John Davison was 25 years old and going nowhere. Supporting his wife and daughter in a tough suburb of Newcastle with no job, he spent his days trying to make ends meet when he was spotted sparring in an old boxing gym by a club coach.
John was persuaded to take up amateur boxing despite his age and lack of experience.
His life would never be the same again. Davison soon became a champion amateur boxer, reaching the ABA finals in a matter of months and becoming an established international star.
His all action attacking style of boxing as well as his sledge-hammer right hook made him a truly feared opponent and saw him captain his country on eight occasions.
But the dream turned sour when politics denied Davison his rightful place in the Great Britain squad for the 1988 Olympic Games, and he retired from the sport.
Davison's fame had not, however, gone unnoticed in his hometown, not least by the underworld figure Viv Graham and local professional boxing manager Tommy Conroy - together they convinced Davison to come out of retirement and join the professional ranks. Davison went on to win the WBC International Featherweight title in only his eleventh bout and successful defended it twice.
He established himself as one of the top featherweight boxers in the world.
In 1992, he captured the British Featherweight Title, enduring a shattered jaw in the process.
This victory offered him the chance that he had long been denied - the right to be called Champion of the World.
He was scheduled to fight the Colombian Ruben 'The Hurricane' Palacio for the WBO Featherweight Title in 1993 but was to follow, was to destroy the careers of both men and shake the world of boxing to its very foundations...