Anthony Mundine says he became "pigheaded" winning fight after fight in Australia and admits another loss in his rematch with Garth Wood could spell the end of his boxing career.
There was none of the trademark arrogance, posturing or assurances of victory as Mundine fronted a press conference on Wednesday to confirm he'll fight Woods on April 13 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
Inexperienced Sydneysider Wood caused a major upset with his fifth-round knockout of Mundine in December last year.
A more vulnerable Mundine agreed a second loss to Wood, winner of reality tv series The Contender Australia, might end a career that has yielded three world titles and millions in prizemoney.
"It could be (the end), man," he said, picking at the label on his water bottle.
"Right now I'm only looking at short-term goals. I was looking above and beyond too much in the past.
"I've got to be victorious. I've got one purpose, one goal and that is to win."
Mundine has said he wasn't mentally prepared for his first fight with Wood and when asked if he was ready this time, he replied: "I think I have to be now.
"If the last fight didn't wake me up then nothing will."
The first fight against relative novice Wood was supposed to be a final bout in Australia before Mundine finally fulfilled his long-held promise of heading to the United States.
But the defeat ended all talk of world title fights in America and instead exposed flaws in his approach and game-plan.
"Garth was a lot mentally stronger than what I was. I paid the price," Mundine said.
"I've probably been a bit pigheaded, especially over the last couple of years.
"Even though I saw negatives in some of my performances, still I was winning and getting away with it.
"I didn't really care ... I didn't study films, I didn't study myself, I didn't study tapes, I didn't do none of that.
"Garth made me pay the ultimate price, losing on a big stage."
Mundine said he decided to stage the fight in Brisbane, rather than home city Sydney, to get away from all the distractions in his life and concentrate solely on boxing.
"Some of my best wins have been in Brisbane," he said.
"I've always loved fighting here and it's given me a chance to get out of Sydney to focus myself on what I need to do.
"I'm going to prepare a lot better without any distractions."
While Mundine appeared almost contrite, a calm and ultra-confident Wood can't wait for the re-match as he tries to establish his fledgling career.
"I'm only early in my career and I'm all about reinventing myself each fight," he said.
"Although he might be able to study tapes of me ... every session I'm improving out-of-sight - especially mentally.
"So if that was already a problem for him in the first fight, it's going to be double.
"I would love to beat him twice ... I'm just climbing up the ladder and he stands in front of me at the moment."