Issac Hardman turned to his coach Blair Studley moments before the opening bell.
"I could go bigger, this isn't daunting to me," the unbeaten middleweight said.
Little more than two minutes later, the former mixed martial arts prospect had improved to 7-0 in a boxing ring with a devastating knockout victory over Jamie Weetch in front of more than 10,000 fans.
Now Hardman has his sights set on an Australian middleweight championship bout against Tej Pratap Singh (16-4-3) at Brisbane's Fortitude Music Hall on Thursday night, on the undercard of Justis Huni's national heavyweight title defence against Arsene Fosso.
The 24-year-old aptly nicknamed "The Headsplitter" says Singh's camp - namely trainer Gerry Murphy - has tried relentlessly to get under his skin.
"Gerry, he annoyed me to start with and was getting under my skin, but now it's not. It's water off a duck's back now, the closer the fight comes, the easier it is for me," Hardman said.
"He does piss me off, he is a f---head, but it's just him and that's the way he is. He's trying to get under my skin as if it will upset my game plan, but it's not going to happen.
"It started after a fight, he said something negative about me. I blew up. I'd done something good and he was trying to take it away from me, and it really annoyed me.
"I retaliated, which I shouldn't have, because it's just a pit of f---ery on Instagram and Facebook, it just goes back and forth and you can't actually get to them and it makes my blood boil.
"I just forget about it now. He's just a negative, bitter old man who doesn't like the up and comer coming through. He's going to have to live with me smashing his boy and moving onto bigger and better things."
Promoter Dean Lonergan has little doubt Hardman is destined for stardom, much like he was in MMA when the UFC came knocking.
Unbeaten with a 9-0 record, Hardman had three Australian titles to his name and the UFC wanted his signature. Then an anterior cruciate ligament tear gave him time to reassess his future.
That future is in a boxing ring. Now the emerging star who looks the part and knows how to capture attention in the media has a chance to continue his rise.
Because hanging in the balance alongside the ANBF Australian title are the vacant WBO Oriental and IBF Australasian championships, regional belts which can aid his climb up the world rankings.
"I knew this fight was going to happen when I really committed to boxing and I looked at the landscape of the middleweight division," Hardman said.
"Tej is at the top and he has been for a while. He's an awkward fight for nice boxers. He can upset them and make it a bad fight.
"I don't think he's the most avoided fighter in that sense, that people don't want to fight him because of his skills. It's just the style he brings is unorthodox and people are a little bit worried about that.
"I knew I was going to run into him and we said that at the start of the year, I'll finish 2020 with a fight against Tej Singh for the Australian title and I'll be taking it home with me.
"I wouldn't be comfortable leaving the Australian boxing scene and going onto bigger and better titles without the Australian title wrapped around my waist.