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  • Writer's pictureDexter Hastings

Fear No Foe Chapter 7


The seventh chapter in my book Fear No Foe please feel free to comment on the story line and let me know what you think.


The papers the next day all had big articles about the show, they mainly reported on Richie’s great victory and Bruno’s destructive win. They mentioned Gary’s 1st round knockout win, but only gave the results of Danny’s and Shay’s victories. In the interview with Richie Hatter he did mention that he had seen the finishing combo when watching Shay stopping his opponent at the start of the show. He also said that he thought that Shay had a real big future in boxing and that he could maybe be a Champion one day.

Shay was really happy to read what his hero had said about him, he called Kenny to ask him if he had seen the papers. Kenny said he had, but was more concerned about what had happened last night. Shay asked him who he had been talking to.

Kenny replied “Dexter told me all about it Shay, you need to calm yourself down Son, there’s going to be a lots of idiots like Britain in this game and they are all going to try to whined you up”.

Shay tried to explain what Britain had said, “But Kenny didn’t want to hear it”.

Kenny continued “Look Shay it doesn’t matter what he says or what anyone else says, you just got to keep your cool”.

Shay apologized to Kenny and Kenny said “Son I’m just thinking of you, have a few weeks off and then your back in training”.

Shay had booked a holiday for him and Emma, they had 2 relaxing weeks in the sun, and it was just what they needed as they hadn’t really spent much quality time together.

When they got back, Shay was back in training straight away, the publicity from what Richie had said about Shay in the papers had got him a lot more sponsorship. Emma was working hard on her modeling career and the money was rolling in.

His training was going well and he was ready for his next fight. It was to be held in London. It was another 4 rounder against an up and coming boxer. Gary Britain was top of the bill; he was having his second 4 round fight as well. It wasn’t a big event like their first one at the N.I.A in Birmingham, it was basically being held just to get them a “w” in there win columns. Shay and Gary whipped the floor with their opponents in 2 easy victory’s, Emma didn’t come to this fight as Kenny said he thought she was too much of a distraction. Frank Goldsten kept Shay and Gary away from each other as he didn’t what another bust up like after their first fight.

Over the next 2 years Gary and Shay fought 3 more times on the same bills, and had moved up to fighting 8 rounder’s. None of their fights lasted that long, they all ended in knockouts wins for both of them. Their records seemed to be mirroring each other, but Shay was having a big problem. At his last fight, he weighed in 2 lbs over the weight limit, he had to go away and try and lose it. Kenny had him skipping in the steam room in the hotel to try and drop the weight. He managed it, but was completely shattered by the time of the fight. Shay was lucky in his fight as he managed to stop his opponent in the first round.

Kenny and Shay talked about this weight problem, Kenny just put it down to Shay growing up, as he was 21 now and a fully grown man.

Kenny told him “Look Son I think it’s time for you to move up in weight divisions, it’s just too hard for you to make the Middle Weight limit now”. Shay replied “Yeah I think you may be right Ken, that last fight nearly killed me”.

Kenny talked to Frank about Shay moving up and he was more than happy for him to do this. Shay was now a Super Middleweight and the stakes had been raised. The Super Middleweight division was rated as the hardest division to be in at this time. On the domestic scene you had ‘Iron’ Bryan Taylor, Sam ‘I am’ Magson and of course the British Champion Bruno Beef. It was even harder on the world scene there was the Mexican Oscar Hoya, the German Hans Van Bison and the undisputed world champion Jimmy ‘The Parana’ Tarana.

Taylor and Magson had both been beaten by Bruno in the last 2 years; Bruno had defended his title 3 times now and only needed to defend it once more to be able to keep that precious Lonsdale belt.

Emma’s modeling career was in full swing, Samantha had her traveling all over the world doing photo shoots for clothing magazines. She was really enjoying her career. Shay was happy for her as it was extra money for them and it kept her busy while he was in training.

Shay’s 6th fight and 1st at Super Middleweight was going to be against Tyler Tompson, a very durable boxer from South London. It was an 8 rounder and it was going to be one of the undercards for Bruno Beefs 4th title defense. Gary Britain was also fighting, but for once Shay was higher in the lineup than him, the show was being held at the Wembley Arena, London.

Bruno had been told by Frank to behave himself as if he won this fight they would be moving him up for a title shot in his next few fights. Bruno was the model boxer, the perfect gent at the weigh in, he even shook his opponent’s hand. Bruno commented on how well Shay and Gary had done in their careers so far, but even with all the niceties from him you could still see that evil look in his eyes.

Shay kept his distance from Bruno and Gary as he didn’t need any baiting from them on his debut as a Super Middleweight.

Emma and Shays Mom had made the trip down to London; Shay’s Dad didn’t come as he had been suffering from a real bad chest infection for the last week. All the Newtown boys had come down to watch this show, even Kelly who was now living in London called Shay to tell him she had brought tickets to come and see him.

When Kelly told Shay this he said “He would get her some tickets ringside next to his Mom and Emma.

Kelly asked him if he was sure as she knew how Emma felt about her. Shay laughed and said jokingly “Yeah she should be fine about it, anyway haven’t you found yourself a boyfriend yet?”

Kelly laughed and said “Well for your information I have, he works at the same office as me”.

Shay still joking around said “He must be an absolute saint to put up with you”.

Kelly just replied “Shut up, he is lovely, he has really looked after me since I have been in London”.

Shay told her he was really happy for her, but if he ever hurt her, he would have him to deal with.

When Shay told Emma that Kelly was coming she didn’t seem to be bothered, she just kept playing with her new accessory a mobile phone which was the size of a house brick.

Shays main Sponsors were coming as well. Gary and Dexter hadn’t missed any of his fights and they definitely weren’t going to miss this one.

Shay and Kenny were in the changing room, Shay was warming up for his fight and Kenny was giving him his instructions on what he wanted him to do in the ring.

Kenny told him “Look Shay this Tyler has never been stopped. He’s lost his last 2 fights, but has won the 8 before it. He’s the most dangerous boxer you have faced as a Pro, so just be prepared to do all 8 rounds. He isn’t just going to fall over for you.”

Shay said “So how shall I fight him?” Kenny said “Box him Shay, keep your distance and you will out box him”.

Shay was all warmed up and ready for his fight, he caught the end of Gary Britain’s match, he had knocked his opponent out in the 3rd round in a very classy performance, the London crowd was going crazy cheering and chanting his name.

Shay was the first to enter the ring in his fight; he walked into the arena to a sea of booing and jeering from the capacity crowd.

Shay looked at Kenny and said “What the fuck is their problem?”

Kenny said “Your fighting a popular boxer in his home town, don’t let it get to you”. Shay smiled and said “It won’t Ken, It won’t”.

Shay walked to the ring looking focused and confident any nerves he had evaporated as he soaked up the very hostile atmosphere.

Emma, his Mom, Dexter and Gary were all seated ringside; he gave Emma his customary wink that he always did when she came to see his fights. As he looked down at the ringside crowd he then noticed Kelly sitting with her very smartly dress boyfriend. Shay had to take a second look to make sure it was Kelly, he hadn’t seen her for a few years, they had only talked on the phone in that time, Kelly looked stunning. Shay thought to himself “Is this the girl that I used to take the piss out of about being a tomboy?”

Kelly waved at Shay as he walked passed in the ring; Shay just smiled and pointed his gloved hand at her in acknowledgment.

There was a massive roar from the crowd as Tyler Tompson entered the Arena, when Tyler stepped into the ring Shay looked at him and then turned to Kenny and said “Fuck me Ken, there’s no way that bloke is 12 stone, look at him his massive”.

Kenny said “Well he weighed 12 stone yesterday morning, he’s had over a day to re-hydrate he’s probably closer to 13 stone than 12 now. Don’t worry about that Son, just keep moving and out box him”.

Shay replied “O.k. Ken I will, just can’t believe how big he is”.

The fight started and Tyler tried to get straight at Shay, but Shay moved away nicely and caught him with some sweet one, two’s. Shay completely out boxed Tyler for the first 4 rounds which quieted down the London crowd. At the end of the 4th round Shay sat in his corner, Kenny was well pleased with him and told him to keep it up.

Shay replied “Ken I’ve hit him with some of my hardest shots and they haven’t moved him, I can’t keep this up for 8 rounds”.

Kenny said to Shay calmly “Well son do you want me to through the towel in now then?”Shay replied in a shocked voice “No I fucking don’t!” Kenny then said “Well stop crying about being tired and get out there and box him”.

Shay out classed Tyler for the next 2 rounds, Tyler could not get anywhere near him. The 7th and 8th rounds were harder as Tyler poured on the pressure, but Shay kept going and gave as good as he got in the final 2 rounds. Tyler’s face was a complete mess, he had a cut above his left eye, his right eye was swollen shut and his nose looked like it had been broken. Shay didn’t look to bad, he had some swelling under his left eye, but he was more exhausted than anything else.

The announcement was made Shay had won by unanimous decision; he had won his first fight at Super Middleweight. He had his hand raised and the London crowd applauded in respect of a great performance. Kenny got Shay back to the changing room as soon as he could, Shay was shattered, it was the first time he had done 8 rounds in any fight, but this fight had really took it out of him because of how hard Tyler had pushed him.

Kenny told Shay to rest in the changing room until he felt ready to go and see his friends and family ringside. He watched the Bruno Beef fight from the dressing room; it was a very one sided destruction job by Bruno. Roy Davis had no chance Bruno was just in supreme form. Davis was a top contender, but Bruno was making him look like a rank novice. Bruno finished Davis off in the 4th round and the announced straight after the fight that he wanted Jimmy Tarana to put his title on the line against him. Frank Goldsten said in the interview after “We will be looking to get Bruno a title shot in the next year or so”. Shay was watching it on the monitor in the changing room and was just in ore of what he had just witnessed. Kenny turned to him and said “Well son at least it will be a while before you fight him”.

Shay replied “I know ken, he might be a complete nutter, but boy that Bruno can box”.

Kenny and Shay left the changing room and met up with Emma, his Mom and his Sponsors Dexter and Gary. Emma gave him a hug and kissed him and told him how well he had done, Shays Mom hugged him as well and said she was proud of him. He chatted to Dexter and Gary who were pleased with his performance.

Shay then saw Kelly standing with her chap; he went over to her and said jokingly “Alright Kell how’s it going? You scrub up quite well for a tomboy from Newtown”. Kelly laughed and replied “Thanks Shay, you aint a bad boxer for someone who’s still got a comfort blanket”. Shay laughed and said “Shut up you cow, it’s great to see you”. He gave her a big hug and she said “It’s great to see you too”.

Shay looked at the smartly dressed man standing next to Kelly and asked “So who is your friend?” Kelly replied “Sorry Shay, this is my boyfriend James”. Shay looked him up and down then shook his hand and said “Nice to meet you James I’m Shay”.

James replied “Nice to meet you Shay, Kelly’s told me all about you, great fight by the way”. Shay thanked James and then called Emma over to say hello, Emma and Kelly didn’t talk during the show, the only person Kelly talked to was Shay’s Mom who she had known since she was a kid. Emma came over and Shay said “Aint you going to say hello”.

Emma smiled and said “Hello Kelly, it’s been a long time”.

Kelly replied “Yes it has, I’ve heard you’re a model now, I’m so happy for you”. Emma smiled and said “Thank you, by the way you are looking lovely tonight, I love your dress”.

Kelly replied quite shocked at the complement off Emma with “Thank you”. Emma then said “Yes, I think I had dress last year”.

Shay could see what was about to happen and told Emma his Mom needed her, Emma smiled at Kelly and James and said in a very smug voice “I hope to see you soon”. As Emma walked away Kelly gave Shay a look he hadn’t seen in years, it was Kelly’s disapproving look she used to give him when he had done something wrong.

Shay smiled and said “Sorry about that”. Kelly just laughed and said “Same old Emma hey”. They chatted for a while until Emma came back to say they had to go to the after show party. Shay invited Kelly and James to come along. But Kelly said no as they had work the next day. He told Kelly to stay in touch and left with Emma, Shay’s Mom had headed back to Birmingham with Kenny.

Emma and Shay headed to the after show party with Dexter and Gary and a few young lady’s they had picked up on the way. When they got there the party was in full swing, Shay didn’t stop long; the fight had really taken it out of him. He went back to the hotel, but told Emma to stay and enjoy herself. Emma got back to the hotel in the early hours of the morning very, very drunk, Shay was fast asleep so she just got in next to him without waking him up.

When they got up in the morning, Emma told Shay she had a real good night, they headed back to Birmingham so he could tell his Dad about the fight. Shay dropped Emma off at their house and went to see his Dad, when he got to the house there was no one there. The next-door neighbor saw Shay and told him that his Dad had been taken in to hospital. He went straight up there and found his Mom outside the ward, she told him that the Doctor had told her that his Dad had the first signs of Emphysema; they were keeping him in over night to sort the chest infection out. They had prescribed him with an inhalator to help him when he was short of breath.

Shay went into the ward to see his Dad. His Dad told him they were making a fuss about nothing.

But Shay said to him “Well I hope you’re going to stop smoking now Dad like the Doctors have said”.

Shay’s Dad said in a very husky voice “Son I like a drink and I like a smoke, I’m 55 years old, I’m not going to change now”.

Shay replied with tears in his eyes “So you’re just going to carry on till you die an early death”. Shay’s Dad grabbed his hand and said “Well at least I’ll die as me, now can we talk about something else, tell me about your fight?” Shay knew he wasn’t going to win by going on at him, his Dad was a stubborn man and the more he try to change his mind the more he dig his heals in. Shay told him about the fight and Kelly coming to see him fight, his Dad mentioned to him that he always thought him and Kelly would get together. Shay just laughed at that and told his Dad they have only ever been friends and anyway he was with Emma and Kelly had a new boyfriend.

After he had finished at the hospital he took his Mom back to her house and made sure she was alright, she told Shay not to worry about her, she was fine and that he should concentrate on getting ready for his next fight.

The fight was in 4 months time, another 8 rounder, he took a month off from the gym and spent most of his time round his Mom and Dad’s house. Emma was away a lot on modeling shoots, so she wasn’t bothered about him not being at home.

After a month Shay went back to the gym. He had a heart to heart with Kenny about his Dad.

Kenny was sympathetic to what he was going though, but said “You won’t be helping your Dad if you lose your next fight will you. You have to train Shay and train hard; the easy fights are over Son”.

Shay did train hard real hard for this fight, but if he wasn’t in the gym he was at his Mom and Dad’s house making sure they were alright. He and Emma hardly saw each other either, she was away on modeling jobs or Shay was training.

All the hard training paid off, in his next 2 fights, he was back to his knockout ways taking out Adam ‘Slick’ Dickens in 3 rounds and the highly rated Bruce Roberts. On the same bills Gary Britain had won both his fights easily with early knockouts.

Shay’s Dad’s Emphysema had gotten worse; he now had to be on oxygen for 8 hours of the day. This worried Shay, but his Dad told him he wasn’t going anywhere till he saw his son holding that Lonsdale belt over his head.

While Shay had been winning, in the rest of the Super Middleweight division there had been a few title fights. ‘Iron’ Bryan Taylor had beaten Sam ‘I am’ Magson for the vacant British title in a very controversial title fight.

On the World scene Bruno Beef had got his world title shot against Jimmy Tarana and been completely out boxed. Jimmy was just to strong and too quick for the ‘Bully of British Boxing’, this didn’t humble Bruno at all, he told the worlds press that Tarana got lucky and got him on a bad day, but when asked if he wanted a rematch his answer was “I want to regroup and I’m going to win back my British title then take it from there”.

Shay had got a call off Kenny to come to the gym; he had news about his next fight. When Shay arrived at the gym, Kenny told him he had talked to Frank and they had got him his new opponent.

Kenny said “I hope you’re ready for the big time son, your next fights a big one, and it’s a 10 rounder”.

Shay said excitedly “against who Ken? Who do they want me to fight?” Kenny took a drink of water out of the bottle on his desk, and then he said “Frank wants you to fight Sam Magson and the winner gets to fight for the British Title”. Shay smiled, Sam Magson was a good boxer, but Shay was confident if he trained hard he could beat him. Shay replied “I’m happy with that Ken, beat Magson, then Taylor for the title, I can do that”. Kenny smiled and looked at Shay and said “I wish it was that easy, Taylor is defending his title on the same show as your next fight”. Shay said “So who’s Taylor fighting then?” Kenny replied “he is fighting Bruno Beef; he wants his British Title back”. Shay’s smile turned to concern “Fuck me Ken do you mean I’ll have to fight that nutter to win the title?” Kenny replied “Yeah if you beat Magson and he beats Taylor, but don’t worry yourself about Bruno, concentrate on the Magson fight, we’ll worry about Bruno after”. Shay asked “So when and where is the fight going to be held?” Kenny smiled and replied “Right here in Birmingham at the N.E.C, oh and you will be getting more money for this one Shay , I have talked to Frank about it and you will get 10 grand for the Magson fight and if you win you’ll get 20 grand for the Title fight”.

Shay smiled at the news and knew Emma would be happy with the rise in prize money.

Kenny told Shay there was going to be a big press conference in the next few weeks to announce the big fight.

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