Once they were at daggers drawn - and were insulting each other so badly on social media that the air was turning blue.
But now Sheffield light middleweight Dave Fidler is offering a lifelong friendship to his one-time nemesis Lee Noble.
Noble, 27, is undergoing chemotherapy in the Royal Hallamshire after recently being diagnosed as suffering from leukaemia.
Hundreds of well-wishers have shown their support to Noble - many of them connected to his Ingle gym. But few people expected his biggest domestic rival to get in touch.
Fidler was beaten in February by Noble at iceSheffield in a gruelling 10-rounder, for the International Masters light-middleweight title.
It damaged the confidence of a 36-year-old fighter, who took a while to consider whether to continue boxing. He eventually plumped to carry on, and stopped his next opponent, Damian Taggart, in two rounds.
“Me and Lee have had all sorts of banter but when I heard he had leukaemia I sent him a message asking if I could go and see him” said Fidler.
“I went and got on really well with him, his mum, dad and sister. We had a good craic - I’d never realised what a student of boxing he is - there isn’t much he doesn’t know about. But the thing that struck me was his positivity - he says he is not going to let it beat him.
“And I am 100 per cent confident that he will win this battle. When I boxed him I was amazed by his size and strength - I remember hitting him with a combination and he just smiled at me. I know he has got power too, because he knocked me on my backside!
“He is talking about boxing again next year and I can see him doing using his strength to beat leukaemia and getting back to how he was.”
Fidler, whose unbeaten record was taken by Barnsley’s Noble, wants to fight for the central area title currently held by his Sheffield pal Sam Sheedy.
Fidler, who is campaigning despite arthritis in one hand, seems reluctant to fight Sheedy saying: “Sam has been holding on to that belt since 1966 - he should vacate it and given an old man a chance to win it.”
Meanwhile, Noble is keeping his friends, family and fight fans apprised of his treatment in hospital.
On Facebook, yesterday, he reported: “Had a top night’s sleep, ready for round three of chemotherapy, we’re flying through it now! Before I know it I will be back on the road winning titles again. Remember what doesn’t kill YA makes YA stronger.”
n Josh Wale hopes to put an end to a mixed series of results tomorrow, at iceSheffield. The Brampton super bantamweight takes on Aivaras Balsys, from Lithuania, after his last six fights ended in two wins, one draw and three losses.
More on Friday’s show in tomorrow’s Star.