There was no time to ring The Star Human Resources’ department to get a risk assessment done.
“Get in this ring, Bob Westerdale...NOW” barked trainer Dom Ingle, who is so tough he has muscles in his spit.
If that demand wasn’t persuasive enough, there was the stalking menace of Kell Brook beckoning me on the canvas.
And he wasn’t smiling, either.
We were at Brook’s media work-out at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, where the dignified green baize of snooker is generally preferred to the red of blood sports.
Sheffield’s former world champion, in training for his March 3 fight with Sergey Rabchenko, was mid-way through his warm-up routine for 200 fans and fancied a bit of sport of his own.
Muggins, here, was summoned between the ropes, protected only by my 1980s duffle coat, a deeply unflattering Ingle gym body belt and my own not-inconsiderable personal padding.
“This is the reporter who wrote something bad about me” declared Kell, with a sinister grin. And so battle commenced.
I tried to old-school him with a couple of flicks that would have disturbed the skin of a rice pudding.
I’d got more moves than Jagger. Special K was in trouble.
But then the counter-punch king weighed in with a meaty blow to the expanding Westerdale gut.
I’d like to claim that the spar went on for an hour - but it just felt like that.
I doubt the experience will help Brook prepare for the slightly more pressing appointment with Rabchehnko.
The Sheffielder, though, looks relaxed and content as he moves up to the clearly more suitable bracket of light middleweight.
“I am loving boxing again, am training very hard - I love fighting in the steel city” he said.
Good luck, Kell, and, er, next time pick on somebody your own size...