The Heart of A Fighter

Just a character study of a professional fighter and the reasons why he fights so hard for himself in the ring.

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6. "Throw In The Towel"

 

But experience will tell you that determination alone doesn’t win a match. Strength does. And my opponent had strength in abundance.

While I was still trying to recover and fight back, the African hit me with a powerful slug across my face. I was knocked backwards, into a corner of the ring.

My opponent saw this and seized his chance, cornering me and throwing jab after jab at me. I was too weak to resist anymore, but I remained standing, taking blow after agonizing blow.

Even the crowd had grown silent, mortified at the brutal pounding going on before their eyes.

My opponent mercilessly battered away at me, without so much as batting an eyelid.

After some time – I don’t know how long; it felt like an eternity – I finally succumbed to the agony. My knees buckled beneath me and I felt to my knees, still refusing to admit defeat.

For the first time, my opponent spoke. “Just throw in the towel.”

I slowly looked up at him. “No.”

“I don’t want to do this,” he stated. “Don’t make this any harder.”

Rules were rules. Matches could not be concluded until one of the combatants gave up, or was knocked out.

“I...won’t…surrender.” I managed to cough out.

My opponent sighed with resignation. The crowd kept their eyes fixed on the both of us. For the first time in the entire tournament, the stadium was deathly quiet.

My opponent broke the silence. “I’ve never met someone as stubborn as you. There’s no point continuing. But…have it your way.”

He raised his fist and punched me in the face with all the strength he could muster. This was the final blow. I felt a couple of teeth come loose and my mouth filled with the copper taste of blood.

I collapsed on the floor of the ring, blood dripping from my nose and mouth. This time, the crowd didn’t cheer for my opponent. They were stunned speechless from the bloody display before their eyes.

The referee rushed over to examine me. I was too broken, too beaten to even move. I just remained lying on the floor. The referee blew his whistle, perhaps a little relived that he could finally declare that the match was over, and did just so. Following that, he rushed off to fetch medical personnel for me.

 

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