny though because I got the flu badly last year and I couldn't get up. She's old now and I weigh like 18st but she was still trying to pick me up. I was laughing when she tried to lift me out of the bed. In the end she just had to sit down and I rolled over and got up myself.'
No one, not even his mother, will be able to help him back up should Parker be true to his word on Saturday night.
But even after the final bell at the O2, Whyte still has battles to fight. He knows revenge for beard-gate will be sweet - but that it must also wait for now.
'It's too soon. You need to pick your time carefully,' he claims. 'He will be expecting it so I need to wait, let him go on holiday somewhere and relax then get him when he least expects it.'