Mark Schleibs is "ready to die" every time he laces up a pair of gloves.
It matters little if his eyes are swollen to slits, is his face looks like a painting left out in the rain, slowly losing its edge under the force of a rival's fists.
Fighters saying they are prepared to die in the ring is, for the most part, obvious hyperbole. It is more so a psychological tool to prepare themselves rather than a statement of intent.
But a sport as physically and emotionally demanding as boxing means Schleibs must be prepared to give everything he has, because in his own words "it's not just me I'm fighting for".
His son Oscar will be watching from home in Victoria when Schleibs (12-0) faces Brock Jarvis (17-0) for the IBF Pan Pacific featherweight title at Canberra's Coorong Pavilion on Friday.
- What makes rising star Brock Jarvis tick?
- Alex Cooper on the road to a national crown
- 'Fights like Fenech' Title challenger's praise for Brock Jarvis
- 'Looking for every excuse': Jeff Fenech fuels the fire
- Golden ambition: Justis Huni chasing boxing legends
- 'Pressure makes diamonds': Meet Australian boxing's showman
A world ranking is on the line in a bout beamed into homes and pubs around the country, opening the door for life-changing opportunities.
"It's massive. I've got a little boy at home, he's five years old," Schleibs said.
"These are the opportunities that are going to set my future up, and set his future up. It's not just me I'm fighting for. I plan to leave it all on the ring on December 11.
"When I fight, not to be corny, I'm ready to die every time I fight. That's mainly because of him.
"I don't want to come home and to have let him down. That's extremely motivating for me, to do it for him every time I fight."
Schleibs' trainer Sam Brizzi feels like he has had to hold the 27-year-old back in the final stages of fight camp, which relocated to Fyshwick's Stockade Training Centre for the final fortnight.
Because, put simply, "this is the sort of fight that can change the course of Mark's career and potentially his life".
But just months ago Schleibs feared his boxing career was over.
The unbeaten fighter known as "Magic Man" thought he may never fight again when COVID-19 was seemingly out of control through his home state.
Gyms were closed down and any hopes of fighting in 2020 seemed all but gone.
Opportunity came knocking with Jarvis' promoter Dean Lonergan hunting for his next opponent, and Schleibs had a new lease on a career he thought would be derailed by a lockdown rather than a knock down.
"To be honest it was pretty horrendous," Schleibs said.
"I don't think many Australians realise how hard we did it, especially as Victorians. We persevered through it, we remained positive and I want to bring it home for Victoria, especially after how hard we did it.
"It was extremely difficult but we got through it. Mentally it was very hard. I have to be honest, I didn't think I was ever going to box again.
"I feel like it's a blessing to get this opportunity. I feel like it's because of God I am in this position. Because of his blessings I have been able to get through tough times in life and be fortunate enough to box.
"Going through a pandemic and to finally get an opportunity like this, to have the biggest fight of my life at the end of the year, it's only God's work. That's how I feel."
NATIONAL BOXING SERIES
Friday: National Boxing Series - Brock Jarvis v Mark Schleibs at Coorong Pavilion at EPIC, 6pm.
Featherweight: IBF Pan Pacific featherweight championship - Brock Jarvis (17-0) v Mark Schleibs (12-0)
Lightweight:IBF International lightweight championship, WBO Oriental lightweight title - Jacob Ng (13-0) v Hunter Ioane (8-0-1)
Super welterweight: Alex Cooper (3-0) v Nathan Robson (2-0)
Super featherweight: Ben Dencio (7-3) v Gerry Zapantis (debut)
Super welterweight: Terry Nickolas (debut) v Krishna Mudaliar (7-9-2)
Super middleweight: Alex Hanan (10-0) v Ray Ingram (2-19-2)
Welterweight: Hassan Hamden (1-0) v Uten Chanavon (0-7)