The Champ swallows hard, pushes it all back. This isn’t a time for sad memories of dead daughters, dead wives. He launches a vicious jab at the other guy’s face. This is a time for vicious jabs. He didn’t come all this way to lose.
He lands a solid body blow, feels something break under the weight of his punch. He can only hope it’s a rib. Two to the jaw, a second fierce shot to the stomach. He stumbles back, but the other man oversteps and the Champ sees it. He steps in, sinks the uppercut underneath the man’s jaw and lifts him off the ground.
The ref starts counting.
Each bead of sweat feels like a tear he won’t cry.
For his daughter.
He should’ve slowed down.
He only meant to have one beer.
For his wife.
He should’ve payed attention.
He was so sorry.
He should’ve seen the signs.
He closes his eyes. This is all he has left.
The man remains on the mat. No one stands. He’s The Champ again…