A bead of sweat falls from Jorge Kapeen's forehead as he throws combinations inside a gym tucked behind a community church and a skate park.
"The Koori Zombie" is edging closer towards the second bout of his professional boxing career, and the stakes could rarely be higher for someone whose career remains in its infancy.
But the pressure matters little for Kapeen (1-0) as he prepares to challenge Dillon Bargero (5-9) for the ANBF NSW welterweight championship at the Hellenic Club of Canberra on Friday night.
Because he has tasted life outside boxing having walked away two years ago. It left him with a gap in his soul, one the 30-year-old can fill should he claim the title at Capital Fight Show 18.
"I've been boxing more than half my life. It's hard to say why I quit, I don't really know. I was just going through the motions, and I wasn't giving it my everything," Kapeen said.
"I wasn't giving it what I should have been giving it, I wasn't training as hard as I should have been. I just thought 'if I'm not going to be competitive, then what's the point?'
"I blew out in weight, I just wasn't myself and I just wasn't happy. I had that void, I had something missing."
Kapeen fights at 66.68 kilograms - he had ballooned to 92 kilograms as he wandered around aimlessly seeking an answer. It came from his wife Julie, and it had been staring him in the face the entire time.
"You need to get back in the gym."
Then boxer-turned-coach Dennis Arthur turned up at the Canberra PCYC with an ultimatum.
"He sat me down and said 'if we're going to do this, let's do it right, you're not getting any younger, let's give it a shot and I'll give you a chance'," Kapeen said.
"The decision was made by my coach and I to turn professional at the start of the year. I had all those feelings of excitement about a new chapter in the book.
"I quit boxing for a while, so coming back and starting a new journey was really exciting."
Everything was on track with Kapeen eyeing a professional debut this past April. He felt fit, he felt fresh, the fire had been reignited.
Months of preparation had gone into honing his craft ahead of a battle with Dimitri Iliev. He woke up on fight day with butterflies in his stomach, relishing the prospect of realising a dream.
Then he got the call. He's not showing up.
"That was a roller coaster," Kapeen said.
"I found out on the night he wasn't showing up. I didn't really know how to respond but I knew one thing.
"I knew I could throw my toys out of the pram and blame the world, or I could keep focused and get straight back to it and wait for the next one. That's what we did.
"There was no fault from anyone except the opponent who didn't show up, so there was no ill-feeling or anything. It was more disbelief and a let down that the hard work that had gone into it and I couldn't fight.
"It is what it is, it's a part of boxing. I wasn't going to let it discourage me from anything."
Kapeen had thrown his toys out of the pram before and it landed him in the depths of despair. So he responded the only way he could - with a decision victory over John McLaughlan in his professional debut five months later.
Which brings him to this week, and a state title fight in his hometown against the son of six-time Australian champion Marc Bargero.
Kapeen admits he still has to pinch himself - for not so long ago he sat in the crowd at the Hellenic Club thinking "how good would it be to have a big fight in my hometown?" Now he is at the top of the card.
"It's a crazy world we're in. I don't even know how to say it," Kapeen said.
"From going there watching and not fighting, and watching other Canberrans doing so well, then coming back to fighting and headlining for a NSW state title in my second fight is amazing.
"It's really reflective of if you make good choices and put in the work, it shows, it comes to good fortune."
CAPITAL FIGHT SHOW
Friday: Capital Fight Show 18 at the Hellenic Club of Canberra. Doors open at 6.30pm, first fight at 7pm. Tickets from Ticketbooth.
CFS 18 FIGHT CARD
ANBF NSW welterweight championship - Dillon Bargero (5-9) v Jorge Kapeen (1-0)
Heavyweight - Arsene Fosso (2-0) v Jacob Snowden (6-0)
Super welterweight - Abe Archibald (3-0-1) v Ray Ingram (2-16-2)
Super welterweight - Alex Cooper (1-0) v Ryan Cotten (3-4-2)
Cruiserweight - Steve Lovett (17-3) v Harjinder Singh (2-13)
Super featherweight - Dylan Hadley (1-0) v Noa Vananalagi (1-2-1)