The story of English boxer Curtis Woodhouse confronting a Twitter "troll" on Monday night was bizarre yet strangely thrilling.
Exasperated by months of online abuse from a Sheffield-based moron called James O'Brien, Woodhouse tracked down his tormentor's home address and drove 50 miles to confront him.
O'Brien initially tried to laugh off the threat ("What you gonna do, knock me out like your last opponent?" he mocked) but soon adopted a more conciliatory tone when it became clear that Woodhouse really was coming to pay him a visit.
"Chill out pal," he whined. "I was only doing it so you would bite back; it was only a bit of harmless fun."
Then, and you can really sense the colour draining from his face in this one: "I am sorry it's getting a bit out of hand. I am in the wrong. I accept that."
The pair did not meet that night as O'Brien sensibly kept a low profile, but the joy of this story was never about Woodhouse knocking him out. Indeed, actual physical violence would have rather soured the moment.
Instead the beauty of this modern fable lies in the rapidity with which O'Brien's bravado crumbled once he was stripped of the Internet troll's only armour: distance and anonymity.
Without those defences in place, his only weapon - verbal cruelty - is immediately null and void, and in this case, quite ludicrous.
But while we are laughing at O'Brien's downfall, a quick word of warning.
It is worth remembering that most sports fans are "trolls" to some extent.
Who among us has not joined in a chant mocking an opposition player for carrying a few extra pounds?
Who has not joined that gleeful hooting when the enemy striker squanders a goal-scoring chance by hoofing it over the crossbar?
Who has not let loose with a volley of choice words relating to a player's lack of skill, speed, or guile?
Even one of your own players. In fact, especially one of your own players.
True, none of these offences are as bad as the sending of personal and vindictive comments to someone's Twitter account, but the principle is not a million miles away.
As the cruel Internet troll lurks in the anonymity of cyberspace, the raucous fan enjoys the anonymity of the crowd, both saying things they would not dream of repeating face-to-face.
Man to man, we would not dare to call Wayne Rooney fat (he isn't) or Fernando Torres useless (he really isn't) or Cristiano Ronaldo a "diving cheat" (isn't the weather nice for this time of year), but as part of the mob, anything goes.
Our excuse for such behaviour would, of course, be identical to O'Brien's: Chill out, pal! It's just a bit of fun. We're only winding you up!
We expect players to grin and bear this abuse due to a mixture of sporting tradition and deference to the fans who pay their fantastic wages.
There is an unspoken agreement which prevents professional athletes from answering their critics with a very basic truth: no matter how bad you say I am, I'm still a lot better than you.
Woodhouse effectively broke this conspiracy of silence with the merest suggestion of his superior physical strength.
It was a thrilling moment not simply because a bully was vanquished but because a sportsman dared to say what so many of them must have thought.
Like an actor who "breaks the fourth wall", that theatrical term for the imaginary boundary between the audience and the fictional work they are watching, Woodhouse's crazy troll-hunt was a fleeting and tantalising glimpse of the truth.
Follow us @SprtNationalUAE