Las Vegas heavyweight Raphael Zumbano burst into the boxing space at Limehouse Marina Elite complete with a beaming smile, bouncy barnet and bubbly character.
The Brazilian arrived in the East End fresh from the prestigious Floyd Mayweather Jnr stables for the fitness centre’s first link-up with Mayweather Promotions.
He showed no signs of jetlag from the night before as he headed straight for punch bags and sessions of shadow boxing to prepare for a bout with Great Britain’s Anthony Joshua in Birmingham, on Saturday.
The former Top 10 WBO boxer signals the start of east London’s partnership with Las Vegas.
LME’s director of boxing Mickey Helliet said: “When the Mayweather boxers come to London this is the first place they will come to train - it’s a privilege for us to offer that to them,” he said.
“It has taken ages to put the deal in place and I’ve been out there [to Vegas] back and forth.
“Raphael insisted he came to the UK so he could train and here we have got a world class opportunity.
“He’ll be the first of many boxers and we are getting emails every day from people wanting to be based here.”
Meanwhile for Raphael, visiting the capital had a sentimental link.
He told The Wharf his grandfather, Ralph, fought in London’s 1948 Olympic Games winning two fights.
“It’s a big honour for me to be here,” he said. “It’s just a great moment. The gym’s perfect too, it’s beautiful. It’s different to Vegas - the building itself is - it’s a new style.”
So were there any pre-match nerves before facing the British boxing talent?
“For me, boxing is fixed in the ring,” he said. “So it is just me and Anthony - no-one else or the crowd.”