To act the part of a boxing champion, you have to be almost as fit as one.
But a knockout theatre performance isn't just a hop, skip and a jump away, you have to listen to others and repeat your lines at the same time.
So for Michael Mohammed Ahmed playing the part of boxer Billy "The Kid" Dib in the play I'm Your Man has been as challenging as it has been rewarding.
"It gets really hard. A lot of theatre I've done is not as tough as this," he said.
"It's a one-hour show where you don't stop moving, training and boxing for that entire hour. It's harder than going to the gym and doing a workout and I'm doing lines during the whole thing."
Mr Ahmed, who runs the western Sydney literacy program Sweatshop, is looking forward to returning to his home turf again to perform at Riverside Theatres in the final stop on the three-month national tour of the play.
Directed and created by Roslyn Oades, the play was part of last year's Sydney Festival and has since been performed at cities including Perth, Hobart, Melbourne, Darwin and Brisbane.
It is unique in that the actors wear ear pieces and speak their lines directly from original, edited recordings of some of the country's most notable boxers.
The audience follows Billy Dib, a 27-year-old Lebanese boxer who lives in Greenacre as he prepares for a world title fight and meets boxing legends and contenders along the way.
Mr Ahmed said he thought young men of Lebanese background in western Sydney would feel a connection with Billy Dib.
"I think he identifies very strongly with young men who have been identified as being part of some sort of 'problem group' in western Sydney," said Mr Ahmed, who is completing a doctorate in creative arts at the University of Western Sydney and will have his first book published at the end of the year.
I'm Your Man , at Riverside Theatres at:
■ 7.30pm, Friday, September 20
■ 2.15pm and 7.30pm, Saturday, September 21
■ 7.30pm, Saturday, September 21.