JOEL MCINTYRE vowed he’d take the strength of his late grandfather into his biggest night.
That made for a twee notion and perfect material for the writers as he embarked on his revenge mission against Miles Shinkwin.
The cynics, though, saw it as no more than sentimentality with the additional warning the boxing ring is no place for a fighter distracted by mourning.
The doubters had to revisit that assessment, however, as his old foe from Bushey was sent reeling to canvas in the second with a perfectly-timed right counter on McIntyre’s night of glory.
The Leigh Park man was making good on his vow the loss of his father figure would steel his resolve rather than take his eyes of the English light-heavyweight prize.
And the force of Albert Williams was with him every step of the way.
So the revenge mission was completed in emphatic fashion, as McIntyre avenged his 2014 loss to Shinkwin.
The judges had it by margins of 96-93, 97-93 and 98-93 in a unanimous success, the wider of those certainly generous to the new title holder.
Still, a display of intelligent pressure and often spiteful punching meant there could be few complaints about the outcome from the corner of the former England amateur captain.
And nine days on from burying the man who was his biggest boxing influence, McIntyre had made good on the conversation which led to him telling his grandfather he was the new champion in his final days.
The challenge was for McIntyre to avoid the slow start which proved so costly last time out.
It appeared history was repeating, until the moment the 28-year-old’s waiting game went from a home boxer failing to take the initiative to a hunter setting the perfect trap to snare his prey.
The moment Shinkwin’s senses were scrambled was the pre-cursor to a number of occasions he was evidently hurt to head and body throughout the 10 rounds.
Still, there was plenty of examples of the away boxer showcasing flashy skills to ensure the contest ebbed and flowed and was in the balance throughout.
There was no quibbling at the outcome, however, only requests from Shinkwin and his team for a rubber match in this ongoing rivalry.
That appears to be on the backburner now as McIntyre targets the British title once worn by Pompey’s most famous pro boxing son Tony Oakey – an admiring onlooker on the biggest boxing night in this city since his heyday.
Frank Buglioni, the man hurt recently by the 15-1 man in sparring, now possesses the British strap after dethroning Hosea Burton in Manchester on Saturday.
McIntyre remains convinced his grandfather’s spirit joined him in the ring when Buglioni felt his power.
And Shinkwin may well feel he was dealing with the strength of two men on the dawning of a new era for Portsmouth boxing.