Tickets for the first big fight of 2018 sold out before a word was spoken in anger and there was no trash talking after that seven-minute blitz at the Manchester Arena box office.
Rather it was honourable preparation for war as George Groves and Chris Eubank Jnr discussed their strengths and weaknesses prior to their February 17 showdown.
Each predicted the other ‘will not see the 12th round’ in their Battle of Britain for the WBA world super middleweight title and a place in the final of the World Boxing Super Series Final.
George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr went face-to-face at a press conference on Tuesday
The pair will meet in an all-British showdown in the semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series
The suits promoting the television sales for ITV Box Office sat back as enthralled as the rest of us as Groves and Junior tried to unnerve the other with measured assessment of the task ahead.
Eubank avowed: ‘George, you cannot survive the fire I will bring down upon you. I am not only the younger man but a man of my word.’
Groves replied: ‘Junior, your clever sound-bites have given you insta-fame on social media, where for some reason I don’t understand they think you are favourite.
‘But the reality is that I am the one with the experience of world class fights, the pedigree and the superior ability. You cannot win this fight.’
‘I have proved that the bigger the occasion the better I am. I will knock you out,’ Junior claimed
Eubank: ‘Yes, this is the biggest fight of my career so far. But I have proved that the bigger the occasion the better I am. I will knock you out. ‘
Groves: ‘you look fast on your videos but where are the combinations when your against a moving target who hits back?’
The conversation went from intense to excitable only when Eubank’s legendary father intervened.
Chris Snr said: ‘Beware, my son has what we call an internal navigation system it is part of what makes him the most dangerous fighter on the planet.’
Senior also replied to the issue of pedigree by resting his hand on his son’s shoulder and saying: ‘Ours is right here. In our genetics.’
Both boxers questioned each other’s speed and stamina.
Groves will make the second defence of his WBA ‘super’ world title at the Manchester Arena
Groves saw an added advantage in Eubank virtually training himself, from fight preparation down to wrapping his own hands.
Junior told his elder opponent: ‘Your trainer Shane McGuigan will not be in the ring to help save you.’
The exchanges built further on the respect with which more British boxers are treating each other and their sport. This is a welcome development which, judging by the stampede for nearly 20,000 seats in Manchester is going down well with the public.
The tournament final, also for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, will be between the winners of this fight and the second semi-final, perhaps in Berlin on a date yet to be scheduled, between Liverpool’s Callum Smith and Germany’s veteran former world champion Juergen Braehmer.
GG and Junior both said: ‘This is a fight I cannot afford to lose.’
But it was Eubank who edged proceedings and spoke authoritatively about what he is going to do to his opponent.
Eubank Jnr reached the semi-finals reached with an emphatic victory over Avni Yildirim
The two fighters face off following the opening press conference in London on Tuesday
‘You are acting as though I’m a stepping stone. I’m a mountain and you’re not going to climb it. I’m Mount Everest,’ Jr said.
‘I’m a different animal and this is my time. Nothing that he has can outweigh the fire and the heat that is going to brought down upon him. This is real people fighting and real people go to sleep. Whenever you get hit, you crumble, and that is what you will do.
‘You’re young but you’re an old man in the game, when the going gets tough, you will plant your feet and you won’t move. You’re there to tee off and I will catch you.
‘What (Carl) Froch did to you, it took something out of you and I can see it in your eyes.
‘You are going to get ‘Grovesed’. You’re in for a ‘Grovesing’. What happened in the fight with Froch, everyone said he got ‘Grovesed’ because his leg folded and that’s what’s going to happen. You’re in real trouble.
‘It doesn’t matter if my game plan goes out the window, I will find a way to stop Groves, no way in hell is he going to take this away from me. George, you will not see 12 rounds.’
Once the Christmas and New Years festivities are over, February 17 cannot come sooner.