Red-faced and veins about to explode out of his neck, Paddy Fitzsimmons could hardly believe he was being ordered out of his own club - and on semi-finals night of the Ulster Senior Championships.
International referee Sadie Duffy had heard enough from the passionate cornerman whose desire to inspire and guide young boxers is undiminished since that night 20 years ago.
At 77, Paddy may have handed over the head coach reins at the Dockers Club to long-time lieutenant Mickey Kelly, along with Michael McAllister, Gerard McGivern and Ray McCrea, but he nevertheless remains the guiding light.
A representative at the Commonwealth Games in 1962 and the Olympics two years later, the former Ulster and Irish senior champion knows the sacrifices it takes to scale the heights of the ring. It's that respect for those in his care that has often seen short and stocky Paddy in the corner, seemingly on the edge of viewing his heart rip through a tight Dockers sweatshirt and onto the canvas.
So it was when one of his most accomplished boxers, Noel Monteith, was bidding to make the final of the lightweight division.
"The guy was sticking his head into Noel so obviously I was getting annoyed and wanting something done about it.
"So, when I got put out of the corner, I couldn't believe it but then I was ordered to leave the club. I wasn't just the coach I was a committee member and there I was getting put out," said Paddy, who also coached at the Newington club for many years.
"The president Pat McCrory wanted me to apologise to the referee, but I wouldn't.
"Anyway, he went over to apologise on my behalf and then told me it wasn't accepted! I told them Noel wouldn't be boxing in the final if I couldn't be in his corner and thankfully they backed down."
Monteith, Pat O'Donnell and Newington boxer Gerry McKenna all enjoyed senior honours, while Paddy points to the natural brilliance of Patrick Mowbray as the most talented boxer who ever stepped through the door of the Dockers.
But for the straight-talking Belfast man, the story of one young lad sums up why he is so passionate about the sport - and his desire for those in government to recognise just what a local boxing club means to the community.
"One night this man arrived at the club, who was from a Loyalist background, with his son Warren and he simply said to me, 'I'm bringing him here because I don't want him to end up like me'. So at the time we had a couple of lads who were wearing Celtic tops as they trained and he had obviously seen that.
"The first night Warren came in he had his jacket zipped up as he was training and it was roasting in the gym.
"I asked him to take it off and I could see he didn't want to and when I convinced him, he had a Rangers top on and was a bit concerned. Right away, I told everyone in the gym if I heard one word aimed at anybody about what they were wearing they would be out the door. Those lads became best mates.
"You can't buy that. All the titles and champions I've had have been great but that's what boxing clubs and sport should be about. Before Covid struck the world I happened to be in Castle Court shopping centre and this man approached me and I hadn't a clue who it was at first. It was Warren and he explained to me how he was now a pastor.
"I'm very thankful that all my boxers would never pass me and the same goes for the other coaches as well.
"They know the effort we put in and they know what the club has given them. Mainly, it is discipline and respect and they take that back to their houses and then they take that into school and their community.
"I've got kids coming from all over to our club. Before the pandemic we had 10 coming from Larne.
"I do fear that many clubs are going to suffer very badly unless the government steps in and helps them financially. There's no money coming in so how can we survive?
"The affiliations fees alone are £600, which is a lot of money for clubs who only charge kids a pound a week. Even then, we know and understand that some parents can't afford it.
"All the clubs are there for those kids and it's not just about boxing - it's about life skills.
"I'm not a guy for Facebook but one of the mothers decided to put the club on it and at the time we needed money for new tracksuits and I couldn't believe it when one night one of my former boxers arrived at the door and handed me a cheque for £500 because he had seen it on Facebook.
"Soon afterwards another lad arrived as well with the same amount. It just shows what the club means to people."
Paddy's boxing sojourn started in the Markets area of Belfast, working with the great Jimmy Clinton before moving to the St Matthews club where he would be guided by another Irish boxing legend, Harry Enright.
The impact the club has had on so many is amazing, it means everything. I just love the sport, it's my life and I'll keep going, helping kids for as long as I can.
Within a couple of years, the talented featherweight was representing Northern Ireland at the Commonwealths in Perth and then donned an Irish vest alongside fellow Ulstermen Jim McCourt and Seanie McCafferty at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.
Paddy said: "I learned everything from Harry Enright. He was an amazing coach. I loved the amateurs - I managed to beat the English, Scottish and Welsh champions and had a win over the European champion but in the Commonwealth Games I lost my first bout even though I hammered the guy.
"I had him on the floor and when I went back to my corner at the end the coach said, 'Well, that's you into the next round' and then they read out the score. It was so bad that the lad who beat me came around to our place in the Games Village to apologise.
"I then went to the Olympics but to be honest I didn't want to go. Less than two months before it I was at the pictures and a message came up on the screen saying I was wanted at the front door.
"It was my uncle to tell me that my father had died suddenly of a heart attack; he was only 48. I was just devastated. I was convinced to go because it's what he would have wanted but I was still grieving, and I lost in the first bout in a fight I should have won.
"I remember Seanie McCafferty and I getting on the underground train just to see where it would go because we'd never seen anything like it and ending up lost. Thankfully we eventually found someone who spoke English and they took us back to the Village.
"I turned pro after that with Barney Eastwood who was very, very good to me.
"He was an absolute gentleman but after four fights it wasn't for me. I remember many years later I had managed to get tickets for Cheltenham, and I was hanging around on my own and he spotted me and off we went for a great chat.
"I asked him for a good tip and he told me, 'Keep your money in your pocket until all the races are over!'"
Fitzsimmons was head coach at the Newington club for some time before a fall-out with the local priest. Paddy added: "The club was over the Chapel and there was a bit of a dispute which essentially led to them telling us to leave and that was it.
"Then Brian McCann spoke to me and asked if I wanted to start a club at the Dockers because he would build us a club which he did. I couldn't believe it, it had a weights section and a sauna.
"We haven't looked back and our link-up with the famous Repton club in London has been great. We've had some very good lads down through the years, but I'd have to say that Patrick Mowbray was the most gifted.
"He won a lot of junior titles, including the UK Boys clubs. I remember Ulster were boxing England in Ballymena and the Repton coach warned me that the lad Mowbray was boxing was very good as he had beaten his son.
"Mowbray stopped him in the first round. But he walked away from the sport in his early 20s which was a real shame."
For now, Paddy, like every other club coach, is having to bide his time until he can see the Dockers buzzing again with the sound of leather on punch bags and the swish of a skipping rope.
"The impact the club has had on so many is amazing, it means everything.
"I just love the sport, it's my life and I'll keep going, helping kids for as long as I can."