Michael Conlan is left at a crossroads, after his brutal knockout loss to Luis Alberto Lopez in Belfast on Saturday night.
With Conlan chasing the IBF world featherweight title on Saturday night, Lopez routinely dispatched of the Belfast fighter, knocking out Conlan in the fifth round.
Conlan, now 31, will now face a tough recovery before returning to the ring - and former world champion Carl Frampton thinks it will be a long road back for his fellow Northern Irishman.
Michael Conlan: Frampton questions where Irish boxer can go next
Saturday's defeat in Belfast will have been especially difficult for Michael Conlan, after a similar TKO defeat to Leigh Wood in Nottingham last March, when Conlan was gunning for the WBA featherweight title.
Conlan has already stated that he will take some time away from boxing to "decide what the next steps are."
Speaking on his YouTube channel this week, another Belfast fighter Carl Frampton shared his concerns about the road back for Olympic medallist Conlan.
Frampton praised Conlan as the "most skilled" Irish fighter he had ever seen, and shared his hope that we would see Conlan back in a title fight again.
Nonetheless, Frampton also said he feared that fights would be increasingly hard to come by for Conlan after two tough defeats in two years, and worried that that would stunt his hopes of returning to the ring:
Mick Conlan - where does he go after this?
It's a difficult one. For me, Mick is probably the most skilled fighter that Ireland has ever seen. I mean that.
That's no consolation to him, he'll be disappointed that he's lost a fight. He's had two cracks at a world title now - he lost very unluckily to Leigh Wood [in March 2022] right at the death, but this fight he was taken apart.
He's not getting any younger now. I think one of the issues going forward for Mick will be that he is a difficult fight for people, but he's lost twice. He's had two world title attempts and he's lost twice. A champion may look at Mick Conlan and go, 'why do I need to take that fight?'
He doesn't really bring loads to the table, because of the defeats now. It's a hard, hard fight. It's going to be difficult for him.
He needs to get a couple of wins again, maybe, before he's back in line to fight. He may have to get in to a mandatory position because he's the most skilled fighter in Ireland, and who wants to fight him if you're going to have a difficult fight?
What I will say - and, again, no consolation - there have been much lesser world champions than Mick Conlan. I do think he can come back, but it's not going to be easy.