PUT a dedicated bunch of boxing fans together with one local hero on a sunny spring day and what do you get?
A serious case of big fight fever in the middle of Leeds, that’s what.
Hundreds of people descended on the city’s Light shopping centre for Leeds featherweight champion Josh Warrington’s lunchtime weigh-in ahead of his meeting with Dennis Tubieron at the First Direct Arena on Saturday.
And if the atmosphere at the televised weigh-in was anything to go by, then the bout itself could rip the arena’s roof clean off.
Taking to the stage in the Light’s main atrium, Filipino fighter Tubieron was given a typically warm Leeds welcome with a volley of raucous boos and catcalls.
Warrington’s appearance, meanwhile, was greeted with shouts of “Leeds, Leeds, Leeds” and other football-style chanting.
The man of the moment responded in kind with a Leeds salute before making the all-important weight and addressing his adoring public.
He said a “massive thank you” to them for coming along and urged everyone heading to the arena on Staurday to “make plenty of noise”.
Those watching proceedings included Craig Oliver, 35, and his 11-year-old son, Zac, from Sherburn in Elmet.
Craig told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The atmosphere at the arena is going to be amazing. Tubieron isn’t going to know what’s hit him. Leeds fans are the best fans and Josh is one of our own.”
A good half-an-hour after the day’s official business had been concluded, Warrington was still patiently posing for pictures and signing autographs for a lengthy queue of his young and not-so-young fans.
Like the man said, he’s one of our own.