The headgear was gone. Back was the blood, the big shots and the knockouts. It took just one bout in Glasgow for boxing's fundamental transformation as a Commonwealth and Olympic sport to be unveiled in all its throwback glory to its largest audience yet.
Matthew Martin, from Nauru, was swinging for the fences in the opening exchanges, throwing the kind of wild rights that can stop fights but up until now, had been scarce in the amateur ranks, where a premium had been put on accumulation of points rather than power.
His opponent Michael Conlan, a Northern Irish gold medal fancy in the men's 56kg division, stayed clear and dominated most of the three rounds before a deep cut opened up on the top of his head, something rarely seen when fighters wore head protection.
Blood streamed down his face before it was patched up enough for him to close out an easy victory. But with another four fights to go if he wants to win gold, trying to keep the wound closed will be as big a challenge as any opponent.
"It's dangerous. They come up with their heads at all different kinds of angles. My head went straight into his head but I'm not too worried. I loved fighting with the head guard but that's the way it is now," Conlan said, returning to be interviewed after being whisked away by anxious team officials and doctors.
Cuts, as well as the heightened prospect of being rocked to the canvas, are a relatively new proposition for most of the fighters in Glasgow. It was only last year that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) removed the use of protective headgear for elite male amateurs, reversing a safety measure adopted before the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
AIBA also binned the controversial computer punch-count system, which had been in place since 1988 and essentially saw judges decide a bout on the volume of punches landed in specific scoring areas by pressing a button. It has been replaced with the pro-style 10-9 scoring system, with five judges adjudicating at ringside.
All of the moves were made to bring amateur fighting closer into line with the professional ranks, while AIBA believe the removal of headgear makes the sport safer, not more dangerous. The body cites research that shows headgear did nothing to protect against concussion and limited the peripheral vision of combatants.
Glasgow isn't the first tournament under the new rules but it's by far the most high-profile, making this an important litmus test for the sport. Coaches and fighters remain divided over the changes but most seem to have, quite literally in some cases, rolled with the punches.
"I'm alright. He's got very heavy hands. I'd rather fight without headgear but it makes it harder," said dazed St Lucian Ron Bastien just minutes after he was KOed by English welterweight Scott Fitzgerald, who sent him flying across the ring with a thundering left hook.
"You need to move your head much more but I didn't see that one. It came it so fast and heavy. I think you'll see more knockouts."
The change in style was evident. Fighters were putting much more of a premium on power over volume. Bastien was the only official knockout on the card but plenty of wobbly fighters were given standing counts after eating some telling shots.
It certainly felt much more like the 'real thing' but with more action comes the risk of breaching the skin, a nightmare scenario in tournament boxing given the short turnaround times.
"The cuts aren't good, obviously, but in time the boxers will learn to box in a more upright stance and keep their head out of it," said England's boxing team leader John Hallam. "We believe with the head guards, they tended to lean in. Nobody wants to see blood but it happens."
The new rules have hindered some fighters stylistically but helped others like Kiwi Bowyn Morgan, a stout bulldog of a welterweight who put an eight-count on Scotsman Lewis Benson before winning an unpopular but correct split decision.
"It's definitely my style of fighting, in close trying to open them up. But you have to watch out for headbutts, cuts," Morgan said. As for the prospect of blood, which could be highly confronting for some of the very casual fight fans in Glasgow: "I like it, to be honest. I'm not going to argue."
If the goalposts have shifted with changes to the rules and the gear, the final bout of the night showed that the basic premise remained the same. Australian superheavyweight Joseph Goodall would shake off a dusty round against Kiwi Patrick Mailata to box his way out of trouble and into the second round.
"It's just different," Goodall said about the new rules. "You have to change your style a bit more, you can't rush in with your head.
"I've only got four fights but a lot of others have five or six fights, so you really have to be careful abut your defence. You get a cut and it's all over."