No heavyweight prize fight has been more anticipated than Monday night's televised square-off between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with NBC News anchor Lester Holt as moderator or, perhaps, referee separating them in the clinches.
For all the expectations of a brawl raised by the obvious mutual dislike of the two nominees, both have been counseled to remain self-controlled in the heat of the 90-minute confrontation, in order to emerge as the more "presidential" or at least disciplined under fire.
Democrat Clinton seems much more equipped, by sheer policy knowledge and temperament, to meet that test. But Republican Trump has demonstrated himself to be, as he boasts, a superior counterpuncher, having easily mowed down 16 primary opponents.
Clinton is the policy wonk ever prepared on the facts and tightly wound, to the point her likeability and trustworthiness are widely questioned. Trump, on the other hand, is the policy-deficient loose cannon given to bobbing and weaving on the facts, and often erupting with personal insult and invective.