Jason Quigley has waited a long time for this.
The Ballybofey man has looked destined for great things ever since winning world championship silver as an amateur in 2013 and turning pro the following year.
Signed by Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions 'El Animal’ – a nickname bestowed by his Mexican gym partners - looked to be on the fast-track to a world title shot as only a quarter of his first 16 victims even went the distance.
A broken hand had slowed his roll a little but it was still a shock when Quigley was stopped by Tureano Johnson in July 2019.
Just over two years, three wins and a new coach in Andy Lee later, the 30-year-old (19-1-0, 14 KOs) can become the only reigning Irish male world champion tonight if he beats Demetrius Andrade for the WBO middleweight strap Lee once held.
It’s a formidable assignment.
Andrade, from Providence, Rhode Island was an amateur world champion (weltweweight) who turned pro after a questionable defeat at the 2008 Olympics and is unbeaten in 30 fights (18 KOs) since.
The American was WBO junior middleweight champion by 25, ending Vanes Martirosyan's 33-bout undefeated run on a split decision - one of only two so far in his career - in 2013.
Stripped of that title for inactivity, he moved up to middleweight, and since claiming the WBO belt at that grade in 2018, has had four successful defences, including a comfortable win over Dubliner Luke Keeler last year.
Clearly, ‘Boo Boo’ is far from the cuddly character his childhood sobriquet suggests.
A hard-hitting southpaw with unpredictable movement who can land a punch from any angle, he starts like a train and has scored many of his knockdowns early on in fights.
Andrade has been so good that he has apparently scared off many big-name rivals. A headline in Thursday's Boston Globe asked 'What more does Providence's Demetrius Andrade need to do to land a high-profile fight?'
He has repeatedly called out Canelo Alvarez, gate-crashing the Mexican’s press conference in May after he had stopped Billy Joe Saunders, a previously scheduled Andrade opponent.
Canelo’s dismissive "You’re a champion but you won that belt with nobody" will have cut deep.
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His last defence, a unanimous decision over Welshman Liam Williams, came after the WBO's No 1 contender Jaime Munguia declined the opportunity to fight for the belt, and a frustrated Andrade subsequently said he wanted either the unbeaten WBC champ Jermall Charlo or IBF kingpin Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin next.
Instead, he faces Quigley, who comes in off the back of an impressive victory over Shane Mosley Jr but whose biggest causes for optimism might be his disgruntled opponent’s overconfidence and his coach’s background knowledge.
Andrade said this week that he plans to make "quick work" of the Irishman and Lee admitted that the odds are "65-35" in the American’s favour. The bookies are even less optimistic.
But Lee knows Andrade well, having sparred with him "countless times", and will also be aware that he often tries to coast through the later rounds.
The Limerick man's own short tenure of this belt began with a surprise, come-from-behind knockout win over Matt Korobov in December 2014.
The fighter originally slated to face Korobov for the title that winter? Demetrius Andrade.
How fitting it would be if Quigley can square the circle in Manchester, New Hampshire tonight.