Max Joins Fight Story
After Stone Bradford and me had our sparring sessions at Arch Dobbs' gym, I
showed up a little late for Bio Lab at State. The prof wouldn't let me in, said
I'd missed the instructions and I couldn't just jump in whenever I felt like it.
I make an appointment to meet with the guy and go over what I missed. He tells
me I should drop pre-med, says I should maybe think about the Sports Management
Program. I got a complaint filed with the department, and there's appeals after
that, but that kinda fight puts everybody against you at the same time no matter
whether you win or lose. Nobody's throwing in the towel just yet, but it don't
I decide to take the job at Arch's gym.
And I change my look again. I trim back the moustache and chop off the goatee. Stone helps me cut my hair back to my shorter fighting style--he put it in a baggie so I could keep it, but that's more his way than mine. I tell Stone we should kick up the cardio a little, but I'm counting on the gym job to help get rid of the "Manny pack" around my gut. If I'm doing this, I'm going the whole way. Besides, the new look scares my biology prof...that's a bonus.
Stone's not so sure I should change anything. "Maybe Phil liked your look the way it was."
Stone thinks Phil Martin, Arch's corner man, wants my ass. Wouldn't mind that, but I'm not so sure. I tell Stone my hair will grow back.
My first day or two on the job, Phil lets me know how they run things, where stuff is, who's who and what's what. No real vibe of any interest, so I don't push it. I get to know Arch's stable, especially the guys who come in late in the day--that's when Arch needs my help with all the 9-to-5 guys. Since we're on the west side, we're talking working men, some coming in before the later shifts at the plants nearby. A couple college types who don't like team sports like football and soccer. Solid guys. I like that. Pretty much everybody knows their place on the food chain, but there's some jockeying for position, especially when it comes to sparring. The challengers all know who's ahead of them for top guy in their division--there's order to it, no skipping over anybody if you don't earn it. A well-run gym.
Near the end of my first week, this guy named Max Gould joins the gym, says he's interested in training in the evening. He gets a lot of attention. First off, he's dressed casual but expensive. You look at him, and you can hear the cash registers. Even his t-shirts look tailored. I'm thinking he's white collar, just here for the exercise--not the kinda guy you'd expect in Arch's gym. They're all hungry here. The second thing is Max's build. He's a short guy, maybe just squeaking past five feet tall, with bodybuilder type muscles. No way he has any speed with arms that heavy, so maybe he just wants to whack somebody. On top of that, he looks a little old to be starting the game. He's in shape, but there's a few too many wrinkles around the mouth--and the stretched skin around his eyes tells me he's had some plastic surgery, so he might be ripe for cuts. I'm guessing he's at least 30, probably older. But Arch takes him serious, so the rest of us do, too.
Arch asks if Max has ever boxed before. A little, he says, but only some sparring. Arch and Phil trade this look, then Arch asks if Max would mind sparring a little now so that they can see what they're starting with. This is not the way to start training a fighter, but I don't say anything. I figure they'll try to send him outta here by matching him with one of the top guys. If he sticks around after getting his ass kicked, then you know he's serious.
Max weighs in at 160, and they put him in with Sammy Chavez. Not a top guy. Not even a middle guy. Something's up. They ask me to work Max's corner, coach him through it. I nod and start getting him geared up. He's looking around, all over the gym.
"You got a friend here?" I ask.
"Yeah, but I don't see him. I thought he'd be here." He keeps looking around.
I get the gloves on him. Then I grab his face and force him to look at me. "Look for him later. Look across the ring. Look at Chavez. What do you see?" Max tries, but I can tell he don't know what to look for. "Where's he weak, Max? Where you gonna hit him?"
Chavez has my build, except for one thing. We're solid in the arms and shoulders, heavy at the beltline. I've seen him train some. Chavez has a stick for a neck, so I know the answer I wanna hear, but I don't think Max'll get it.
"He's a little fat?"
"That don't mean much. He's plenty hard under that gut. You look strong, but I don't know what you got for a punch. So you tell me--you got a good uppercut?" Max thinks for a second, then he nods. "Good. I want you in tight, your head on his chest. Throw your hardest punch into his gut, but aim high. Here." I point to my solar plexus. "Got me?" Max nods. "That's not gonna hurt him much, but he's gonna think he's got you. He'll flex his gut and pull his elbows in, tight and low. When he does that, you send that uppercut right up the middle. The guy's got no chin. Got me?" He nods again.
They're supposed to go three rounds. I figure Max might do all right if he's telling me the truth...and if he follows the plan.
Round one. Forget the plan. Max meets Chavez in the center of the ring. Right away he tries for the chin, but Chavez knows how to protect himself. Max throws a wild hook. Chavez dodges it and pops a couple jabs to set up his own hook. Max shows no defense, so it all lands. Max tries again, a left cross this time. Chavez slips it, then counters with an uppercut that rocks Max back a step or two. So it's set. Max can't land anything because Chavez sees it coming, and Chavez swats the guy like a fly. Halfway through the round, Chavez racks up the power shots--one, then two, then three. Gotta give Max credit, though--he gets hit, but he don't seem hurt by it. The only chance Max gets he takes--Chavez gets caught up in the head shots and leaves that gut open. Max finally throws a couple of straight shots to the beltline--not enough, but a start. I look over to Phil. He shrugs.
When the round ends, Max sits like a lump, like he's done. So I ask, "You ready to do what I said now?" He doesn't respond, just sits there breathing heavy and looking across the ring. "Are you done, Max?" Still no response--he's just looking across the ring, but not really at Chavez--kinda off to one side. I check to see what he's looking at. There's this janitor named Chris, and he's standing there watching, clutching a broom close to his body. Thought so. Hey, some guys get off on the pain, or they get off on watching somebody getting whacked. Doesn't matter--just needed to know that part of it. I get in Max's face. "That's your friend?" Max nods. "You want him to see you get your ass kicked?" Finally Max meets my eye, but he's smiling. So the mystery of why he's here is solved. "Ok, he already saw you get your ass kicked. You want him to see you kick this guy's ass?" Max is still smiling. "Then tell me the plan."
"I hit his gut, high as I can. He flexes his gut and pulls his elbows in. Then I use my uppercut. Then he goes down."
"Now do it."
Second round. Chavez comes out cocky, lets his jabs fall a little before pulling his hands back. Max moves in when Chavez pulls his jab back slow. He gets in tight, his head on Chavez's chest--just like I told him. Before Chavez can step back, Max starts with the bodywork--solid shots, but a little close to the beltline. He keeps the punches short and hard, works his arms like pistons, one after the other. He lands 'em higher and higher, right up the center. Finally, he wings in three hard shots to the solar plexus. Chavez wasn't ready for this much power, this hard an attack, but now he gets his head around it. He pulls down from the shoulders and tucks his elbows in. Max knows his cue. Here come the uppercuts. A left, a right, then one more right--and Chavez ends up sitting on the canvas. He sits there for half the count, but he makes it to his feet in time. Max shoots himself across the ring and arrives with a left cross that sends Chavez back into the ropes. Max follows that with a right hook to the temple. Chavez covers up, but Max won't stop. He hits Chavez on the shoulders and elbows. Near the end of the round, Chavez can barely keep his arms up. Max throws one more uppercut. The round ends. Chavez is done.
Max comes back to the corner with, "So what's the plan now?"
I check out Chavez's corner. Arch is in the ring now, talking to the guy and shaking his head. "No plan, Max. It's over."
He turns around to check. But not Chavez. He checks out Chris. Chris hasn't moved, but he's got a definite bulge in his shorts. Max pops his pecs at the guy. Real subtle. Me, I make eye contact with Phil. He's not paying attention to Chavez--he's waiting for me to look at him. He gives me this half-smile and waves me over. I hop out of the ring and join him.
Like I was gonna leave.
Max talks to Arch for a minute, then he comes to talk to me. He says Arch just offered him the middleweight bout in the next match against Rusty's gym. He wants to know what I think. I think Arch is setting Max up the way he set Stone up, but I don't say that. I offer to train him and work his corner, and that makes him happy. He asks if he can work out on his own for a while--he's got an adrenaline buzz going. It's almost time for the gym to close for the night, but Phil says Max can work the heavybag if he wants. Then Phil motions for me to follow. We go back into an office behind the mirror wall. Didn't know he had an office back here. Turns out the mirrors are the one-way kind. Not a bad idea--he can keep an eye on the whole gym from here if he wants to. There's a bed, one of those pull-out couch jobs, and it's open. Maybe he crashed here last night. He points to a couple of chairs facing the mirrors. He flips off the lights.
He says, "Have a seat. Almost show time."
I sit in one chair. He sits behind me, just off my right shoulder. We watch the gym clear out until it's just Max and Chris out there. Chris locks the door and starts turning off the lights. Phil says, "Here we go."
Chris holds the heavybag so Max can fire the hard shots. Max really lays into it, too. He's covered with sweat. Then a punch slips past the bag and lands on Chris' chin. Chris is an easy-going guy, the quiet type, but nobody ignores a cheap shot. Max seems sorry--he gestures for Chris to take a free shot at his gut. Max puts his hands behind his back, so the offer's for real. Chris isn't wearing gloves. He socks Max a hard one just above the navel. He leaves his fist there, digging the knuckles in a little, then spreads his fingers out to massage Max's abs.
Phil puts his left arm around my shoulder. His open hand rests against my left pec.
Max pulls Chris in for an intense kiss. He rubs his gloves against Chris' back and butt. They separate. Max gets into the ring. Chris puts some gloves on and joins him.
Phil shifts position behind me. His mouth ends up next to my right ear. His left arm wraps around my chest. His right arm slides in around my gut, palm open against my stomach. He talks real quiet, but it's not a whisper. "They do this once a week. Arch knows."
Chris and Max square off. They've got hard-ons under their boxing trunks. They fight close, moving in and out of clinches that turn into grope and grind sessions. Not slow easy grinds, either--almost wrestling, keeping the fight going but using their cocks instead of their fists. Each time one of 'em breaks it with a punch. They go at it like this for a couple of minutes--minimum damage, maximum body contact. Then Chris brings his gloves up and rests them on Max's shoulders.
"Here it is," Phil says. His left arm pulls me tight into the chair. His left hand sustains a hard grip on my right pec. He slips his right hand into my shorts and slides it along the elastic of my underwear. Now I'm the one sweating.
Max works Chris' gut the way he'd worked on Chavez's. Hard, fast shots, right at the beltline, then slowly moving higher and higher. Chris moves back a step with each punch until he's in a corner. He reaches out and grabs the top rope with both hands. He takes maybe two dozen shots in this position. Then Max slows down his attack to one punch at a time, each shot hard and high into the solar plexus area. After four of those punches, Chris' knees buckle, and he slumps forward into Max's arms.
As we watch this, Phil starts hitting my gut with his right fist--light at first, but harder and harder as Max heats up the action. I don't do anything--I'm solid underneath the fat, just like Chavez, so I just flex and ride it out. But it's a familiar pain, and I don't mind it. This is the guy Stone warned me about, the guy who fights dirty. I get it now, but it doesn't feel like he's fighting dirty. He holds me to the chair, his large left hand clamped hard against my right pec, the fingertips digging into the flesh now. Can't explain it, but it feels sexy.
Max goes to his knees as he supports Chris' weight to the canvas. He helps Chris sit up in the corner. He does this gently, kissing Chris' neck and chest. After a moment or two, Chris throws a left that lands on Max's chin. The surprise of it probably does the work, but Max falls back onto the canvas. Chris is on top of him right away. They roll around the ring, fierce kisses, light punches, gloves pulling off trunks, crotches grinding, then mouths and gloves caressing and attacking until Chris ends up on top again, his cock thumping against Max's thick chest. They both spasm, shooting their loads on each other. Then Chris collapses on top of Max, and Max wraps his muscled arms around Chris.
Phil says, "Show's over." He stops hitting me, and he releases his hold around my chest. I'm a little frustrated--and aroused. I'm about to complain when I hear Phil call my name from across the room. I turn around. Phil's in the bed, naked, waiting. The bulges I've seen in his jeans didn't prepare me from what I see now, but I got nothing to be ashamed of. I drop my sweats and underwear. I stand up and let him see what I got. He smiles. I go to the bed and lie down on top of him, our hips pressed in, our cocks pushing against each other. We rub our bodies together. We kiss in rough, devouring mouthfuls. He places his big hands against my chest and says, "Hit me. Like they did it. C'mon."
He doesn't have a gut like mine--he's ripped to the max, so all the muscles show as he breathes deep and waits for me to hit him. I punch him in the side, not hard but solid. He gasps and lets his hands slide up to cradle my face. "Again." I punch the same spot, a little harder, dig my knuckles deeper. I don't wait for him to say any more. I hit him three more times, harder shots. Then I pull back a little for leverage and punch straight down four, five, six times. He pulls my face towards his and we're kissing again, almost sucking the breath out of each other. I'm about to shoot, and he's bucking beneath me. He lets out a moan. He both come.
After, when I realize the lights in the gym are all out, and Max and Chris are probably gone, I think Phil's asleep because I've got my head against his chest and his breathing is deep and slow. I sit up and try to see where I left my clothes.
"Where you goin?"
So he's not asleep. I tell him I'm headed home 'cause I got an exam in human anatomy and physiology the next day. I gotta go. He reaches out with his left hand and lets it glide from my chin to my chest to my gut to my cock. I'm about ready to go again.
"Don't worry. I'm not gonna hit you unless you wanna be hit."
"I know. I'm not gonna let you."
We both laugh a little. I find my clothes and start getting dressed. I'm thinking about the whole thing--coaching Max, watching him and Chris go at each other, the rough feel of Phil's big hands. This is the place I want, man. This is my life.
So I stay. And we spend the night studying human anatomy and physiology like my prof never did.
I even aced the exam.
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