Out of shape, out of chances and ready to pack it in: this was the sorry state Dave Allen found himself in almost exactly a year ago.
As he walked to the ring at the O2 Arena last August to face the undefeated Nick Webb, Allen knew it was sink or swim.
And yet, he didn't have the look of a man determined to pull something off, but more of a man who had already succumbed to the gravity of his situation.
The day before he had a fry up for breakfast, three steaks and chips with four cans of Coke for lunch and ate burgers and steaks at an all-you-can-eat buffet for dinner.
And so it came as more of a surprise to Allen than anyone else when that big looping right hand landed and knocked Webb out.
'The best moment of my life,' an emotional Allen said afterwards. It was the turning point he had craved for.
Since then Allen's career has only been on an upward trajectory and now he stands on the cusp of gaining entry into the world heavyweight scene.
The 27-year-old faces the hard-hitting David Price on Saturday in what is the biggest task of his life.
But Allen has given himself a head start by slimming down and toning up. Since his win over Webb, the weight has dropped off at a consistent pace.
He weighed 258lbs for his fight against Webb, in his knockout victory over Lucas Browne last time out he tipped the scales at a leaner 244lbs.
Now he looks even fitter. In the space of a year, Allen has turned his career around and transformed his body.
He has cut out the takeaways, the Cokes - although he did recently confess to having one a day - the cakes and the sweets.
On Friday, Allen's meals were a far-cry from what he ate the day before his fight with Webb, which tells you how far he has come psychologically as well.
Weetabix was on the menu for breakfast and then chicken and rice for lunch. His diet is plain but his discipline has improved ten-fold.
He is making great strides in the gym too working alongside former middleweight world champion Darren Barker.
Allen was renowned for not training properly or not taking his preparation for a fight seriously, but his commitment to his craft has drastically changed.
Now he never misses training and spends Monday to Friday in London working with Barker, who will squeeze in extra sessions with him when he's in Allen's home town of Doncaster.
The hard work is paying off for Allen and on Saturday he can truly cash in on his opportunity by beating David Price at the O2.