By Jay W.
Can you imagine what it would be like to be a WBA professional boxer? There you are – the prologue to your own Rocky tale.
The fighters of our century, the men and women of this boxing era, challenge you to a match. Possibly it is legend Luis Ortiz, the current 2016 World’s Boxing Association heavyweight champion, hoping to break the spirits of an upcoming amateur in the ring. He stands at 193cm tall and holds a ridiculous 86.36% KO rate, with an alias of “The Real King Kong”.
You accept their proposal, not because you want to, but because you feel you have to. Maybe you’re tight on money, maybe you have a score to settle, or maybe you have a point to prove in the ring. Regardless, you have months of training ahead before the fight of your lifetime.
How does it start? You could attend fighting schools like Delphi Boxing Academy, but like in the movie Creed (the spin-off of Rocky), they might not be so keen on new recruits. They think you’ll wind up dead before you make it to the big leagues. After all, why train a fresh rookie with little to no experience in the ring? You’re just alone with your elements, punching walls and taping up your knuckles.
Your neighborhood is full of street-crime and corruption. City gangs along the side of the sidewalk taunt the ones you love. Drugs, murders, these criminals root up from the sidewalks to terrorize the people you care about. You come home every night to a meal of small ribs and milk, but with a family full of hope and dreams. Even though you have nothing, you feel like you have everything when among them.
So as you lay there in your patched sheets, listening to the distant police sirens, and nearby arguments of your neighbors, you dream of the day when you will show everyone what is means to be a part of a Creed.
Days and months pass, and the ultimate melee is merely moments away. You clashed against punching bags for hours, ran from criminals and became faster than ever, and climbed those symbolic stairs and raised your arms in victory, straight from the Rocky movies.
But, now you are here, walking into the ring with your gloves tied up, clenching your mouth-guard. The crowd keeps chanting the champion’s name, over and over, making you the odd one out. The champion looms over you with their presence, almost mocking your very existence. They might laugh or snort, maybe even scoff; they try to make you feel like you have made a giant mistake.
But instead you feel the adrenaline pump into your veins, your heart pounding louder than it ever has before. This is your moment, the final fight that brings understanding, money to those who need it, and the chance to forge your own legacy. The bell rings.
The match begins with quick and rapid jabs; you feel the powerful whoosh past your ears after every single punch thrown. You try and keep up, countering and staggering back and forth with bullet punches, just like what you trained for. The champion has no intention of slowing down or sparing you, they keep swinging with all their might. Soon your defensive position will give out, and by then the fight will be over. Each of their fists hits harder than the last, and finally you have no energy left. The champion knocks you down to the ring’s hard floor.
Ten. You can’t breathe, and you sweat profusely. Nine. You wince in pain, and feel the shame of losing begin to wash over. Eight. Everything has led up to this, how could it end this way? How could you lose so quickly? Seven. No, no this cannot be the end. Six. Whatever the reason you chose to fight: the money, the fame, the legacy, it doesn’t matter. Five. People are counting on you to win, people you care about. Four. Three. Two. You take a deep breath, filling your bruised lungs. One. The last uppercut straight to your opponent’s jaw towards the sky lands. The lights in the stadium dim. Silence takes over the room for a second. Then the world roars.
Can you imagine?