Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr exchanged identical pleasantries as their paths crossed at public training day in a shopping mall beside the One World Trade Center.
The Mexican-American challenger stayed on at ringside after his session to watch Britain’s multiple world heavyweight champion workout.
When Joshua spotted him he walked to the ropes and mouthed: ‘Respect.’ Ruiz replied in exact kind. ‘Respect.’
Joshua said: ‘It will be a bit different in the ring Saturday night but I admire him for stepping up to fight.’
Ruiz, he of the infamous rotundity, grinned and said: ‘I can’t until after I’ve won and can get into loads of my favourite Snickers bars.’
A smiling Joshua was cheered to the rafters of Brookfield Place by the crowd of predominantly English onlookers, for several of whom he autographed one dollar bills. Never to be spent.
Joshua looked in peak condition condition and moved around the ring with ease as he trained with coach Rob McCracken.
Ruiz Jr, meanwhile, flexed his biceps for the cameras but appeared to move very slowly as he also sparred with his coach.
Come Saturday, Ruiz Jr will get a true idea as to what it is like to stand face-to-face with Joshua.
Indeed, he backs himself to do well. On Tuesday, he said it was his ‘destiny’ to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion.
Ruiz Jr took the fight with Joshua after original opponent, Jarrell Miller, was suspended.
Despite a limited amount of time to train, Ruiz Jr said: ‘That’s exactly how I feel. My heart, my mind, my soul. It’s destiny.
‘Things happen for a reason, and the reason is for me to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world.
‘(Joshua’s) got all the belts and everybody’s trying to fight him. He’s a big money name. I’m here to conquer what he has.’
Joshua and Ruiz Jr weren’t the only two to get into the gym on Tuesday.
Katie Taylor and Callum Smith also took part in the public workout ahead of their fights against Delfine Persoon and Hassan N’Dam.