Abe Archibald tears his bicep but can only fight on. His opponent spits the mouthguard out and the crowd favourite gets into range and shoots a right hand in pursuit of a finish.
The tendon snaps.
"I went into shock and just boxed on autopilot," Archibald said, confident he had the resolve to rise above adversity.
There was nothing else to do in his professional debut, so he powered on with one arm to salvage a draw and then faced eight months out of the ring.
A few bouts later, Archibald (1-0-1) is ready to make a statement against Ryan Cotten (2-0-2) in a super welterweight bout at Capital Fight Show 16 at the Hellenic Club of Canberra on Friday.
Torn biceps, broken Olympic Games dreams and controversy will never be enough to keep someone with a steely resolve like this 27-year-old out of boxing's museum of mayhem.
This has been his dream ever since his pop Jeff Archibald told him of the times he sparred with Tommy Burns, one of the sport's greatest drawcards, before he faced Vic Patrick for the Australian welterweight title in 1946.
"Pop worked as a sparring partner for Tommy Burns in the lead up, getting paid a pound a round, which was pretty good money at the time," Archibald said.
"He said Tommy Burns was hard work, he said Tommy Burns hit him everywhere except in the roof of the mouth - and if he had have opened his mouth wide enough, he’d have been hit there as well.
"My grandfather was a successful boxer back when boxing was in its heyday. He used to fight in main events at Sydney Stadium, he had 115 professional fights and made a good living out of it. I’d always listen to his stories and they would encourage me."
Archibald will always remember those stories, much like he will always remember following his father's local rugby league team into a Guyra boxing gym during the off-season to keep them fit.
Too young to fight in NSW, Archibald made the trek north and had his first bout at the age of 11. He immediately fell in love with the sweet science, and his life changed forever.
"I first came to Canberra on a junior boxing scholarship at the AIS in 2008. For the next seven years my whole life was about trying to make the Australian amateur team for the Olympic Games," Archibald said.
"I narrowly missed out on the Rio Olympics, the trials were at the end of 2015. Then I changed my career path and took on a job at the ANU. When I took time away and re-evaluated, I realised I still have a passion and a lust for boxing."
Then came the torn bicep and snapped tendon in his debut, with Archibald battling on to salvage a draw. Almost 12 months later came a devastating knockout win over Bentley Shefford.
Now he is on the search for another win and nothing will curb Archibald's determination to climb up the rankings.
"I'm looking to get a win this week, one fight at a time, but hopefully have a fair few fights this year. Capital Fight Show is going to put on another two shows this year, and I want to fight interstate a few times as well," Archibald said.
"Not being from Canberra, since I came here as a junior, it’s my new adopted home. Everyone supports me, buys tickets to my fights, and I can’t thank the Canberra public enough."
CAPITAL FIGHT SHOW
Friday: Capital Fight Show 16 - Dencio v Priestley at Hellenic Club of Canberra, 7.30pm. Tickets from Ticketbooth or at the door.
CFS 16 card
NSW super featherweight championship - Ben Dencio (7-1) v Tc Priestley (2-3)
Australian featherweight championship - Bianca Elmir (2-0) v Reanne Ware (debut)
Cruiserweight - Aaron Russell (11-6) v Harjinder Singh (2-8)
Middleweight - Beau Hartas (4-1) v Franco Fraser (5-5-2)
Super welterweight - Jorge Kapeen (debut) v Dimitri Iliev (debut)
Heavyweight - Arsene Fokou Fosso (debut) v James Singh (3-1)
Super welterweight - Abe Archibald (1-0-1) v Ryan Cotten (2-0-2)
Super welterweight - Ferdi Bartulovic (1-1-1) v Simoni Mario (3-2)
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