David Haye is to undergo surgery on Sunday night and it may now be that his long injury record forces him finally to quit the ring.
After a day under assessment from doctors in London of the ruptured Achilles he suffered in his stunning 11th round defeat by Tony Bellew, there may simply be no way back from his latest appointment under the knife.
One of Haye's first thoughts as Bellew celebrated his shock victory at the O2 Arena was to suggest a re-match. All of it could be on his conqueror's terms, Haye said. The financial split and the venue.
But his future may be decided for him after his body once again succumbed to the demands of his brutal business.
A major shoulder injury which forced him to retire in 2012 - before his comeback last year - and a string of withdrawals from big dates earlier in his career have already plagued him. Now, this may signal that he can take no more.
Even if he does recover - and that will take some time - the potential re-match with Bellew is 36-year-old Haye's only option because he has certainly failed to earn his ticket back into the heavyweight division's big time.
Neither Bellew nor his promoter, Eddie Hearn, were instantly averse to the idea of a second meeting.
And if the numbers stack up it could prove tempting despite the fact that the two men embraced and completely abandoned all their pre-fight animosity in the wake of WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew's 11th round stoppage win at the 02 Arena.
In the end, it is always money which talks loudest in boxing (and all other sports, too, mind you before anyone gets sniffy). There may, however, be no public appetite for a repeat collision.
And in the euphoric aftermath of the victory, Hearn seemed more enamoured with the idea of hunting down WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker of New Zealand than handing Haye a second chance against his man.
That will be dictated by what happens when undefeated Parker defends his belt against Manchester's Hughie Fury in Auckland on May 6.
Meanwhile, former WBA heavyweight champion Haye, brought down by injury for the second time in a major contest will have to face the fact that despite his magnificently chiselled torso, his body simply will not carry him through the rigours of his sport any longer.
It was a broken toe which hampered him when he was beaten by Wladimir Klitschko in 2011 and in truth, he didn't get much sympathy about it from the public.
This time around, his bravery in battling on after his ankle went in the sixth round against Bellew will have earned him more credit.
Yet even though he was well ahead on the scorecards before then - I had him four rounds up after losing the first - he still seemed to be struggling to find his range. He looked like a man who had not had a big fight for four years.
Bellew, biding his time, was boxing cleverly to frustrate Haye's desire to land his big bombs. For that, the Liverpudlian deserves much respect for carrying out his strategy so impressively and uncompromisingly.
It still means, though, that Haye must spend much time assessing just how physically capable he might be of carrying on after being forced into retirement by a major shoulder injury for more than three years before his comeback last year.
Beforehand, Hearn had mocked Haye and claimed he had only taken this fight against Bellew for financial reasons. His stated desire to regain the heavyweight crown, Hearn suggested, was a sham.
Certainly, his level of desire will be tested now as he takes stock of his shock defeat. which he took with good grace.
There had been a lot of fuss when Haye flew to Munich five days before the fights, with rumours suggesting he had an Achilles problem and had to see his specialist urgently.
Correctly, he offered no excuses about his physical condition after his defeat. But it may still be the critical factor in deciding what he does next. And that is dependent on the option of a return fight against Bellew being on offer.
Frankly, at this stage, it looks all over for the Hayemaker.