The Veteran

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 5th Dec 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3bd2912s/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Sequel to the Hot Prospect, this tells the tale of a wily old veteran boxer proving that there is no substitute for experience,desire and determination.

"Heart and mind overcome all" - Dan Henderson

The fight game has never been easy and no one knows it more than I do. At one point, I was on the verge of contender ship. I’d be a couple of fights away from becoming the mandatory but I’d always falter at the last hurdle.

I was good enough to hang, but not good enough to win.

But with the years advancing, even that was now in question. I’d just gone 1-5 and whispers were beginning to turn into rumblings.

He’s washed up
He’s an old geezer in a young man’s sport
The commission should revoke his license


No matter how different they worded it, all of them said the same thing:

He’s done

I’ve been in the boxing industry for close to twenty years and this is the respect I’m showed? This is how I’ll be remembered?

As a meme?

It angered me that so many thought of my career in that vein. That my career was viewed as a punchline to a joke.

I can’t allow that.

The Lord must’ve heard my frustrations because before I knew it, some young hotshot's management team approached me for a fight.

The great thing about boxing is that while it can be as unforgiving as it can be forgiving and every so often, some young stud comes through with all the hype in the world and to their mistake, they believe it. I've been chewed up and spat out by the sport. While we may be in two different places, we will be but two men come fight night.

He might be in his prime but I want, no - NEED this more than he will ever know.

Perhaps they saw it as a cherry-pick.
I saw it as redemption.

The young hyped star began his promotion tour, running his mouth about how "he's gonna put me down" and the media loved every minute of it. I chose to keep quiet.

My performance will speak for me.

I trained as hard as I could. I worked myself to the bone and worked my bones to dust. This was probably my only opportunity to prove to the world that I’m not yet a corpse.
Whenever I felt tired, I kept thinking of my opponent’s words and that served as the fuel to drive me forward.

Come fight night, we’ll see if I am indeed as good as done.

FIGHT NIGHT

The atmosphere is electric; everyone is pumped up to see two things, the main title fight and my fight with the “next big thing” in boxing. In a weird way, we are both thinking of this as our coming out party:

For him, it’s his debut to the spotlight and for me, it’s my comeback.

I hear the announcer name my fight next and as I walk out, I am met…with complete apathy. Nobody came to see me; they came to see the wonder kid. The fact that I was welcomed with indifference cut into me.

My opponent comes out and the place bursts in excitement. He’s wearing a grin that could rival one of a Cheshire cat and he’s walking down with the swagger to match.

The referee calls us to the center to explain the rules and he’s still got that cocky, smug smirk on his face.

God, if any else, please let me knock that stupid smile off his face…

THE FIGHT

Boxing can be a funny thing.

One minute you could be on top of the world then get knocked down. At other points, you could be down and out and then gain the opportunity to work your way back up.

Sure, this kid might’ve been bigger, faster; stronger and in his prime but he seemingly lacked one thing – the champion spirit.

At the beginning of the fight, he had all the swagger in the world but as soon as he saw I wasn’t as easy a fight as he initially thought I was, he became frustrated which in turn, made him desperate.

What shocked me more was the crowd had now switched to my side, cheering the underdog on. The crowds switch must’ve gotten to him because he became more unnerved at the situation and because of that, he did the worst thing he could’ve done at that point.

He became sloppy.

Hoping to land a clean hit, the kid threw everything and the kitchen sink at me but I was ready to deal with him. Wave after wave, I could see his confidence diminish with each missed hit and at the end of it all, he was panting like dog on a hot day. His arms fell to his sides out of exhaustion and the look in his eyes told me everything I needed to know.

He gassed.

My plan to drag him into deep waters worked and he was now ripe for the picking.

Like a predator closing in on its prey, I systematically cut off the ring and moved in for the kill. I planned to pick him apart but the kid must’ve seen it coming because he decided to go out guns blazing and throw a huge right hook.

Too slow…

Time to show this kid that timing and accuracy beats power.

I dodge his hammer and throw a precise counter left.

He crumples to the floor and the moment his limp body hits the canvass, the crowd explodes.

1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9…

HE’S DONE IT!!!
UNBELIEVABLE!!!
WHAT A TURN OF EVENTS!!!


The crowd gives me a standing ovation and the moment brings me to tears.
Not because I proved them wrong or that I beat my opponent.
No, I cried because I proved to myself that I still got it.

The reporters rush the ring in the hopes of getting my thoughts on what the future holds for me.

My words:
Don’t call it a comeback; I never left!

Tags

Boxing, Short Stories, Short Story

Meet the author

author avatar Memba Ben
Just want to thank you folks for taking the time to read my articles!

If you have the time, check my photos out on Instagram: ben_bold_ysp

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