Dean Lonergan sent Paul Gallen a good luck message before he stepped into the ring to face a former world champion. There's a good chance a phone call now follows.
Because Gallen may have punched his ticket to a showdown with Olympic Games hopeful Justis Huni after shattering Lucas Browne inside one round.
Gallen dropped Browne twice in the opening round before the referee called an end to the contest 1.55 into the first round at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre on Wednesday night.
There were plans for Browne to face Huni, who is promoted by Dean Lonergan, in a battle between the past and the future, a former world title holder against a future contender.
It would be a passing of the torch moment akin to the night Tim Tszyu battered Jeff Horn last year to continue his ascension.
But Gallen, whose contract with No Limit has expired, has derailed those plans and perhaps put himself in the box seat for a showdown with Huni.
Yet he made one thing clear in the aftermath of his win over Browne: Huni's Australian title is far from the top of his priorities. Gallen's next bout comes against "whoever pays the most, simple".
"I've been an athlete for over 20 years, I debuted as a first-grader at 19 years old and I'm now 40 this year. That's 21 years," Gallen said.
"I did what I set out to achieve in rugby league, I won a premiership, played for my country, played Origin. I always loved boxing the whole way along, and my trainers said to me 'you wait and see how good you can be if you just dedicate yourself to boxing'.
"Guys like Huni, they've been doing it since they were six-year-old kids, it's like me as a six-year-old footy player playing first grade. I know I'm an athlete and I can adapt to anything, but I just don't have that ambition [to win titles].
"It's about providing for my family and having interesting fights for the public. That's what I'm here to do."
But he was nothing but a rugby league player looking for a payday, they said. Gallen had heard, and quite frankly, he was sick of it. So he stepped into the ring against a former world champion who offered Gallen his toughest boxing assignment.
That's not to say Gallen had never been tested before - as if 349 NRL games, 32 internationals and 24 State of Origin appearances throughout a period of Queensland dominance hadn't been enough.
Mark Hunt couldn't beat him. Nor could Barry Hall, Junior Paulo or John Hopoate. But six rounds with the heavily tattooed Browne was supposedly a step up.
Though there were questions hanging over Browne. For one, he is now 42. He had fought just once in two years, against Hopoate in the humble surrounds of the St Marys Band Club.
It took Gallen just 67 seconds to expose those very questions, dropping Browne in the corner to lift the crowd to their feet. Before long he repeated the dose.
"I woke up this morning, I didn't say this to anyone but I was saying to myself, 'I'm going to win this in the first round, I'm going to knock him out in the first round'," Gallen said.
"I came here to fight, I came here to win. I knew all day I could beat him in the first round. I still doubted myself in the changeroom beforehand, I was still fearful as I always have been, but I bring it back to the preparation I had and got it done.
"I'm happy to have another fight this year."
AT A GLANCE
Paul Gallen v Lucas Browne at Wollongong Entertainment Centre.
Heavyweight: Paul Gallen [11-0-1] bt Lucas Browne [29-3] via TKO (round one, 1.55)
Super featherweight: Liam Wilson [9-0] bt Francis Chua [8-2-1] via unanimous decision (98-92, 98-92, 97-94)
Welterweight: Steve Spark [12-1] bt Jack Brubaker [16-4-2] via unanimous decision (80-72, 77-74, 77-74)
Super featherweight IBF International and IBO Intercontinental titles: Bruno Tarimo [26-2-2] bt Kye MacKenzie [21-3] via unanimous decision (97-92, 97-92, 96-93)
Welterweight: Lenny Zappavigna [38-4] bt Danny Kennedy [9-3-1] via TKO (round three, 1:13)
Super middleweight: Tyler Sargent Wilson [2-0] bt Steven Rados [3-2] via majority decision (38-38, 39-37, 40-36)
Heavyweight: Jackson Murray [1-0] bt Webster Teaupa [0-1] via TKO (round one)
Super flyweight: Viviana Ruiz Corredor [1-0] bt Bec Moss [0-1] via TKO (round three)