One of New Zealand's brightest medal hopes, David Nyika, gets his Olympic campaign underway on Tuesday.
But Tokyo was a Games that almost never came for the 25-year-old and it wasn't just because of COVID-19.
The two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist says he fell into a spiral last year, and struggled to find the passion to continue in the ring, until a certain former world champion stepped in.
A year ago, just being at the Tokyo Games seemed a world away.
"The excitement has been dwindling, and part of the reason why this build up has been so hard is - how do you stay excited for something you don’t know is gonna happen?" Nyika tells Newshub.
When the 2020 games were postponed, Nyika fell into a rut, and out of love with the sport he’d given his all for the past 10 years.
"I've been battling just to try and make the best of a bad situation," he admits.
Despite claiming back-to-back Commonwealth Games gold medals, Nyika lost the drive to continue striving towards a spot at the Olympics.
He tried to keep training during lockdown, but the 25-year-old struggled with the lack of genuine competition, going without a fight for over a year.
"I've had to find other avenues to get me excited and the professional boxing," he says.
"Working with Joe [Parker] and [trainer] Kevin [Barry], that was exactly what I needed."
Nyika joined Joseph Parker’s camp for his fight with Junior Fa.
A spot on the undercard and a professional debut, and suddenly Nyika has rekindled his love for the sport, as well as his drive to fight for a place at Tokyo.
"I needed those nerves. I needed to go through the motions of getting in the ring, and I know there's really bright days around the corner."
Nyika's hoping the dark days end with an Olympic medal.
Watch the full story above
Join us at 3:51pm, Tuesday for live updates of David Nyika's opening heavyweight bout against Youness Baalla.