It is 8pm. Quinton Randall is with his team in the hotel gym for his last workout before his final weight cut. 

The welterweight on Friday fights Gor Yeritsyan in the main event of a card promoted by Tom Loefflers 360 Promotions, at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. 

Though cordial, there was tension. Randall is 33, and coming off a career-worst performance against Brian Norman Jr, when on ESPN+ he lost via unanimous decision. There is no easy way around it – Randall needs to win, and he is being given no favors. 

His opponent is coached by Freddie Roach, one of the finest trainers ever. He is formidable – a pressure fighter – and his confidence is at an all-time high. Randall sporting a Best Dad Everhoodie spoke very little.

I have a chip on my shoulder,” Randall said.

His words came out of his mouth like precise counter-punches. 

His long-time coach, Derek Collinsworth, nodded on as he watched during a shadow-boxing routine.

He is just ready to fight,” Collinsworth said between rounds of holding the mitts. I believe he is going to have a spectacular performance. I can just feel it. I think we are going to nullify everything this dude does.”

Hardship is part of the Randall story at this point. 

He largely taught himself how to box at 18 years old during his three years in incarceration. He studied Bernard Hopkins' tips at the back of The Ring Magazine. He worked on those moves countless times. He knew he wanted to be a boxer. When he got out he made that a reality. 

Then tragedy occurred. 

His daughter died at birth. Three years later his son Quenell was tragically killed in a car accident. He once said that he headed to the gym when he learned about his son.

Despite coming to boxing relatively late, he was a decorated amateur boxer despite starting the sport later in life. As a professional he is attempting to reach the next level – becoming a contender.

“This will be the performance we were looking for [against Norman Jr],” said his cut man Aaron Navarro. “We dont make excuses, but all of us know Q wasnt 100 per cent for that fight. I think he will put on the performance we expected out of him that night.

He knows what kind of fight this is for him. He cant drop two in a row. If he does he is more or less relegated to he is a good gatekeeper-type of guy.”

The stakes are high. 

Yeritsyan, also, is a decorated amateur. He owns a boxing gym in Yerevan, Armenia. He is unbeaten with a record of 17-0 and 14 KOs, and 29 years old.

Yeritsyan was riding a four-fight knockout streak until, in his last fight, he earned a unanimous decision over eight rounds with Luis Alberto Veron in New York. He is aggressive, and Randall is a boxer with only three knockouts. Randall, regardless, has taken the harder road without a major promoter, and fighting unbeaten fighters or fighters with good records during his four years as a professional.

Roach has already said that he believes Yeritsyan will be able to stop Randall. 

But this might be as close as Randall is going to get to a second chance – his chance to prove he isn’t the fighter he looked against Norman.