Sweaty Men Boxing Story

He had me. I can't believe I made it out of the first round.

Let's start with the obvious. I lied when I told Arch Dobbs my name is Stone Bradford. I mean, please, it sounds like a porn name. Let's just say that's my name anyway. Easier to tell the same lie every time.

I live on the west side, right on the border between the "gay ghetto" and the hispanic neighborhoods. Hey, I'm dark enough to look Hispanic if I want to. Anyway, I live about a mile away from Arch's gym. I knew it was there when I moved in--I'd gone past it a few times--but I don't follow boxing, so I had no idea who Arch Dobbs was. I never even stepped into the ring until a week before the match against Rusty's Gym. Not that I haven't been in fights before. Plenty of those. Grow up gay in any city, and there's always somebody ready to throw a punch. Most of those fights were over before I hit high school. I had this massive growth spurt the summer after eighth grade, and I'd been lifting from sixth grade on. So I walk into high school like superman--almost six feet tall, 170 pounds of muscle with an attitude to match. I wore my shirts tight enough for everybody to see how my pecs stood out like a shelf and the long line of my arms from forearm to delts. My legs never got all that thick, so I had a triangular build from shoulders to waist and then a straight shot down from slender hips to the ground. I was particularly hard in my gut. Not a bad thing when most of my high school fights were really gut-punching contests. Once I flexed my abs, nothing broke through. Hey, I didn't like fighting, but I never backed down. Guys just stopped calling me out, and I enjoyed the luxury.

So why box now, and why start one week before a major competition? Short answer: Arch Dobbs.

He had to have jogged through my neighborhood before, but I'd never seen him, probably because my own road work had me somewhere else. Our paths crossed one morning--him headed south, me headed north. If you haven't seen him, I don't have enough words to describe the glory of the man. Always shirtless in the summer, muscles pumping with each stride. Long story short, I followed him back to his gym and found out it actually WAS his gym. Even surprised myself by going inside when he did. The place wasn't exactly empty, but there weren't too many guys there. He asked me my name (I lied), if I'd fought before (I lied), and if I'd be interested in picking up what he called a wild card bout against Rusty's Gym (I lied). He had me spar a little, and I guess I did all right 'cause he signed me up for the fight.

Fast forward a week. The guys from Rusty's show up, and the other three fights go down 1-2-3. Two of Arch's regular guys win, and one loses on a close decision. Just before my fight, Arch pulls me close. He's sweating, but that's no surprise 'cause the place is like an oven. But his eyes tell me he's worried, that he's got something bad to say.

"OK, I'm just gonna say it, Stone. I figured we'd have the match sewed up by now, so it didn't matter who fought the wild card. I'd usually give it to a heavyweight. Tell you the truth, I only picked you to throw Rusty a bone. Sorry. We gotta take this fight, though. So look at the guy and tell me you can take him. I gotta hear you say it."

At that point, it didn't even occur to me that I could just leave. Arch didn't expect me to win--hell, he'd put me in to let the other gym win a fight. Big confidence builder this was, telling me this now. But I had something to prove now...and someone to impress. I am such an idiot.

I looked across the ring at a behemoth named Andrew Jakes. He easily had 25 to 30 pounds on me, probably a few inches of height and reach against mine, and definitely more experience. We locked eyes and both knew he could take me down. I looked back to Arch and said, "No problem."

I lied.

The first round was painful and humiliating. I couldn't get off any clean shots--I couldn't land anything. I kept missing, and he kept punching my face. Before long he was just swatting at will. I went into my high school mode--guard up to protect my head,abs flexed tight to absorb the punishment. Assuming I could hold out like that for the rest of the round, I could give up after putting forth a suitably manly effort. But my high school fights never lasted all that long, maybe five or six exchanges tops. What can I say, my classmates were creampuffs. Jakes kept up the pressure, pounding parts of my gut I'd never felt before. After thirty seconds of this, the pain wasn't even localized anymore--every punch felt like an ax chopping me down. Each hit pushed the air out of my lungs, so I had to concentrate just to keep breathing. I swear he landed at least three low blows, and that just made it worse. In a valiant attempt to hold on, I pulled my elbows in and forced my abs to flex by pushing down from the shoulders. Jakes caught me with an uppercut that snapped my head back and left my face an open target. He punched me backwards into my corner. I tried to duck away, but he caught me with a left that blurred my vision. I think I heard the bell. Next thing I know, I'm sitting on a stool and Arch is trying to bring me out of it.

His corner man, Phil Martin--a guy who hadn't said ten words to me all week--was tellling Arch off. "That's what you get for letting this faggot take the fight. He only did it to get in your pants anyway." Some other time, I would've made him pay for saying that, even if it were true...which it was.

Arch didn't seem to hear Phil. He asked me, "How we doing out there, Stone?"

"Not good. I can't do it, Arch. He's got me"

Unlike Phil, Arch seemed to care about my health, probably because sticking me in this fight hadn't been that good of an idea, even if he hadn't meant for me to get creamed. However, he also cared about the match, and ending it up as a draw didn't figure as acceptable. "I think you can do it, Stone. I think you can take him. No lie."

He lied.

I was almost crying, but I wasn't about to let Phil see THAT. I pulled it deep breaths, as deep as I could manage. The pain still cut deep. One good body blow...

Arch pulled in close again and whispered in my ear, "So Phil's right about you, isn't he? You're just a fag after my ass? Fine. You take this fight, and my ass is yours."

This worked on so many levels. Instantly it was as if the first round hadn't happened. No pain in my gut, no bruises anywhere, nothing sore. Suddenly Jakes was every bully on every schoolyard, every jerk who'd ever called me a faggot in the lockerroom, every sneer of hetero superiority I'd ever seen. I could've exploded from the adrenaline alone. I leapt to my feet and thumped my gloves together.

Poor Jakes. The guy had no idea how many fists were in my gloves.

Once the bell rang, it only took about twenty seconds to send him to the canvas, but a lifetime went into every punch. I ducked his right and threw a left for every kid who'd ever been gay-bashed--WHAM! I threw a right for every politician who promised to make life better and then "voted his conscience"--BOOM! Another right for the guy who made up the word "faggot"--POW! After that, I just kept slamming his face until the ref pulled me off the guy. Jakes fell face down and stayed there. I watched Arch's face whiten as the ref counted ten. I returned to my corner and held out my hands for Phil to take off the gloves. Then I went into the lockerroom alone.

I'd been outed to the gym. Fine. Arch probably hadn't meant for me to collect on his offer. I could let him off the hook. I could be the better man. Hey, I'd earned my rep here. No shame would follow me home. I should just grab a shower and get out of here.

Screw that.

I knocked on Arch's office door. He sat behind his desk, his shirt off, that tight torso exposed and slightly sweaty. His eyes went to my crotch, which had to be a little scarey for him. I'm nine inches when I'm soft, and I wasn't soft just then. I closed the door behind me, not realizing that I'd locked us in.

Arch stood up. I guess I'd caught him getting ready for something else. His street clothes were on a hook on the wall, and he'd dropped his boxing trunks on the floor when I came in. He stood before me now, dressed only in a jock strap. Probably not the impression he'd wanted to make. He held his hands up, palms open towards me. "Look," he said, "I know what I said, but you know why I said it, right? To pump you up, to get you psyched. It worked, too, didn't it? You knocked him flat on his ass. But my ass...um, no. That was just a head game, that's all."

I said nothing. I pushed my trunks down past my hips so that Arch had a better view of what was coming his way.

"Look," he said, "It's like I said. I thought we'd have it won. I figured you'd back out when you saw the guy, but, no, you've got guts. You've got cajones, man."

To prove it, I slipped off my jock and let both trunks and jock fall to the floor. To his credit, he didn't say anything else. He just tried to get past me while I was getting my feet clear of my clothes. I caught him around the waist and spun him back against his desk. I moved in close so that my erection poked the pathetic lump in his jock. I smiled.

He misread me. Seems he thought my smile let him off the hook. At least that's what it looked like. "You had me going for a while there," he said.

I slammed my right fist into his gut. He hadn't prepared for it, so the air flew out of his lungs and he slumped forward. I pushed him back against the wall, just missing the hooks where his clothes hung. A little to the right, and I probably would've killed the guy. I held him there with my left forearm and pounded his guy with my right. I targeted the ridge between the ab muscles, especially the area close to his navel. He grunted after each blow.

Suddenly, I heard the doorknob rattle. That's when I realized the door had locked behind me. I stopped the assault, realizing Arch had a case against me if he wanted to press charges. Good thing he didn't know my real name. Phil called from outside, "You all right in there?"

I froze solid.

Arch sucked in enough breath to call out, "I'm fine. Tell Rusty to wait." He kept his eyes on the door, and I didn't move. A second or two later, I heard Phil shuffle away, muttering something I couldn't quite make out. I locked eyes with Arch again, and he flexed his abs, ready for me to continue.

I released him and took a step back. He stayed against the wall, waiting. He actually wanted me to do this. Then he took a deep breath, sighed, straightened up as if I hadn't even hit him once, shrugged, and said, "Kinda spoiled the mood, didn't he?"

So I coldcocked him with a right cross. He fell forward into my arms, fully dead weight now, no act involved. I draped him over his desk, face down, and prepared to give it to him dry. That's when I noticed the gleam of fluid. The guy'd lubed himself up before I got there. He'd planned the whole thing, probably from the day we'd met. It'd be just what he wanted if I raped him now. I'd be playing his game right up to the end.

As much as I wanted to (and believe me when I say I had an excellent barometer of just how much I wanted to), the whole thing had been too much of a head trip. No ass will ever be worth that much trouble. I left him there, grabbed my stuff, and went home to shower.

Still, now that I know the game, I could play it differently next time. I could just keep doing my road work until we cross paths again. I still jog the neighborhood. I'll bet he does, too.

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