Brandon Grach walked away from boxing at 17.
The Novocastrian was a promising junior fighter but gave it up when it was time to turn professional.
For 12 years, boxing was merely a bygone pursuit.
But in 2022, and with his 30s looming, Grach got the itch to give it another go.
Little more than a year later, and having walked away from his job in mining to pursue boxing full-time, the Whitebridge heavyweight gets the chance to fight on a big stage and in front of a home-town crowd.
"I'm pretty pumped," Grach said on Tuesday.
"I've been dreaming of this moment - fighting on a big card and in front of my own home town - for a long time.
"Twelve years out of the ring. I was sitting out near Tamworth driving some big machinery and thought I'm getting pretty big, it's time to hit a bag and get fit.
"My trainer Nathan Swadling, he pushed me to come back and have a fight. Nathan said: 'You've got to fight man, you've still got it'.
"So I thought you know what, I'm going to do it and have a crack.
"I went down to Melbourne at the end of last year with 10 days training under my belt and won an amateur title. I caught the firebug again from there."
After a win in his pro debut in September, 30-year-old Grach now takes on Sydney's Liam Talivaa over six rounds in one of the top under-card fights of the No Limit Boxing event in Newcastle on Wednesday night. Talivaa, 28, is unbeaten in five fights, including two KOs.
A father of two with a third child on the way, Grach said he "surprisingly" picked up where he left off fairly quickly with boxing despite his lengthy break from the sport.
"The blueprint is still there from when I was young. I did it consistently for a good six, seven years. That blueprint is still in the mind, I've just got a bigger frame," he said.
Former rugby league player Brent Walton is also having his second pro fight, taking on Sydney's Dharringarra Trewhella over four rounds at welterweight.
Walton, 28, had a win on debut "out on the bowling green, under a big tent" at Marks Point Sports Club in August, while his opponent, 22, is on debut.
"This is a big bigger," Walton joked. "I'm excited.
"In my home town and having a home crowd, it's seriously what dreams are made of. It's special."
Walton, who played for Glendale Gorillas, Wallsend Tigers and Wests Rosellas, started fighting two years ago as part of a corporate-boxing event. A draftsman by day, he had 11 amateur bouts before going pro.
Meanwhile, Amber Amelia is up against Natasha Kurene in a six-round super-bantamweight bout.
The 26-year-old, who has featured on multiple No Limit Boxing cards, is not only eight years younger than Kurene but gives away a massive amount of height and reach. Amelia is 1.58 metres tall, Kurene is 1.78m.
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