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The ringside is packed with curious, lusty onlookers
Jeering and booze-fascinated by the pain determination and endurance

Sweat-drenched and hurting beyond the threshold of tolerance
Pride forces him to continue his exhausted haunted fight

The bell sounds the end of another round. He withdraws
To regroup and draw deeply on a waning inner strength
His corner is empty, his supporters are few and their faces grim.
The bell…

Resolve. Reluctantly he gets up to face another round
His opponent steps up smartly and closes in
A solid blow shudders through his body, striking to the core
His gloved hand drops to his side
He gives up any pretence of a fight
But the killer instinct of his opponent rages unabated
A left,
A right.
An uppercut jab…
The punches find their mark with a solid thud
Of leather gloves on sweaty bloody weakened flesh

It is not just his body – it is the whole of him that hurts
It is more than just a physical defeat by a forceful opponent
He stumbles, tries to hold on to the ropes
But his legs will no longer hold him
He falls and lies still. Counted out.

Excitedly his opponent prances around the ring
He has won, but at what cost?

The room is deserted and deathly quiet
Except for the lone figure in the ring
Hell-bent and shadow boxing his own demons

- Shaz


Probably pre-2000.

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