"I have never seen someone, never mind a fighter, in such a state," says Eddie Hearn in the genteel surroundings of a Glasgow restaurant. He casts his mind back to that night last month when Ricky Burns moaned and convulsed in agony after suffering a broken jaw in the second round of his defence of the World Boxing Organization lightweight world championship.
Burns mentions almost casually that the pain was so bad he had to be administered another dose of morphine as he lay stricken, after a punch from Raymundo Beltran forced the 30-year-old from Coatbridge to struggle with both a world-class boxer and a severe injury for more than half an hour of unremitting combat.
"I can remember saying: 'One round at a time'. You were seeing the girl walking round with the card, saying round four, round five . . . It was the longest night of my life. I got through it, though."
He is now prepared to do it all again. Burns, personable and engaging, views the broken jaw as some sort of industrial injury. "I am a fighter," he says. "That is my job. My jaw is going to get hit again."
His first thought in the hospital was whether his career was in jeopardy. Hearn, his promoter, had his doubts. Alex Morrison, his manager had none, convinced the mental strength of Burns would see him climb back through the ropes.
Burns was at the start of a process: "I was saying to myself, 'Am I going to be able to go through that again? Can I go into a fight or start sparring with that in the back of my mind?'"
The answer came. No-one can be surprised that Burns is ready go back into training, possibly next month, with sparring following a month later. Surgeons have been consulted and the break has healed well with the aid of a plate that may be taken out. The jaw will be X-rayed before Burns takes a punch.
"I have some nerve damage to my mouth and lower jaw," says Burns. "It is like going to the dentist and having a jag," he adds of the partial numbness. "The surgeons have said it is 50-50 if feeling comes back."
This does not concern him. He is eager both to test himself in the ring and subsequently redress another element of that fight in the SECC that caused him great discomfort.
"If I take a couple of big shots in sparring then I could put that out of my mind," he says of any lingering doubts about the resilience of his jaw. "When it comes to doing for real, I know it will be okay."
There are questions over the date, venue and opponent for his next fight. Burns and his handlers want to make sure that any damage is fully repaired before the fighter from Coatbridge goes back into the ring.
There have been offers to fight in Madison Square Garden but Hearn says they would have to be of "life-changing" proportions in terms of revenue before his boxer would sacrifice home advantage.
There have also been mutterings of a mandatory defence against Terrence Crawford, the 26-year-old from Nebraska. Burns greets this prospect with a resigned "if it has to be him, so be it." Beltran, though, is his target. There is no thought of revenge for the injury sustained against the Mexican, rather Burns wants to expunge the memories of the fight and its aftermath. He talks softly but in a discernible tone of hurt of the bout that ended with him retaining his title with a draw. One judge gave the fight 115-112 to Burns, another awarded it 115-112 to Beltran and the third scored it 114-114. The result was hugely controversial, with most observers believing Burns had lost.
He had no time for sober reflection, taken immediately to hospital as the adrenalin wore off, left in excruciating pain.
One element of hurt remains. "Beltran deserves a rematch," he says. "I have taken a lot of stick, people saying stuff. But it is not me who judges the fight. I did what I had to do to survive the fight. I was in survival mode, trying to get through it without getting stopped."
It is extraordinary to look back at the contest and see how Burns endured. The groans and whimpers from the Scot were audible to Beltran over the roars of fight night.
Yet Burns hung on. Now he intends to come out punching.
"Muhammad Ali fought through a broken jaw and he came back," he says of The Greatest's first fight against Ken Norton. "I just cannot wait to get back to full training and in the ring. The fight I would like is a rematch with Beltran. I would love to give him that chance, to put that to rest and to show people what the first fight should have been like."
There is pain in a broken jaw but there is an itch and an ache to hurt pride that only victory can salve.