SAKIO Bika is a former world champion, has a documentary - Le Champion - depicting his incredible life and has won admiration from boxing royalty Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jnr and Oscar De La Hoya.
And, he lives and trains in Newcastle.
After three years of frustration - failed fights, broken promises, opponents running scared and COVID-19 restrictions - Sakio will relaunch his career against Australasian super middleweight champion Adam Stowe at East Cessnock Bowling Club on February 26.
It is a long way from the glitz and glamour of big time boxing in the US - a place where Bika forged a reputation as a power puncher.
Bika's quest for a third world title is well and truly alive.
Right now, he needs time in the ring.
"After this fight I will go back to England or the US or Dubai," Bika told the Newcastle Herald. "It has been very hard to get a fight because of COVID and restrictions on travel.
"I am 100 per cent ready. I am always training. I never stopped training. People have been too scared to fight me because it is like going to war."
Physically, Bika is in ironman shape. There is not an ounce of excess on his 183cm frame. His piston left jab could break boulders.
Mentally, at 41, he remains as driven as ever.
"I still want to get to the top," Bika said. "Winning the WBC world championship, winning The Contender [reality TV series], winning the IBO belt ... I still feel like I can improve.
"The hunger is still there. I would not be getting up at five in the morning to go running if I didn't have the hunger.
"If you came to see me train, you would see the picture. I don't like to talk myself up. I don't like to bullshit. People who know me say he is always hard, always looking fit, always at the top of his game."
Bika, wife Belinda, who is from Newcastle, and children Zidane, 14, Jordan, 12, and Zali, 7, have called Eleebana home for the past four years.
He splits training between the Lake Macquarie PCYC, where he has also been "helping the next generation of boxers" and a gym in Kogarah.
Bika's last fight was a win by unanimous decision over Geard Ajetovic at Crown Casino in Sydney October 2017.
With Australian boxers reluctant to step up, the former Cameroon Olympian has been at the whim of US promoters.
Twice he has travelled to the US, gone though a six-week training camp, for the fight to be cancelled.
In Newcastle, Bika has developed a friendship with Rob Atherton, a former first-grade rugby league front-rower. Their kids play in the same Valentine soccer team and the dads started training together.
"His is an unbelievable story," Atherton said. "The bloke is so humble and that has been part of the problem. He is not brash, he doesn't sell himself. He hasn't had anyone pushing him. I got involved because I was sick of the procrastination and politics.
"He kept getting fights cancelled. I said lets get a fight in the Hunter.
"He is one of Australia's best boxers, and he lives in our backyard.
"His name is not as big in Australia because Danny Green and Anthony Mundane wouldn't fight him. He goes to America and Britain and gets swamped.
"He is on quest for a third world title. After this bout, he will line up bigger fights overseas. It will probably be the last time we get to watch him in Australia."
Bika, the third eldest in a family of 10, represented Cameroon at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He migrated to Australia, turned professional and quickly rose through the ranks to become super middleweight champion.
After losing a title fight to Joe Calzaghe in 2006, Bika rose to fame a year later when he won the third series of hit US reality TV show, The Contender.
He pocketed $750,000 for the win and became hot property with promoters.
In 2013, he beat Mexican Marco Antonio Poriban by a majority points decision to claim the then vacant WBC super middleweight title.
His journey from poverty in Doula to the bright lights of world boxing has been portrayed in a 2019 award-winning documentary 'Le Champion', which includes appraisals from some of the all-time greats of boxing.
"Sakio doesn't run, he doesn't move side to side, he will fight you head on. One punch can end it all with Sakio Bika," Oscar De La Hoya said.
Sugar Ray Leonard described Bika as a "fighter with heart and determination."
Bika hopes there may yet be another chapter to his story.
But first he must overcome Stowe in Cessnock.
In 10 fights, Stowe has six wins and two draws.
"It will be a tough fight," Bika said. "With my name, people always train hard before they fight me. I have to respect my opponent.
"I will tend to my business and of course win the fight. I want to win every round. Can I stop this guy? I don't know. Can I win this fight? Yes I will win it."
As for who is next on Bika's hit list?
"It depends who is available, who wants to fight me, who wants to test themselves."
Limited tickets and tables are available for the Stowe fight. Contact Rob Atherton 0412 673 663.