Caleb Truax will touch down at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Wednesday evening, and take his first step on Minnesota soil as a world boxing champion.
The 34-year-old upset the odds with his shock IBF super-middleweight championship win against Briton James DeGale on Saturday.
Speaking to GoMN ahead of his flight home from London, the Osseo native described the moment he waited in the middle of the ring for the judges' scores.
"I was nervous I was going to be robbed after the initial card scored us even (114-144)," he said. "But after the second card, I knew I had it."
The other two judges scored the bout 116-112 in Truax's favor, a fair result in a fight the Minnesotan edged comfortably over his higher-ranked opponent.
But despite DeGale being considered the world's best in his weight division, Truax was confident of an upset going into the bout.
"My team drew up a great game plan, I was in great shape and had good sparring," he said. "I wasn't going to travel that far if I wasn't sure I was prepared to win."
His team comprises members of Lyke's Anoka-Coon Rapids Boxing Gym. In his corner were trainer Tom Halstad, gym director Jim Maurine – who was Truax's "cut man" on the night – and his manager Ron Lyke, who runs the gym.
He prepared for the bout with the help of his strength and conditioning coach Josh Hutton, of Body Evolution Fitness in Maple Grove.
The journey home
When Truax arrives back in Minnesota, he'll be greeted by his girlfriend, Michelle Stocke, who wasn't at the fight – she stayed home with the couple's almost-2-year-old daughter Gia.
They recently moved to their new home in St. Michael, about a 20-minute drive from Osseo, where Truax grew up with his sister Erin, younger brother Seth and mother Leah.
"Everyone is just as ecstatic as I am," he said. "I have a great support system of family and friends and I can't wait to get back to Minnesota to celebrate with them!"
Truax spent a few extra days in London after the fight to enjoy the city along with Halstad, paying visits to Buckingham Palace and Westminster.
That's in between the post-fight festivities, with Truax saying he was able to do "some celebrating" but mostly "a LOT of interviews."
He first got into boxing to fill the competitive void after a college knee injury cut short any hope of a football career.
Now a world champion, he can expect his chosen career to be suddenly more lucrative.
He told GoMN he plans to continue "as long as I can be successful and still love the sport."
For now, he's not looking ahead to his next fight.
"I will enjoy Christmas with my family and find out what my team has in store for my first title defense after the holidays," he said.