It was a chance for boxing fans to get up close to their heroes ahead of what promises to be an electric atmosphere at Elland Road this weekend.
Hometown idol Josh Warrington will attempt to take the IBF featherweight world title from Welshman Lee Selby when the pair face off at the home of Leeds United on Saturday, and as the bout drew nearer this evening the pair warmed up in a ring at Trinity Leeds shopping centre in full view of the public.
Selby was first to enter and the defending champion was greeted with a mixture of applause, boos, jeers and chants. A group of onlookers appeared intent on getting a reaction from Selby and the fighter duly obliged. As he performed pummels he flashed them a wide grin and later stuck his tongue out.
Selby was still in the ring when a chant of “Warrington!” broke out and before long his rival arrived to wild applause, whoops and more chanting.
Both boxers seemed relaxed and Warrington in particular was all smiles as he lapped up a warm reception on home turf.
Hundreds of onlookers assembled at the shopping centre and Dan Wharton, marketing manager at Trinity Leeds, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people come and show their support for two great boxers. We wish Josh Warrington all the best in the eagerly anticipated fight on Saturday and who knows, we could be looking at Leeds’s first world champion.”
Going into his first world title challenge, former British and Commonwealth featherweight champion Warrington is unbeaten in 26 fights.
Selby will be defending his IBF title for a fifth time.