Underdog

This story was written for Pensitivity 101’s Three Things Challenge #342

Today’s threes Prompt’s are: Challenge, New, Upset


Underdog

Irvine (Crowbar) Crothers stood before the punchbag in his dressing room. He lay into it with left and right jabs and a heavy uppercut. He was moments away from his latest in-ring challenge.

Crothers was no champion – at least not yet. He was a battler though and wouldn’t stop until he had gold one day.

A knock at the door drew him away from the punch bag. “Come in.”

“There you are, Crowbar. Now, don’t get upset but I’m afraid we have a problem. Keegan’s ducked your challenge. He’s claiming he’s got a knee injury,” said fight organiser Scott Feld coming in.

“Well, I’m warmed up. Can I fight someone else?” Crothers asked. “I’ll go down to the ring and call someone out if I have to.”

“You up for a challenge?” Scott looked at his clipboard.

Crothers nodded.

“Good. You have a new opponent.”

“Who?” Crothers clapped his gloves together.

“The Pitbull.”

Patrick ‘The Pitbull’ Lynch was an Irish arse-kicking machine. The current world champion and undefeated for three years and twelve matches since winning the title.

Crothers stared across the ring at the rippling, man-mountain. His pale skin and flame-red hair, matching his shorts only added to his imposing stature.

“Well, lad. Beat him and you’re the champion,” said Oscar adjusting his flat cap. He was Crothers trainer and cornerman.

Crother’s eyed the gleaming gold belt in the champions enormous hand. “It’d be nice, but would mind having an ambulance on standby?”

“Ha! Always the optimist!” Oscar squirted a little water over his head and then the bell rang.

Crothers sucked in a deep breath and pounded his blue gloves together; mentally pumping himself up for the new challenge. He approached the centre circle on the referee’s instructions.

“Ready to die!” Pitbull threatened through his mouthguard.  

Crothers said nothing as the two touched gloves in a show of respect. Something the cheering crowd appreciated.

Pitbull took one step backwards, heard the opening bell and hurled a haymaker.

Crothers ducked beneath it, feinted away and scored a jab to the stomach.

“That’s it, lad! In and out nice and fast!” yelled Oscar over the excited fans.

Crothers kept limber as he danced about avoiding vicious punches.

Pitbull’s fists kept pounding in a never-ending flurry.

Crothers felt one burst through his gloves and slam into his jaw. He snapped back in a spray of sweat, bounced off the ropes and rolled beneath a murderous right hook.

“Nearly!” jeered Pitbull.

Crothers regained his feet under the referee’s count —he was good to go.

So was Pitbull; aiming to knock his teeth out.

Crothers Jinked left, nailed him in the nose and retreated as the bell rang.  

“You survived round one, lad.” Oscar looked pleased as he and his team administered the spit bucket, water and care to their man.

“Barely.” Crothers heard the bell and rose again.

“Time to go to sleep,” Pitbull said.

The crowd began to roar for the fight to continue.

Crothers said nothing as he took another battering of punches to his gloves and arms. Going low, he drove his fist into the big Irishman’s stomach. It was like punching a statue of Hercules.

“Crowbar -Ha! They should call you, Cotton-bud.” Pitbull smiled and swung in the same breath.

Crothers blocked his uppercut and cracked his jaw. Instantly he felt the pain searing through his skull.

The Irishman had hit him with a straight punch in the nose.

Crothers hit the canvas with darkness clouding his vision. He shook off the blow and staggered to his feet with blood oozing from his nose.

The referee counted him in and checked him. A wave of his hand had the match continue.

Pitbull on his prey again in seconds.

Crothers covered-up but took punches to the eyebrow, cheek, and jaw before he could getaway.  

The crowd cheers and groaned as the onslaught continued.

“Come on, Crowbar, you’re not a punchbag. Hit him!” Oscar rallied.

Crothers felt blood oozing hot from his eyebrow and nose. He tasted the iron and tried to steady himself through the haze of noise, blurred vision and pain.

“Defend yourself or I’ll stop the match,” warned the referee.

Pitbull lunged again.

Crothers spun away and breathed a sigh of relief at the bell ringing.

“Two rounds down. Ten to go.” Oscar said as Pete the cut-man went to work stemming Crothers bleeding nose and eyebrow.

“Yeah forget the ambulance – get me a hearse!” Crothers swore as he felt the Vaseline going onto his wound.

“You want silk or cotton in your coffin?” Pete asked.

“Shut-up, you fool!” Oscar looked Crothers in the eyes. “You still got this. That punch in the stomach hurt him last…” the bell rang. “… round. Go get him!”

Crothers pulled himself up by the ropes and walked straight into another haymaker which bounced him off the ropes.

“Hallo, Cotton-bud. Still fighting, are you?” Pitbull jeered.

Crothers was bleeding again but remained silent as he began dancing for all he was worth. Avoiding every blow, he landed jabs and punches to the big Irishman’s stomach. He’d leap away, weave in and land another blow and then dodge away again.

Pitbull looked furious as he tried to take Crothers head off. His rage was his mistake. He threw a miss-timed haymaker and lost his balance

Crothers felt the fist zing passed his ear as he unleashed a meteoric haymaker.

Pitbull groaned in pain and clinched onto his opponent.

Crothers wanted to say something witty but this was where his nickname ‘Crowbar’ came from. In the bearhug, he swung for the fences, hitting kidneys, stomach and, as the referee forced the break, he crowbarred himself free and landed another rocket of an uppercut.

Pitbull snapped off the ropes looking dizzy.

Crothers felt like he’d lost a fight with a hedge-trimmer. He bounced aside and blasted the champion in the ear.

Pitbull was out of juice and losing claret as he stumbled about.

Crothers landed two more blows and watched him tumble to the canvas.

The Referee was on him in a heartbeat, “One … Two … Three …”

Crothers went to his corner in disbelief at knocking the world champion down.

“Seven … Eight …”

“You don it, Lad!” Oscar was bursting with pride.

“Nine … Ten! Ring the bell!” Yelled the referee as the crowd went berserk around the ringside.

“What an absolute upset!” roared a nearby TV reporter.

Oscar punched the air so ecstatically he fell off the apron.

Crothers dropped to his knees as his father arrived in the ring and hugged him along with Pete and a sheepish looking Oscar.

The ring announcer was soon on the microphone.

“What a fantastic boxing match ladies and gentleman! Your winner and Neeew Heavyweight champion of the wooorrlld! IRVINE ‘Crowbar’ CROTHERS!”

The End


Thanks for reading my friends. As always there are more stories to be enjoyed (I hope) in the Short Stories and Short Stories 2 tabs. There’s also poetry here in Poetry Corner

Have a great day!

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