Wade Ryan and David Syphers are so intertwined that mentioning one of them is invariably followed by mentioning the other.
It's a relationship that began when Ryan walked into the PCYC in Gunnedah as a young boy and started boxing training under Syphers.
"I was quite a cheeky little fella growing up," Ryan said, "and he sort of snapped that out of me over the years."
Syphers was with Ryan when he made his ring debut as a 15-year-old amateur, and has remained by his side since then - including in 25 professional bouts.
Syphers will again be with the 30-year-old southpaw when he attempts to rebound from two successive losses and the longest break of his professional career by triumphing in one of the biggest fights of his ring journey.
If he beats undefeated Cessnock fighter Troy O'Meley (11-0-0) at Cessnock on December 5, he will capture his first national title - the Australian super welterweight belt - after two unsuccessful title shots including in his last fight (he lost a unanimous decision to Sydney's Daniel Lewis for the vacant super welterweight belt in July last year.)
A win over O'Meley would also result in him capturing the vacant International Boxing Organisation international super welterweight belt.
But a loss to the reigning Australian super welterweight champion would be the 10th of his career, against 16 wins, and the goal of winning a world title would become even more difficult.
Ryan, of course, is not contemplating defeat: the COVID-enforced layoff had revitalised him, he said.
Nor has he ever contemplated leaving Syphers.
"We've had a good yarn over the years," he said, "and we're very dedicated to each other.
"And his style of training sort of matches my style of fighting, as such.
"To be honest, the amount of time and the amount of effort he puts into me, money can't buy that ... I'd never be able to repay him. You know what I mean?"
The "loyalty" and "friendship" they shared, he continued, was "second to none".
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