Mac staggered a little, sweat dropping from his face, his hands felt very hot in his boxing gloves, he could barely see his opponent and it was just his fourth round. The screams and hoots were so loud, mc miller his rather aggressive coach kept screaming words at him “cut loose!” he screamed. Mac knew he could offer better, he knew he could take this guy down before the seventh round. He threw lazy jabs as his opponent evaded all of them swiftly, he tried pushing off with his feet but deep down Mac knew he had to make his movement slow. A champion he had always been, he knew he could box right from when he was just a kid, taking a tooth away from Jason the class bully; his Jewish parents hadn’t helped his boxing career in the least, when he got so deep into underground boxing his father disowned him, the father that had cried tears of joy at his Bar Mitzvah ceremony. He left home with his russack and a picture of his sister Emily in his wallet. Mac went deep into crime, peddling drugs and getting paid in return, in New Jersey the boxing game was synonymous with crime, he knew he had to get into the ring and prices had to be paid. Then Hugo, the Mexican “hooker” brought him into the mix, introduced him to match fixers, they didn’t trust that he could deliver considering his slender arms and rather boyish looks, but they gave him a chance. Few jabs and hooks and his first opponent was spilling blood on the canvas, that got the attention of everyone, few cliques started placing bets on Mac and he always delivered, each victory added to his fast rising credibility. Soon he was out of the streets, got himself a small apartment on some county in Newark, Mac never tangled himself with the ladies, he had seen niggas go six feet for messing up with girls, so he stayed away from them until he met Natalie. She swept him off his feet, his rather blunt arrogance was soon replaced with self demean as he did everything to get Natalie’s attention. It worked perfectly; they started going out soon enough and it was splendid to feel loved, she seemed to improve his game because six months after they got together Stellar Mason, the president of a very popular boxing outfit invited him to come join him, he wanted Mac to go pro. Soon enough Mac was boxing under the spotlight, his fan base grew, he made sure he stayed clean with the people that made him. Stellar and his associates were all street thugs in French suits, but he knew that as long as he gave them their cut he was good. He enjoyed every fight, he didn’t always win but he always left the ring contented.
A year later he was the most sought after boxer, he was already making the headlines of major newspapers, he was making so much money but what gave him the most satisfaction was coming home to Natalie. He knew she had to be his forever, so in the winter of December 1989, on christmas eve he proposed to her, she cried so much that he didn’t get an answer that day, even when she told him yes she still sobbed profusely, they got married the following spring, his marriage gave him a sense of purpose, he took down opponents in the first few rounds, he fought clean without dope, but his techniques were top class, Stellar made so much money from Mac’s fights and match gambling. Mac had a target, he wanted to be the IBF champion that year and he had just one more fight before the title could be his. Few days to the game, Stellar called him into his office, slowly puffing from his cigar; he told Mac that he had to lose the game
“Dimmit, Stellar….. I aint losing no fight” Mac sounded very upset
“Look here boy, it’s a neat one, hit the canvas and 1 million dollars would be wired into your account” Stellar replied
“For six years, I’ve served you without hassles; I need that title, Stel”
“Wish I could help you boy, but the order is from above, you go against them, they goanna get you and hurt you boy” Stellar replied, puffing cigar smoke on Mac’s face
“This is crap! Quite plain crap!” Mac replied as he slammed the door on his way out.
The legendary night
So there he was on the day of the fight, throwing weak jabs, Mc Miller didn’t know it was a lost fight, he kept screaming, David Louino, his opponent kept throwing jabs, hooks, Mac tried slipping away, rotating his body to avoid David’s furious fists. Whenever Mac threw a blow, his eyes always locked with Stellar’s who was grinning mischievously, although Mac made his jabs weak on purpose he still used his techniques to fade away blows and duck, he just wanted to stretch the game a little further. His plan was to get to the sixth round and then let a few of David’s upper-cut blows get to his face, whenever a round was over Miller would scream so hard at him
“You too soft today Mac, we worked so hard for this, send this guy home!” if only he knew!
Mac was quite irritated at the grin David wore on his face, this dude don’t know I can take him down in thirty seconds! Just when Mac thought his game plan was working, David got clean on him, with a straight blow to his face that sent Mac sprawling to the ground; the punch was so hard that the crowd went silent for a while
One..two……three…….four………. the official counted
Mac knew he should stay on the canvas and get this done with, but then he heard a voice, it was Natalie!
“Get up Mac, get up!” she screamed
So he staggered to his feet, just as the bell rang for an end to the round. Natalie got into his corner with him.
“Darling, you look pretty hurt” she said, wiping off some blood from his face with her thumb
“Natie, will you hate me if I lose this fight?” Mac asked
“Never! You’ll always be my champion and junior’s” Natalie replied, she had tears in her eyes now
“Junior?” Mac looked bewildered
“Yes love, I am pregnant, he’s goanna be a champion like his dad too”
“Wow” Mac was sobbing now
They held each other, as they sobbed uncontrollably
Miller came around to let Mac know it was almost time to get back into the ring
“I’m goanna be a father Mill, a father…hahaha!!” Mac swollen face didn’t complement his smile
“Congrats boy, now go make me proud” Miller said
When Mac got to his feet, he walked to David’s corner, smiling seriously
“Sorry man, but I’m gonna be a father soon”
David and his coach looked quite puzzled, they were obviously wondering what was wrong with Mac, and then the bell went off. Both men moved quickly, showing great footwork, they exchanged a few jabs and shared a lot of clinging, and then Mac threw his trademark uppercut, then another and another! David staggered but didn’t fall to the floor, he showed some good skills, he slipped, bobbed, blocked but Mac was too good for him, a series of cross blows sent David to the floor. By now Stellar was fuming and making some calls, Mac didn’t care, he knew there was no way David was getting up again, he ran out of the ring to where Natalie was shedding tears of joy, he lifted her up from the ground as he spun her around, he was crying, obviously overwhelmed at his victory. He almost forgot that he had failed the ‘fixers’ but then he glanced towards Stellar, although there was noise everywhere he could read Stellar’s lips
“You are finished” those were the words Stellar’s lips formed.
Mac pulled away from Natalie, he felt a myriad of fear creep in
“Baby, no matter what happens, just know I love you very much, tell our boy about his father’s achievement”
“What’s going on Mac? You scaring me, wh……….” Natalie looked frightened
“Shhhhhhh……don’t ask dear, I want you to walk calmly, get into your car and drive home, don’t open up for no one baby……I mean no one!”
“You are coming home, right? We goanna sit and have pizza tonight”
“Yeah baby, sure, I’m coming home to you, now go baby go” he watched Natalie walk out, until she got lost in the crowd
The officials pulled him away; they took him to the ring and handed the belt to him, a deflated Mac lifted his belt up amidst the cheers and chants. He walked out with his eyes to the skies; he knew they were definitely going to come for him, he said goodnight to Miller, got into his Ford Escort and drove home as fast as he could. His hands were all sweaty and shaking, the pain from the fight wasn’t helping either, he just wanted to be home with Natalie. He could see his house now, the light in the kitchen was on, Natalie was probably preparing something, he was already thinking of the massage she was going to give him. He let his mind wander, he couldn’t wait to get into the bathtub and sip on some wine, while Natalie would talk and giggle in her naturally sexy way. He turned his car stereo on, Olivia Newton-John’s physical’ song was playing
“I’ve been patient, I’ve been good
Tried to keep my hands on the table
It’s getting hard this holding back”……………
Just then a black sedan wagon pulled up beside him, he looked out of his window, he saw a man he was sure he had met somewhere before. The man had a smirk on his face, and then he saw something else! A nozzle was pointed at him from the backseat; Mac closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The sound of the gun was the last he ever heard, the bullet went through his left eyes, a lot of blood splashed on his leather seat. Then there was silence everywhere, Mac was dead, a block away from his home.
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