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The Fight This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The old boxing ring in the Bronx. The air reeked of cheap cigars and the smoke was so thick that it was difficult to see at times. I walked to the ring in my robe with the title "Kid Killer" written in bright yellow satin letters. That was when I saw him.

He was huge, with rippling muscles and a bulging gut. He was easily six feet tall, maybe even six and a half. His face had a jovial expression which was ironic because he was

probably a crippler. As I stared, he looked at me, the smile growing even bigger on his face; it seemed to mock me.

I did not want to fight him. He would probably pound every ounce of life out of my body. I wanted to leave, maybe hide somewhere. The fight could be canceled, but then, as I looked out at the crowd I realized I would have to prove myself as a man. After all, that's what boxing is: a man's sport. I could not live knowing that I had fled from another man in fear, again. I would have to fight this beast until one of us fell, and I prayed to God it would not be me.

I quickly put in my mouth guard and took a squirt of water. The bell rang and I started to dance around the ring. But he did not want to dance, he wanted to fight. He lunged at me and crushed my nose with a sharp jab-hook combination. I put my guard up and he let loose a series of blows to the ribs. I was already in intense pain. Every ounce of me just wanted to fall on the ground, but I couldn't. I tried to jab, but he took advantage of the second I put my arm back to deliver an uppercut to my chin. I heard my teeth grind and crush themselves. He then landed a series of punches to my nose and cheeks. Blood was dripping in my eyes and I could not see.

I only had enough energy for one more punch. I put all my waning strength into it and managed to hit him around the head. I could not see because everything was turning a shade of dark red. Something strange happened; there was a thud on the mat. I wiped the blood from my left eye and glanced to see what happened. The ref said "Ten" and I realized I had won. But that relief did not last long for he did not get up. His trainer came and checked him. He was not breathing. I had killed him; I had crushed his throat.

I left the ring in disgrace, not glory. I looked down at my hands which had conspired to the murder and at my robe, the satin letters had spoken more truth than I ever imagined. I looked back one more time at the huge body which now looked so helpless and I realized this was not manhood. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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