Carl Frampton appeared like a Formula One driver whose sat nav had dropped him off at the local demolition derby. There was a job to be done but it just seemed he was vastly over-qualified in a quiet setting - thanks to Covid-19 - that was a world away from the usual hotbed of emotion he savours.
Stuck in third gear for the better part of the six-and-a-half round rounds against Scotland's Darren Traynor in London's York Hall, the two-weight world champion increased the revs when required and brought about the inevitable with full throttle body blows. Traynor was in agony from a left hook at the end of the sixth that forced him to the canvas and, a minute into the seventh, he waved to the referee in surrender after a carbon copy assault.
"With no fans there, the sound of that first body echoed around the arena - it was vicious," said Frampton's manager Jamie Conlan.
Those two flashes of brilliance were enough to see off former British title challenger Traynor, who was stopped at the SSE Arena by newly-crowned British lightweight champion James Tennyson three years ago.
"All roads now lead to Jamel Herring and Carl's chance to become a three-weight world champion," insisted Conlan and that was music to the Jackal's ears.
Herring immediately took to social media to congratulate 33-year-old Frampton and now the American must keep his side of the bargain with victory over Jonathan Oquendo at Las Vegas' MGM Grand on September 5.
Victory for Herring will set up his date with Frampton in November - with Conlan expected to be in the chief supporting bout.
Frampton said: "I know I need to be a lot better to beat Herring but I'm happy to get the win and get the rounds under my belt. Everyone seems to want the fight with Herring so I don't see why it won't happen.
"To have the chance to make Irish boxing history by becoming the first man to win titles at three different weights would be very special. I have a lot of respect for Jamel and he has shown the same to me, there won't be any need for any trash talk for this fight.
"I know that he is mentally very strong and I'm mentally very strong so it has to be a great fight and I can't wait.
"It was good to come through this fight with no problems, my hands are great. The biggest thing was not being complacent and I maybe was a little but I did what I had to. The body shots obviously did the damage."
As for the absence of his usual vociferous support, the 33-year-old added: "It was strange, a bit surreal but once you're in there with another guy throwing punches at you, it didn't matter."
The 10-rounder had been made at lightweight as Traynor was a late replacement, though had been in training for a month in case he got the call to face the Jackal, who took a couple of rounds to find his rhythm.
Traynor did his best to make life awkward for the Belfast man as he backed off looking to keep distance between him and the former world champion's heavy right hand.
The tactic fell down once Frampton found the range with his potent jab.
Using his feet to find angles of attack, Frampton speared Traynor with his well-timed left lead and, by the sixth round, the Scot truly realised he was in too deep, wincing from body blows and then came the stunning finish 60 seconds into the seventh.
Frampton had ticked over with plenty left in the tank and will now look ahead to plotting the downfall of champion Herring.
The chequered flag salute in Vegas will demand much more from the Northern Ireland hero.