Monday

Fact or Fiction?

My first fight was against a guy with three pro fights under his belt. They called him a natural puncher, but  limited in speed. He had a 2-1 record, one win was by K.O., in his very first round. His other win was on points and he was knocked out in his last fight.
The concern I heard was, his natural weight was probably ten pounds over mine.

Standing in the ring, listening to the ref's instructions, I saw my friends in the crowd. Some were waving, others were cheering. I shook my head, I had to focus on the fight.

Typical of many junior fighters in the first round he came out swinging. He nearly ran at me -swinging for the fences, to borrow from another sport's metaphors.

I spent the first minute of the round slipping, dodging and blocking. I took one real doozy of a shot, a glancing blow to the head, that had it made full contact, his method would have succeeded and I would have been looking up at him from the floor.

I had a lot of rounds behind me, practising and sparring at the club. If anything, the coach scolded me that I was too laid back, that I didn't charge forward. I always wanted to see what the other guy could do. Where were the openings? And then, I would move in and try to pick him apart. A club fighter sparring with friends was one thing. Nobody was trying to take my head off at the club.

I managed a couple counter punches. A slip, duck, a shot to his gut. Enough to keep him wary and enough to back him off a bit. But not much. Two and a half minutes is a long time when someone is trying to knock you out cold. The bell rang to end the first round.

As I sat in my corner, listening to the coach as he prepped me for round 2, I eyed my opponent. All of his earlier bluster and eye of the tiger was replaced by his sucking wind.

The bell rang, I jumped to my feet. He climbed to his. My opponent came at me, not running this time, but sort of shambling forward. He was eyeing me, looking for an opening, for a knockout punch. My intent was to be uncooperative.

He pawed at me with a weak jab and as I reached up to block he unloaded a wild hay-maker  He missed by a mile. I had had enough though. There was no sense in taking any more chances of a stray punch getting through. I stopped moving in circles around him.

Jab jab. He blocked them both. I faked a punch with my right and followed up with two quick jabs that get through.
I got his attention.
He kept throwing them but his tactic had changed. His frustration showing. I could hear his coach berating him, slow down slow down. 

We exchanged a few. Punch counter punch. He hit me with a shot to the body that got through. I backed up and moved to my right before I moved back in. Just then the bell rang.

When round two ends I am still feeling the sting from that last body shot.
"Keep your hands up", the coach yells at me, "he'll knock you on your ass if you let one through.
Throw some combinations. Don't just jab."

And with that the third and final round started. I knew what I wanted to do. My defence will take care of his offence. I have to take care of him.

I jab jab, duck the counter and unload a body shot that makes him do a hop dance to his left. This time I throw a left right duck upper cut that just grazes his nose.

I am getting through but just not making full contact.

He is throwing some jabs now. A couple crosses. He tries a hook. No combinations, no plan.

I return a Jab-Cross-Hook-Cross.

Jab-Jab-Right uppercut-Left hook. I am getting through. I see his eye swelling. I see targets.

I fake a jab and throw my own hay-maker  Full contact! His face mushes up but he is solid on his feet. Cement-head can really take it. And my arms are starting to feel heavy. Dance back, dance around. Shake it out. I hear the call, 30 seconds.
I see my opponent blink as he tries to revive himself and move in. He throws a wild shot, I step back, step in and I aim a right uppercut to his body. I don't wait for another from him but go directly after him.

Jab-jab - right cross. He stops and then moves forward. He tries to grab me. I slip, right hook. He just wants this to end. Ten second warning. He isn't even moving in. We circle. I jab, he blocks. Jab jab.

Bell rings to end the third round and the bout. We are going to the scorecards for the results.

It's over. I did it. My first fight. At this point I do not care about the judges scorecard. Sitting in the corner. Gloves come off. The adrenaline seems to be ebbing. I don't remember being this tired. Three hours in the gym a day but, after 7 and a half minutes in the ring and I am wiped.

I stood in the middle of the ring facing the crowd. Sweat poured down my back, into my eyes. The ref held my arm at the wrist as he did my opponent. I barely heard the announcer. It was in the background I heard, unanimous decision, in his first fight, winner by decision, Shawn Ohara!

26 comments:

  1. Well done. Congratulations on this winning post.

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    1. Thanks Duf. So, you are saying it's a knockout?

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  2. I've decided that this is fact, even if it wouldn't be. It's just that cool.

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    1. I'll tally up the votes and tell you later.

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  3. Fact of fiction, I don't know, but it was a good read either way. Congrats on the "win".

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    1. "Thanks" Linda, I mean, thanks Linda!
      :)

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  4. I believe you, for some reason. And I'm never arguing with you. Boxers are insanely brave.

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  5. I'm thinking that this is fact or you just really love to study fights.

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  6. Hey Shawn! You write far too well for a boxer. But hey, maybe you got out early? I enjoyed, mind. Indigo

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    1. Unless I was a really good boxer who didn't get hit. . .
      Thanks!

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  7. You landed a knock out with this post! I'm sweating just reading it. Nice job!

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  8. Can I go with "loosely" based on fact? ;-)

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  9. Just thinking they shouldn't have put you against someone with that many pro-fights when you are just starting out.

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  10. "It's over. I did it. My first fight. At this point I do not care about the judges scorecard. Sitting in the corner. Gloves come off. The adrenaline seems to be ebbing. I don't remember being this tired. Three hours in the gym a day but, after 7.5 minutes in the ring and I am wiped."

    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

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  11. My vote is fiction. You write far too coherently to be a boxer, Shawn. ;) Compelling narration.

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    1. I may come across as a punch drunk palooka in real life though.

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  12. I'm quite shocked the Jab-Cross-Hook-Cross didn't knock him out.

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Thoughts?