Corner Man Boxing Story

OK, the name. Bumps Murphy. No, my mama didn't name me Bumps. I got that after my pro days. I fought a little over three years. My last fight, I got a wicked cut over my right eye. Something got into the coagulant, and it didn't heal right. It's not exactly scar tissue, but it's all bumpy. So that's how I got the name. I've had a couple guys tell me I oughta get plastic surgery. That ain't me.

Anyway, after that, I learned how to work a corner, got pretty good at it, too. I landed a steady job with Lou Phelps, helped him guide a couple of hot amateurs into the pro ranks. That's how I met Rusty. Kid joined the gym, signed on to fight, and started tearing his way through the amateurs, literally mowing down the competition. Lou started prepping him for the pros, pulled in some hot shots to scout him out. I worked the last twenty or so of Rusty's amateur fights, including the four fights with Arch Dobbs. When he left without turning pro, he had more than enough heat to open a gym. The wannabes all wanted to know how he got so much power, how he could knock almost anybody out. Once he started lining up his stable, he asked me to come and work corners for him. Lou wanted to retire, so I signed on with Rusty.

Not even a year later, Arch Dobbs opens his gym, and I see the writing on the wall. Club matches, gym against gym, only a matter of time. The first one comes along, and we win it. All night long, though, this guy name of Phil Martin is working the corner for Arch's boys. Doesn't watch the fight, though. Watches me. I watch him, too. He wears his "wife beaters" tight enough for me to see every muscle ripple. He even flexed a little, but he didn't make no show of it. Am I interested? Hey, I'm over 40, but everything still works, right?

After the match, I offer to buy a consolation beer, hoping for a little action. He nods, and we hit the bar across the street. Get this--he don't talk much, says maybe three things all night. I ain't chatty Cathy, so we just sit and drink. I'm thinking maybe I read the guy wrong. He finishes his beer, leans in, and says, "They're gonna go again in about three months."

I shrug. Rusty hadn't said nothing, but it's no big surprise.

"Next time. After. We go without a ref. Guy from the winning gym sets the rules." This doubles or triples the total number of words he said all night, so I'm listening good. He leans back a little, crosses his forearms, and flexes his biceps so they bounce. He's a bit lighter than me, but not much, and he's ripped solid. He's probably close to 30, tops. Fierce eyes. Big hands, knuckles clenched. Jaw stuck out, daring me. Slight sneer to the mouth.

I agreed.

Next day I start training a little. I keep in better shape than most, but I do act my age most days. I get back from a short run and look at myself in the mirror. Not bad for forty. Skin sagging a little here and there, but that's gravity working. Shoulda removed the boxing glove tattoo from my left pec--it's starting to sag a little, too. Long road ahead, but not as long as it coulda been. I practice my psych by staring myself down. Not bad.

Three months later, Arch's guys win three fights to one. Thing is, it's like Rusty set us up to lose. All the wrong fighters, even a coupla new guys. Only Jakes gets knocked out, but our guys took a lot of punishment. Even Chuck, our only winner, got hit a lot more than he shoulda. Andy Jakes' fight reminded me of Mercer/Morrison. Andy almost had Stone Bradford out, but Stone started connecting with power shot after power shot until the force of his punches was the only thing that kept Andy on his feet. Rusty shoulda thrown in the towel, but he didn't even reach for it. Weird.

Anyway, the guys are gone, and Rusty's talking to Andy--told me to leave Andy's gloves on, which is also a little weird. I'm packing up my kit when I hear some noise from Arch's office. I look over there, and Phil is at the office door. He asks Arch if he's all right, gets an answer I can't hear. I guess it's a good answer 'cause he turns to face me.

His shirt is off, so I take mine off. I step through the ropes. Phil turns off all the lights except for a couple over the ring. I don't really see him until he steps in with me. By then he's stripped down to his briefs. He stands there, staring at me. I try to maintain eye contact while I slip off my shoes, socks, and pants, but I break the psych a little on the socks. Lose my balance for a second and grab the ropes to steady myself. Once I'm down to my jockeys, he tosses me a pair of 8 oz. gloves with velcro closures. We get the gloves on, circling each other as we do.

Up to now, Phil says squat. I'm waiting for him to set the rules. Instead, he goes into his fighting stance, and away we go. We both throw a couple of jabs and hooks, but we're both good enough to duck or block the punches. Phil moves into a clinch, and we almost wrestle a little, each trying to get a hand free for a clean shot. Out of nowhere, Phil pumps his right knee up into my balls. I go down to my knees--like I had any control at that point. I suck in a breath or two and start to reach for the ropes to help myself up. Phil throws a left uppercut that lifts my chin back, then throws a right cross that sends me to the canvass. He waits for me to get up, probably giving me time to think about what just went down.

So those are the rules. Great.

I get to my feet, and we start throwing bombs in the middle of the ring. I'm finally hitting the guy, but it ain't boxing, it's a brawl. I throw my left hook, Phil moves under it, gets behind me, and pushes me into a corner. He starts pounding my lower back. I try to spin out of the corner, but he's got me pinned there with his left forearm. He keeps thumping away. Basically, I'm screwed. Then he slams a couple of hard shots to the back of my head. I black out. Big surprise.

When I come to, the pain in my back is throbbing, even pulsing. Then I realize what's going on. I'm flat on my back, the underwear is gone, and his cock is already ramming my ass.

So I guess it's winner takes all.

Maybe it's the dirty fight. Maybe it's the silence. Maybe it's the bruises on bruises on every organ from gut to groin. Couldn't say. But at this point, this ain't what I want. Seems like Phil had this figured. He stops with his shaft buried deep inside me, holds one glove against my chest and pulls the other back, ready for more action. Time for some strategy.

I let out a little moan and shift my hips a little. I keep my gloves on the canvass. Phil figures he's got the green light, and he picks up the rhythm. He supports his weight with both gloves on my shoulders, so I reach up with mine and sort of stroke his chest. This does the trick. He pulls in close, puts his arms around me. I do the same and draw him in for a kiss. He really eats this up, almost tries to suck my breath out of me. We roll around a little, and I end up on top. For a second or two, Phil realizes what's possible now, but I work my hips in the same rhythm. He relaxes his arms and rests his gloves against my thighs.

Big mistake.

I spring forward, pinning his elbows under my knees. I batter his face with lefts and rights, punch after punch. I hit him a few times after I could tell he was out cold. Then I flip him over on his stomach, spit into his ass five or six times, and then plug his hole until I come.

I get up, get out of the ring, and get most of my clothes back on. I never did find the underwear. I head back towards the lockers, but I hear Phil's voice behind me just before I step out of the light.


I stop and turn to face him. He's resting on his elbows. Later I figure he's probably awake for most of the abuse. Interesting.

"Sure," I say. "Guy from the winning gym sets the rules."

I'll let you know what happens.

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