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Joe Goodall's beaten-up Mazda, the rear bumper bar barely hanging on, was parked permanently outside the front door of former trainer Glenn Rushton's home gym.
The heavyweight talent was living with Rushton in the Brisbane's south as he completed an impressive amateur career, culminating in a bronze at the 2017 world championships that broke a 26-year Australian medal drought.
At the same time good friend and stablemate Jeff Horn was shocking the world, his upset win over Manny Pacquiao coming just a few months earlier at a packed Suncorp Stadium.
Five years on and Goodall's expected rise to similar heights hasn't gone as planned.
Injuries and personnel changes have left him with a solid but uncompelling 7-0-1 record that had him contemplating a career out of the ring.
Instead it's been former sparring partner Justis Huni who has assumed the title of next big heavyweight thing in Australia.
The 23-year-old (5-0-0) has endured his own setbacks to keep him out of action for almost a year, having also won amateur world title bronze in 2019.
The pair's winding paths will finally merge on Wednesday at Nissan Arena in Brisbane in a career-defining fight, the victor to move into the top-15 rankings in three of the sport's four sanctioning bodies and conceivably within a few more wins of a world title shot.
Goodall, who has rejuvenated his career during a 12-month Las Vegas stint under Kevin Barry, jokes victory would mean a serious upgrade from the Mazda but that he doesn't begrudge Huni's high-profile status.
"You earn everything you get in the ring," he said.
"He's carried his hype and momentum, but I've had a different journey.
"My momentum stopped when I turned pro with injuries and team issues to sort out.
"Everyone's journey is different."
The fight is touted as the best heavyweight tussle on Australia shores since Jack Johnson beat Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney in 1908 to become the first Black American heavyweight world champion.
Barry said the billing is what Goodall deserves.
"There's a lot of fighters that never get the opportunity to be their best," he said.
"Their careers just dwindle away and they never reach their true potential and (Goodall) went into limbo, thinking about finding a job.
"(Financial backer) Steve Scanlan saw the potential and said 'you're a fighter and you have plenty more in you'.
"At 29 he's coming into his peak ... it's the most powerful he's ever been.
"We're coming down to ruin the party. I'm going to be your (Huni's camp's) biggest nightmare."