It was a long fuse. A slow burn, but Super-Middleweight champion Carl Froch is edging closer to securing consideration in any discussion of British boxing's greatest exponents—such is the quality of his recent opposition.
However, there are few fighters for whom the seemingly trivial removal of ear wax could be more important.
Noble though it is for a fighter to relish a good old-fashioned punch-up, it isn't the conventional route to longevity, nor, in Carl Froch's case, does it maximise his effectiveness despite his doggedness and triumphs in these bruising contests.
There is much of the Nottingham man's career which could, conceivably, have proven far easier had he employed his oft-overlooked Amateur pedigree and impressive reach—from the impressive demolition of Michael Pinnock to his establishment as an elite talent in the Super Six tournament.
During this time, hours of forum typing have proven useless in convincing Froch to raise his low-slung left, or become less eager to place his chin in the way of his opponent's right hand. He has also remained stubborn in resisting any urge to use his jab more frequently.
It wasn't just fans, spectators and keyboard warriors who saw these flaws. It made his victories enthralling, though occasionally messy and often bruising, and it seemed to cause trainer Rob McCracken—a world class Middleweight in his own era—the same infuriation.
Between rounds McCracken was often heard to implore his charge, in his heavy West Midlands accent, to "Box him, Carl! Use your jab more, Carl!"
Froch's reaction would vary from acknowledgement, to barely a flicker of recognition. Intense character, Carl. Fixed on his opponent.
And yet, in his last bout (widely regarded as his finest hour), the penny finally appeared to drop.
He boxed beautifully, in fact. Using movement, reach and combination punching to totally dismantle and demoralise Artur Abraham.
So you see, removing any ear wax from the WBC World Champion's ear canals is of paramount importance.
Because if Rob McCracken's remarkably simple, but insightful, instruction isn't conveyed or imposed on Froch, the Glen Johnson fight could prove to be another of a catalogue of bouts that prove far more demanding than they ever should have.