Abe Archibald sat inside a pub with a T-bone steak on the plate in front of him.
"It was a bit bizarre, a bit bittersweet," the unbeaten boxer said.
But Archibald isn't talking about the steak. He's talking about what was on the television screen in front of him. A live boxing event broadcast around the country from EPIC's Coorong Pavilion.
The NSW welterweight champion [5-0-1] should have been in the ring, not watching on from a pub.
But he was forced to wait his turn when his opponent withdrew injured. More than four months later, that time has come with Archibald set for his long-awaited return against Michael Hall [7-1] on Friday night.
"It was a bit surreal, sitting there thinking 'that could have been me, it could have been everyone sitting at the pub watching me'," Archibald said.
"It's big. I'm very proud to have the opportunity. Obviously I missed out last time which was a bit disheartening but I've got another opportunity here. It just brings another element of excitement.
"You grow up watching Daniel Geale and Rob Medley fighting on TV, and now I'm one of those guys fighting on TV.
"My last fight was 12 months ago, it was a big fight against Jorge [Kapeen], then it was an uncertain time. We had a big build-up to the last show, unfortunately I didn't get on TV but for this one, I feel like it's a big relief to actually get another opportunity."
One man Archibald did watch that night was his training partner Ben Dencio, whose brutal stoppage set him on course for an Australian title rematch with TC Priestley.
Priestley stopped Dencio to claim the national crown in an epic battle two years ago, and now the Canberran is hellbent on redemption.
Dencio admits he has watched that fight back almost weekly this year, determined to avenge his defeat and finally get his hands on the Australian title.
There are nerves, no doubt. But "if you're not nervous, you don't care, right?"
"The 30-second walk to the ring, that's the hardest part. That's the most unsettling part," Dencio said.
"As soon as the first punch is thrown, you forget about anything you were thinking of for the past 10 weeks.
"You get in there, you do it, you think 'this bloke is trying to take my head off', so you don't let him take it off.
"I want the Aussie strap. I wanted one as an ameteur, I want one now. It would feel good to get my hands on it. I want to be able to be seen for the fighter I am on telly."
NATIONAL BOXING SERIES
Friday, April 23: National Boxing Series Volume Seven - Brock Jarvis v Nort Beauchamp at EPIC's Coorong Pavilion, 6pm.
IBF Pan Pacific and WBO Global featherweight titles: Brock Jarvis [18-0] v Nort Beauchamp [18-3]
WBO Oriental, IBF Australasian, ANBF Australian middleweight titles: Issac Hardman [8-0] v Mark Lucas [10-2]
ANBF Australian super featherweight title: Ben Dencio [8-3] v TC Priestley [3-4]
Heavyweight: Arsene Fosso [3-1] v Jamie Porter [10-6]
Super welterweight: Abe Archibald [5-0-1] v Michael Hall [7-1]
Welterweight: Jorge Kapeen [2-1] v Ryan Cotten [5-6-2]