Choices

05/29/04

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Well kid so you want to here my story.  Well to tell you the truth there is not much to it.  I am a boxing trainer who became a manager/trainer.  Through my years I have trained Champions and managed legends of the time.  I look back on my life and see the men I molded and the men who molded me.  I fought hard to keep my business dealing clean.  That was the one thing I am most proud of.  I trained no man that took a dive for money or took place in a fight that was fixed.  Yet with all that said and done there is only one thing that haunts me.  Itís the one talent that got away.

I have made plenty of mistakes in my line of work.  Some have cost men their futures and careers but it is this one mistake I made due to my own arrogance.  At the time I was the man I trained and managed elite fighters.  I was looking for an up and coming heavyweight fighter to train and manage and I have been watching this kid named Vic Caltino.  He had a pro record of 10 and 1.  He lost his first pro fight.  From then on out he was undefeated.

On the first night that I saw him box he looked trim and fit weighing 220 at 6 foot 2 inches.  He had a good reach and seemed to use his hands well.  He looked like a smart boxer and not a typical left handed brawler.  He worked his opponent with precision skill but both fighters did not have the edge in the fight.  Then what I saw next was amazing.  Vic's opponent landed a right cross to Vic's nose.  You could hear the snap of his bone and the blood come running out. Vic staggered a step then he appeared to grow.  A crazed look came across his eyes and the muscles in his chest and arms flexed.  He moved in and three punches later Vic's opponent was down and motionless.  Blood was flowing from Vic's nose but he was victorious.

This same scenario happened in the next three fights I saw of Vic's.  I was not in a fighter that could only win after getting his nose smashed in.  It did not make sense.  So that night I decided to go with another fighter that was on the same bill with a similar record.  Unfortunately I ran into Vic that night after I had made my decision.  Vic told me the usual stuff, like how much of an honor it was to meet me and he followed my career as a trainer.  The pleasantries went on.  I was then confronted with the question of what I thought of the kid.  I did not hold any punches.  I told him one day he was going to get his clock cleaned and he would not be able to come back from the beating.  I told him a good fighter was going to dissect him apart and eat him alive.  He was shocked.  I don't blame I left him standing there.

Over the next several years my guy was climbing the ranks as well as Vic.  I was amazed no one was able to figure out how to beat this man.  I watched film and thought it was clear work the body and take his air.  It did not matter what I thought.  We were not scheduled to fight him Vic had his fight he dreamed of.  He had signed a fight with the champ.  The champ was so sure of the fight that there was a no rematch clause in the contract.  This was a common thing the champ had done in his last five fights so he could always fight some one fresh.  My guy was also scheduled to fight on the card to determine the next number 1 contender.

That night my guy fought a good hard fight that went the distance.  We won on a unanimous decision.  The main event was two fight later and we were sitting in the dressing room relaxing and congratulating ourselves.  We were watching the fight on a monitor.  The fight seemed like every other fight I saw Vic in.  It was a close match no clear lead by any fighter.  Then I saw the punch that turned the fight into a slaughter.  The champ let loose with a right upper cut that caught Vic leading with his head.  The nose flattened and I knew it was all over but the crying.  I turned away from the monitor.  I heard the announcer say that Vic was bleeding from the nose and he looked stunned.  Then he was changing his tune by telling the audience that Vic lead with a jab followed by a horrific combination of left and rights that demolished the champ leaving him a pile of humanity on the canvas.

We were able to sign a fight with Vic for in nine months, which put it just before Christmas.  I t was scheduled for Madison Square Garden.  This was going to be a hometown fight for Vic.  It was something I did not want but I could not win that battle.  So I concentrated on getting my man ready.  We watched all film available and dissected what worked for the only defeat of Vic's career.  It seemed simple box him take the body and Vic was done.  By the time the fight night came around our plan was set and we felt there was no way we could lose. 

After the intros and we were all in the ring we went to the center and Vic's cold stare, which was a trademark of his style, was fixed on my guy.  The instructions were done and the fighters touched gloves.  This was when Vic broke his stare and looked at me and said he was going to beat me.  In all my time as a trainer I never had a fighter tell me he was going to beat me.  I remember being unnerved by this and my fighter saw this.  I quickly regained my composure and got my fighter back on track. 

The bell rang and the fighters met out near the center of the ring.  The fight began and it was a classic boxing match, two fighters using all their weapons to beat the other man.  The first two rounds were even then my fighter started to get an edge.  I kept on my guy to work the body and use the jab to set up other body punches.  I kept on him that it was his fight and Vic was merely there to take a beating.  Then in the seventh round Vic opened his ribs for a moment to as he threw an over hand left.  My guy saw the opening and ducked the punch and unleashed a vicious blow to the ribs.  I heard them snap like twigs.  Vic staggered back and the bell sounded.  I was immediately in the ring drilling my guy with instructions to work those ribs.  Vic was about done.  I heard Vic's corner asking about his ribs but I did not hear any reply I took that as he was in too much pain to respond.

I climbed out of the ring and his corner crew cleared in front of Vic.  I saw a sight that sent chills up my spine.  Vic sat there and he seemed to have grown.  I also noticed that he appeared to be glowing.  The bell rang and I knew I was sending my fighter out to be slaughtered.  My fighter went to deliver a few blows to Vic's ribs, which were blocked nicely by Vic.  Then he exploded with a barrage punches.  My fighter was stunned and staggered to the ropes.  Vic moved in like a crazed animal moving in for the kill.  Vic unleashed with another series of punches that opened up a cut and caused blood to flow from my fighter's mouth.  One more over hand left sent my fighter crumbling to the mat.  There was no hope for my fighter at this point and he barely managed to move from his back.

I climbed into the ring as the announcer declared Vic the winner.  I saw Vic make his way over to my fighter as the doctor looked at my guy.  Vic looked me square in the eyes and told me that he told me so.  It was a sickening feeling as he turned away that came over me.  He had beaten me. 

I had two other fighters in the heavyweight ranks and neither of them beat Vic. No matter how I prepared Vic beat me and he retired as the champ.  He was a great fighter and I give him all the credit and wish I could have managed and trained him. 

So kid that is pretty much my story.  Not much more I can say but be true to yourself and you will get by.  Maybe you will not have the same problems I have in your life. 

 

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