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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5. Why I Fight

 

“Are you okay?” The referee asked me. He was kneeling beside me, concern written all over his face.

I blinked, and I was back in the stadium, face-down and lying flat on the floor of the ring. My chest still hurt from the blows I received during the match. It almost hurt as much as the pain I felt in my chest on the night when Rebecca left me. Almost.

“I’m fine,” I muttered to the referee, and he nodded and stood up again, announcing to the crowd: “He’s not out yet!”

The crowd cheered loudly upon hearing the referee’s proclamation. Their shouts were deafening.

I mentally reminded myself again why I was here, in the semifinals of the boxing competition. I wasn’t lying to Rebecca when I told her that it wasn’t about the money.

No, it was about proving myself. To myself, to my parents, to all the people who told me I was useless and would never amount to anything, and now to Rebecca as well; that I could be good at something, and that no skill, no matter where it was applied, was ever useless.

And that was why I couldn’t give up this tournament, this fight, even when Rebecca gave me her ultimatum, and certainly not now. Not when I had already fought all the way through to the semifinals.

“Don’t give up,” I whispered to myself, and slowly got back on my feet. The crowd cheered with excitement that the match was not over.

Tired and beaten as I was, I had to keep going. If I were to fall now, all that I fought for would be lost, and the people who put me down, and left me; would have been right. I couldn’t give them that satisfaction.

I took a deep breath and raised my hands, signaling to the referee that I was ready. He blew his whistle and stepped away, and I was at it again with the African.

He gave me the courtesy of the first strike again, but I was already tired from the bouts we had and only managed a few feeble hits, which gave him no trouble at all. He returned the favor with vicious and powerful swings.

I fended off the first few strikes, but fatigue eventually got the better of me. My arms started to grow sore from the thrashing of his fists. I couldn’t keep my guard up and the African overwhelmed me.

His punches landed with unerring accuracy all over my body, as painful as being shot with a bullet. But despite all the pain, I held on. I didn’t want this to be the end.

 

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