Joseph Parker got the knockout win over Shawndell Winters in Frisco, Texas, which will grace highlights reels until the end of his career but his was a sombre dressing room afterwards as he reflected on what he could have done better; including avoiding a left hook which gave him a cut near his right eye.
Amidst a genial crowd at the Dallas Cowboys indoor arena, many of them Latinos in for the main event of Jessie Vargas v Mikey Garcia, and some of them wearing traditional Stetson hats, Parker shook his head once referee Rogerio Solis waved the fight off after Winters got to his feet on the count of eight with just over 20 seconds remaining of the fifth round.
Parker, who had knocked him down with a powerful right hand with 12 seconds remaining in the third before becoming embroiled in a brawl in the fourth, staggered the American with a beautifully timed one-two and then finished him with a devastating four-punch combination which nearly sent him through the ropes in a neutral corner.
• Boxing updates: TKO victory! Joseph Parker beats Shawndell Winters in heavyweight fight
• Boxing: Legendary figure Jacob 'Stitch' Duran back in Joseph Parker's corner
• Boxing: Battler Shawndell Winters confident of upset victory against Joseph Parker
• Boxing: Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder? Boxing legends make their predictions
The small cut in the fourth round, which had to be attended to by new corner man Jacob "Stitch" Duran, was surrounded by a bruise and swelling and it was referred to with regret by Parker as he stood in his small dressing room afterwards. Parker's team thought it was caused by a head clash but replays showed it came from a glancing left hook. It is not likely to cause issues in the future.
"I got sucked into going too close which is why I got the cut on the eye," Parker said. "I could feel the blood streaming down so I knew it was a cut and I knew the corner would look it over. He [Duran] did some work on it."
Barry said of the twist of employing the legendary Duran for this fight, Parker's first in eight months: "We haven't had a cut in years and we got one today and I just thought 'oh my God'."
Parker, taller and 15kg heavier than Winters, established his jab early but went away from it too often. He did, however, look powerful and landed a lot of hurtful punches to Winters' head and body, a timely reminder to the rest of the heavyweight division that he has stopping power.
His landed punches could be heard around the 12,000-seat arena but it was his faults that he was more concerned about. The ability of the tough and ambitious Winters to get through his defences in the fourth round will probably worry Barry the most.
Parker, told to keep his left hand up to guard against the overhand right, a punch he is susceptable to, added: "It's always nice to get someone out of there in good fashion. We did that today. It took a few rounds but we eventually got there.
"[I rated performance at] maybe 60 or 50 per cent because I know I can box better than that. If I did box at range I could have caught him earlier.
"When you practice something in sparring and in camp and you don't display it, then you're not showing everyone how good you are. I know I can do way better than that."
Parker's win, his 27th as a professional (and 21st knockout), sets him up for a fight against a better class of opponent such as Dereck Chisora, Dillian Whyte or Alexander Povetkin as he attempts to put himself back in the world title mix. Parker wants to fight again in May or June. It's now up to promoter Eddie Hearn, who congratulated him in the ring, to organise it.
He will travel home to Auckland tomorrow to be with his partner and their four daughters quietly satisfied but eager to get back to work. He sees this as no more than just a start.
Patrick McKendry travelled to Dallas with assistance from Duco Events