A massive, bloody brawl broke out at ringside here with an hour still to go before Chris Eubank Jnr was due in the ring for a world title defence already prefaced by ugly scenes during fight week.
Eubank was preparing to meet Turkish iron man Avni Yildirim in what was also a quarter final in the new World Series super-middleweight tournament following disgraceful, menacing scenes at their media conference confrontation.
As a preliminary bout was getting underway two rival groups of Turks waded into each other, fists, feet and furniture flying.
Two rival groups of Turks waded into each other, fists, feet and furniture flying
Elements of Eubank’s protection detail, some allegedly drawn from a notorious immigrant gang, were said to be involved as some fifty burly men went to battle for no visible reason.
The violence was extreme, with metal chairs being wielded as weapons or hurled at opponents.
There was little or no intervention from the official security personnel at the Hans-Martin-Schleyer Halle, even though there had been dire warnings of potential trouble in a audience dominated by Turkish supporters of Yildirim.
Blood flowed from numerous head and facial wounds as other spectators, including well-dressed women, struggled to escape from the congested area of the fighting.
The violence was extreme, with metal chairs being wielded as weapons or hurled at opponents
Other combatants were nursing broken hands.
There were suggestions that the trouble had been provoked deliberately to stoke up the hostile atmosphere expected to greet Eubank.
If so, it was extremely realistic.
The Turkish immigrant population of this previously peaceful, wooded city has swollen to 20,000 since Germany opened its borders wide to refugees and the arena is adjacent to the area of hastily constructed, basic accommodation in which many of them are housed.
Blood was spilled during the brawl which comes ahead of Eubank Jnr’s fight on Saturday