The lure of championship fights burns as brightly as ever. But now Steve Lovett has something more to fight for.
Because now the 34-year-old boxer and his wife Alexandra have a baby on the way, and it adds fuel to the fire for Lovett as he sets his sights on clearing out the cruiserweight division.
Lovett (17-3) makes his long-awaited return to the ring when he meets Harjinder Singh (2-13) at Capital Fight Show 18 at the Hellenic Club of Canberra on Friday night.
It is his first bout since moving back to Australia following a five-year stint under the guidance of Ronnie Shields in Houston, and one he desperately craves.
"That's another thing that has made things a lot different in our lives," Lovett said.
"We've got a baby to plan for now, so we've got a lot of things we've had to analyse and decide what we're going to do as far as how we're going to live. All these things happen for a reason, we're both in a good place.
"I've still got the goals there. Now I'm in a new division, I feel like this is a new beginning for me. At the moment, I need a fight to get back in the ring, I'm happy to get back in the ring and test the waters in a new division.
"I still want an Australian title, I still want to move up the rankings and get a world ranking, I want to get a world title. I still have those dreams.
"I have lived a clean and healthy life, and that's what enables me to perform. Because I've lived that lifestyle for so long, it's kept me in boxing for longer.
"My dreams and aspirations are still as strong as ever."
Lovett has returned to the Winnunga Boxing Gym, something of a home away from home when he first entered the professional ranks training in Sydney and again when he was in Houston.
The move home was always in the back of his mind. The only way he could make money in the United States was through boxing, so coming home will help set up a young family.
That's not to say it was easy to walk away. Part of him might even miss lugging bags of groceries home on a pushbike.
"I will always hold dear to my heart the memories I have and the people I met over there. The trips away with some of the best boxers in the world, that was something I'll never forget.
"The lifestyle over there, when I first got over there the only transport I had was a bike. I was slugging away riding on a bike doing grocery shopping.
"I will never forget that. It was a big part of my life and I will always remember it."
As for those goals. At 34, one might think Lovett's window is getting smaller.
But he woke up on weigh-in day feeling better than ever. For no longer does he have to shed about eight kilograms to get under the 79.3 kilogram light heavyweight limit.
Lovett's new beginning at cruiserweight means he has to tip the scales at no more than 90.7 kilograms - reducing the toll on his body and perhaps pushing that window a little further open.
"At the start of the year I was still planning on fighting at light heavyweight, but realistically, I thought to myself, it takes a toll on your body, cutting so much weight," Lovett said.
"Getting older, it gets harder to cut that weight. I had to make a smarter, wiser decision on moving up. I've always been a strong boxer, I know I will keep my strength at cruiserweight.
"I made the decision to make it easier on my body to make the limit and that's another positive. I feel great, it's the best I've ever felt on a weigh-in day."
And so begins the next chapter.
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)
My passion for journalism can be traced back to Mighty Ducks match reports and reading the Sunday paper with my old man. A love of sport turned into a passion for telling stories, breaking news and being a reliable voice.
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