The opening event of a week of build-up to potentially the most lucrative fight in boxing history produced chaotic scenes in Las Vegas, with Floyd Mayweather booed by unhappy fans.
The undefeated American arrived late and was barely visible, entering amid a large entourage before being largely hidden on stage by a media scrum.
Conor McGregor, his UFC champion challenger, then arrived and made a beeline for an Irish flag in the crowd before performing an impromptu lap of fans, as media and security gave chase.
Once on stage, the 29-year-old Irishman said he would be “calm and cold” when he met the former five-weight boxing world champion on Saturday.
“He needs to be put to sleep,” said McGregor. “He will wake up a better man. I am going to do that for him.”
McGregor can win big whatever happens on Saturday’
This was hype and showmanship taken to a whole new level.
When Conor McGregor finally walked on, he did so as the self-styled people’s champion, strutting around the open plaza as if he owned it.
Like a presidential candidate on the eve of polling day, he shook hands and high-fived as many supporters as he could reach.
Dressed in a purple suit, he told his expectant audience he would knock Mayweather unconscious on Saturday night, which elicited a huge cheer.
As he tried to depart I managed to ask him if he really is, as he claims, going to shock the world on Saturday night.
Nodding, he turned to the crowd and said “for these fans, I love these fans”.
McGregor’s legend continues to grow. It increasingly feels like he stands to win big in the long term, no matter what happens in the ring this weekend.