The great raconteur and former super lightweight world boxing champion Ricky Hatton told a story recently about the build-up to his highly-anticipated fight against Floyd Mayweather 14 years ago almost to the day.
Having done a whirlwind pre-fight publicity tour to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York, Hatton, born and raised in Manchester and known for being as quick with his mouth as he was with his fists, was sitting with his entourage in a restaurant in Mayweather's home town of Michigan when the American walked in with his own hangers-on.
Mayweather, the self-styled "Money" man, decided to put a show on for the assembled press and began flipping $100 bills to Hatton and his crew, saying: "Here you are, don't worry, I'll get your meal, Ricky," Hatton recalled.
"All the press were lapping it up and laughing and taking pictures. I went, 'Oh, that's very kind of you, Floyd', and picked up all this cash. I said, 'how much was the bill?' and they said '$300'. I went, one, two, three, paid it, and said 'cheers, dickhead', and put the rest in my pocket. It must have been about $800. All the press took pictures and laughed their heads off. Floyd didn't like it. For all his mouth, he'll never get one over me, the dickhead."
I mention the story not necessarily because it's show-stoppingly funny (although the man known as the Hitman can tell them like few others), but because New Zealander Joseph Parker also had a meeting in a restaurant with rival Derek Chisora before their last fight seven months ago.
They were both staying in the same Manchester hotel and bumped into each other at breakfast. What followed was a slightly awkward but good-natured meeting captured on video which led to a meal date the next day, also, inevitably, captured on video.
It was a civilised affair which probably didn't reveal a lot but it did confirm that both men are family-oriented. It was content - all grist for the publicity mill which the sport thrives on.
Parker went on to win the fight by split decision. The former heavyweight world champion was knocked down inside the first 10 seconds of the fight, and rallied well but many believed he was lucky to get the decision and, a week on Sunday, the pair are set to do it again in the same arena.
The fight has been described on Twitter as the re-match no one wanted and, maybe it's because it is being held at the end of what has seemed a very long year but it must rate as being one of the most low-key build-ups to a bout Parker has been involved in since his world championship victory against Andy Ruiz Jr in Auckland five years ago.
Parker is still at his training base in Morecambe, the seaside town north of Manchester, and may yet conveniently bump into Chisora and play up to the cameras once the pair are in the same city, but, it's difficult to deny that Parker v Chisora II has a slightly shop-worn feel.
And yet, while it's redundant to say there's plenty at stake for Parker a week on Sunday – there is for every fighter when he or she enters the ring – it is nevertheless an important stepping stone for next year, assuming the Kiwi gets the job done, and, after a full camp under relatively new coach Andy Lee and alongside rising star David Nyika, he presumably will.
Parker's friend Fury, the WBC champion, has already hinted at retirement and, if he did call it quits, a division which saw Oleksandr Usyk claim Anthony Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO world title belts this year, would be thrown back into flux.
A mandatory defence against fellow Englishman Dillian Whyte has been set for Fury, but, apart from big-money fights against Usyk and Joshua, no other opponents hold any interest for him. Wilder has also hinted at retirement.
And it must be remembered that Parker is ranked within the top five of the WBC and IBF organisations and at No3 with the WBO behind only champion Usyk and No2 Joe Joyce.
Parker will be a free agent promoter-wise after this fight and the time may be right for him and his team to roll the dice on a fight with undefeated Englishman Joyce to be the mandatory challenger for Usyk's WBO belt.
A fight against Joyce, a big, powerful and athletic (albeit relatively slow) heavyweight with a granite chin, would be a hugely significant and potentially very lucrative fight for Parker, one, I daresay, which the whole of New Zealand and Samoa would dine out on.