All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Punch drunk by Alex Sinclair

Billy circles to the right, away from Blaine’s money shot.

The big right-hand snaps out like a snake and Billy slips it and it goes over his shoulder.

Billy digs a hook into Blaine’s side, trying to tag the floating rib and bust it.

Blaine winces and drops his hands, only slightly, to cover up.

Billy flicks out a jab. Once, twice, aiming for the nose.

Blaine’s head jerks back and sweat droplets spray off his head.

Billy’s dad always said the jab is as important to a boxer as a paintbrush is to an artist.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Down for the Count by Fred Vogel

Calvin Allen and Leo ‘The Lip’ Grady were superstars in the world of boxing during the seventies. Their three fights against one another are legendary. Allen won the first bout with a TKO in the eighth. A year later, Grady would turn the tables with a fourth round knockout. But it was their rubber match that people still talk about today. It was the lanky, reserved, black man from New Jersey against the stocky, white, Irishman from Queens. The crowd was divided in their loyalties. Back and forth the two boxers went, bobbing and weaving, each landing devastating blows on the other. One would be knocked to the canvas and then the other. The sold-out arena was in a frenzy. It was the closest, most brutal, of their three meetings. Round after round it continued, with neither fighter giving an inch.

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