“I want to be a politician.”
Sweating profusely from the strenuous training inside the gym, he was confronted by a fellow boxer who possessed more talent than him. Theirs were the usual banter, exchanged without animosity. In the ring, they usually let off whatever irritation they had with each other by trading punches.
“So, you want to follow the footsteps of Pacman?” Tim asked Jess, swinging a left hook.
“That’s correct,” he replied, avoiding the punch, bobbing up and down.
“You can’t even beat me,” Tim shot a straight right, hitting Jess on the forehead. “How can you become a champion? A seven-division world titlist for that matter.”
“Who told you I want to be a champ?” he shook off the effects of the jarring punch. “All I need is the exposure.”
“I don’t follow you,” Tim was nearly caught off guard by Jess’s one-two combination.
“Once I get in the ring with him, I’ll announce my intentions.”
Jess backpedaled, evading Tim’s own three-shot barrage.
“You’ll fight him?” Tim followed Jess near the ropes, trying to pin him in the corner. “I don’t think you even deserve a shot.”
“I’ll think of something so he’ll be forced to fight me,” Jess covered his face with both gloved hands, absorbing Tim’s pummeling.
“What? Call him a coward? Insult her mother?” Tim laughed, breathing hard from the mouth. “Call him a fraud?”
“Do you remember that movie?” Jess clobbered Tim with several body shots, both of them hearing the boxers’ anthem played repeatedly in the background. “I can use that.”
“That’s below the belt!” Tim shouted.
“No, it’s not!” Jess kept the pressure, giving Tim a left upper cut, grazing him on the chin. “I can ask him politely.”
“It was,” Tim held his lower region, grimacing because of the pain. “You got me below.”
“Ooops! It’s an accident.” Jess stopped.
Tim jumped up and down to lessen the effects of the illegal blow. In seconds, he had recovered.
“Even if he gives you a shot,” Tim danced around, seizing up Jess who waited for the jabs. “Can you survive the first round?”
“I can take a punch,” Jason boasted, receiving a straight left to the face. “See! That does not hurt at all.”
Tim never believed that intensity, courage and heart were everything for a boxer to succeed. A strong chin and intelligent style were more important.
“How about this?” he feigned a right hook that he followed through with a left straight to the face. As a southpaw, that was his main weapon.
Jess saw it coming but it looked like a blur, a black lump heading straight to him, with the power difficult to approximate.
When it landed, his vision began to darken, so-called stars in his head flickered, the pain was secondary. His knees buckled, rubbery legs and spent arms followed suit before his body eventually fell smack on the canvas face down.
“Are you all right?” Tim came to the rescue, removing his gloves in hurry, slapping Jess’s face gently, carefully holding the back of the neck.
“I am okay,” Jess opened his eyes, grinning to show Tim he was back.
“I am sorry. I didn’t mean you no harm!”
“I know.” Jess tried to rise up slowly while Tim helped him balanced his body. “I think you’re right.”
“About what?” Tim forgot.
“I can’t take the blows. I don’t want to be a politician anymore.”