Friday, September 28, 2012

The Boxer's Quest

"Seven... Eight... Nine... Ten!"

"The referee is giving the signal... Yes! The match is over! After twelve rounds of intense boxing action, we have a winner by knock out!"

"Talk about a clincher, partner, that match went down the wire..."

I've been boxing for five years; or, well, more accurately, I chose to box professionally five years ago. I told my coach back then that I didn't want to pursue a career as an amateur; I do not desire to compete in the Olympics or any such. I desire the limelight, I want to be seen. I want kids tacking my picture up on their walls and adults talking day in and day out about my most recent conquest, or debating how many rounds it would take to beat my next adversary. I want nothing but the glory and adulation of the millions, and cheesy gold medals aren't gonna cut it for me. I want to be the center of attention day after day after monotonous day. Call me greedy, call me conceited, but this is what I have decided on five years ago, and I will do anything to attain this "lofty" aspiration.

"Are you alright?"

"Y-yeah... What happened?"

"It's alright... Take it easy..."

"Did I..."

"Worry about that later... We have to close your cuts..."

It was a big surprise; six months ago was. It was no secret the champion of my weight class was nearing retirement age; the questions people were asking were no longer "if's" but "when's". He had been a great champion, but I couldn't really care less. I've been winning undercards megabuck fight after megabuck fight; pretty soon, my name was becoming a buzzword among analysts and pundits, blabbering about things like "potentials" and "bright futures" like they know what they're saying. Potential my ass, have they seriously been watching my fights? Did they not see how I obliterated Mister No-name number one in my last fight, or how I demolished Mister No-name number two's face the fight before? I deserve more than what they chalk me up for.

Well, true to the old wives's adage, I got what I wished for. Caution had never really been one of my strengths.

"Hey, hey, are you okay?"

"Yeah... I don't exactly remember what happened however. What happened? How did I lose?"

"A helluva knockout punch. It came out of nowhere..."

"Huh... All I remembered was I was beating the daylights out of him, then suddenly, everything went black..."

It was to be his last match before he retired. His promoter gave him the privilege to pick who he wants to be facing in the ring, but it wasn't just his promoter who got the shock of their lives when he announced his choice. Boxing websites went abuzz with the news; some branded him as a playground bully, his "eccentric" decision criticized as a way to end his career with an easy win, others hailed him as a true boxing hero who gives chances to the up and comers of the sport. It was all the same to me; I hated it all. The focus was on him; what about me? This is going to be the biggest match of my entire career, and all they can think about is praising or berating the champion? He picked me for fuck's sake!

I'll show them.

"Can we have a word with your ward?"

"Please let us through!"

"Hey, hey! What can you say about the match? The judges said that, had you not been knocked out, you were gonna be the winner via unanimous TKO!"

"Please... Please... Leave him be for now... Can't you see he's still recovering? He will answer your questions later, please wait for the official press conference..."

Training was all I had ever known. Training to become stronger. Training to become better. I had decided on the sport ever since I could put on a pair of comically over-sized gloves. The sisters in the orphanage had a hoot watching me brandish the heavy bright red gloves then topple over due to the weight. Teachers would either smile with beaming indifference or frown with concern whenever I shared my ambition in class. They clearly did not understand. When I was old enough to leave the orphanage, I found my home in a local boxing gym. The owner and head coach was kind enough to take me in; he taught me all I know about boxing and had become a father of sorts to me.

Still, he could never replace what I never had.

The press conference was about to begin. Me and my competitor was patched up as nicely as the doctors could. The questions would begin pouring soon, I better ready myself.

I had seen him on television before, the rare times my coach had successfully goaded me into watching. He said it was something I should see, I might learn something from watching him. He certainly looked different when I first saw  him in person -- he much more intimidating; I guess that's why he was champion, but I did not let that get in to my head. As he took the seat next to mine, however, he had a very different look. I couldn't really tell, but pretty soon, we were bombarded with the blinding flashes of cameras and the chaos of interviewers and news reporters squeezing and shoving to get their scoop, so I didn't bother much about it.

It was then that the unexpected happened.

"You probably didn't know. You wouldn't have any reason to..." he begun.


"I'm sorry..."

Sorry for what? Why was he hugging me? Is he crying?

I couldn't say anything.

"It's been twenty two years... Look at what you've become... You've certainly grown..."

Why am I crying too?

"When I realized it was you... I had to... I called you out immediately. I had to see for myself it was true, if you were really who I thought you were... And I was right! I couldn't fight you properly... I was thinking... Hit me... Punch me... I deserve it... I deserve every bit of your anger and rage. But the way you fought, the way you stood; it had me going for a second. For a second, all my regret, all my grief, it all went away, and for the first time ever, I felt something I had been denied all these years..."

Five years ago, I made a conscious decision to fight professionally. Back then, I craved the limelight, I craved attention. I wanted my picture to be tacked onto the walls of kid's bedrooms and my name to be the talk of everyone, chatting endlessly about my recent conquests, or debating how many rounds it would take for me to beat my next adversary. I wanted the glory and adulation of the millions; cheesy Olympic gold medals weren't going to give me that! It might sound greedy or conceited; but I will bet you my life I would do anything, fight through everything, just to attain this "lofty" aspiration.

That was what I thought. But I knew. I had always known. I was craving for something, I was. And today, I got what I have always truly wanted.

"I'm sorry. I don't deserve to be called your father, but I think I deserve to be proud of my son."


"Good job son. I'm proud of you. I really am."


  1. Oh wow. *u* I really liked this, grammar mistakes aside. I got confused with the narrative though. I thought the son lost against his father in the first part. o_O

    1. It could've went either way. For me, I like to think the father won, but it was a tough fight, decided by a knockout punch out of nowhere. Also, saan yung mga grammar mistakes so I can correct them? XD

  2. I got a little confused. XD I think transition was a little off.

    I like how you write though. Very off character with my perception of you

    1. I like to imagine myself in the shoes of another person, then work from there XD I guess it kinda helps that I don't really like my life all that much, so I let it all out on my stories XD



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