• Dexter Hastings

Saturday Book Club - Fear No Foe Chapter 8


Saturday Book Club

Fear No Foe

The 8th Chapter of my book Fear No Foe, I hope you are all enjoying the story please feel free to contact me and tell me what you think of the story so far.

Chapters 1-7 can be found on the website search engine if you have missed any of them.

CHAPTER 8

The first thing Shay did after finding out the news was to go round to his Mom and Dad’s house and tell them. His Mom and Dad were so happy for him, Shay told them the scenario about he had to beat Magson them fight Taylor or Bruno for the title.

His Dad who was on his oxygen at the time said to him in-between deep breaths, “Son I know you can beat Magson, but that Bruno Beef is an animal, just make sure you have a good plan in that fight”.

Shay replied “Dad I’m just going to concentrate on Magson first and worry about Beef if he wins the title”.

You could see that seeing his Dad like this, on oxygen and looking really frail upset Shay no end, but he had to keep his emotions in check, not just for himself, but for his Mom and Dad.

When Shay got home he went into the living room where Emma was sitting watching television with a glass of wine. Shay started to tell her that he had got his next 2 fights sorted and they were big ones, Emma just looked at him and said “Yeah I know babe you’re fighting Magson and if you win Taylor or Bruno”.

Shay replied astonished “Yeah how did you know?”

Emma looked down at the floor like she was thinking hard for an answer then replied “Err Frank called and told me”.

Shay replied “Frank called here?”

Emma snapped back at him “Yeah he did”.

Shay looked shocked at this snappy reply and said “O.k. then, what’s up with you?”

Emma then seemed to calm down and said “Nothing I’m sorry I’ve just had a bad day, its great news though about the fights, I know you can do it I’m so proud of you” she then hugged him and gave him a loving kiss.

The fight was over 3 months away, but Frank wanted a big promotion campaign for this show. The show was going to be called The Battle of Britain, there was going to be 2 British title fights in the lineup, the Super Middleweight and the Middle Weight titles were both on the line. The Middleweight title was going to be contested by the champ Winston Wilson and the challenger James Deen, Wilson was a very heavily built black boxer from Brixton London, and the 32 year old had a very impressive record of 30 wins and only 2 defeats. James was a mixed race lad from Birmingham and the 25 year old was unbeaten in 15 fights.

There was an impressive undercard as well, there was going to be 3 warm up fights featuring local lads from Birmingham, then there would be 2 boxes off fights to see who fought for the titles next. There was Shay against Magson and Gary Britain against another Birmingham hope Duncan Rogers a wiry looking lad with a decent record of 15 wins and only 1 defeat.

At the press conference there was Rodgers, Deen, Magson and Taylor on one side of the podium and on the other side there was Gary Britain, Shay and Wilson. Bruno hadn’t turned up yet and Frank was livid, the press conference was going out live on Sky Sports, so it could not be held up. Frank started it off by announcing The Battle of Britain would be held in the N.E.C arena Birmingham, he continued to tell the press it was going to be the best British boxing show ever held because of the quality of boxers.

When asked where Bruno was Frank answered “Bruno is stuck in traffic, I’m sure he will be here soon”.

The press conference was going well all the boxers were respectful of each other, there was not a bad word said. They were all confident of winning, but they gave their opponents the respect they deserved. When the champ Taylor was asked about his fight against Bruno Beef, Taylor said “Bruno is a great boxer, but I have improved since we last fought and I’m very confident I can beat him”.

As Taylor finished speaking Bruno walked in, he had heard what Taylor had said, Bruno shouted as he walked to the stage “Taylor do you really think you can beat me?”

Taylor looked shaken as Bruno approached the stage. Bruno went straight up to the podium where Frank was standing, he looked at Frank and said “Hello boss sorry I’m late”.

Frank just looked at him like he was going to explode, but somehow controlled his anger, Frank smiled and said “So nice of you to join us Bruno, please take a seat”.

Bruno replied “I don’t need a seat Frank this won’t take long”.

He grabbed the mike from the podium and turned and stared at Taylor. Taylor wouldn’t look at him.

Bruno then said “Taylor you have got no chance at the Battle of Britain, I intend to beat you worst than I beat you last time”.

Taylor still wouldn’t look at him and refused to answer Bruno, Bruno continued “You see” pointing at Taylor and looking at the press “He is already beat; I’ll tell you what I’m making a prediction right now. I will stop Taylor in 3 rounds, I want my belt back” the press were loving it and one of the reporters asked Bruno what he thought of the box off fights for the next contenders.

Bruno stopped for a second and first looked at Magson on his left then at Shay on his right; Shay looked deep into Bruno’s eyes not wanting to break the stare. Bruno smiled at this and winked at Shay, Bruno turned to the press and said in a very calm voice “Well I think it will be a great fight, Magson is a great boxer he would have to be he went the distance with me, but I think the young lad Dempsey will just be a bit too strong for him and win on points”.

This made Shay smile one of Britain’s best boxers thinking he would win the box off, but Shay’s smile was soon wiped off his face as Bruno was asked who he thought would win if Shay and him met for the title.

Bruno smiled and said in a very smug voice “Not if mate when. It will be a no contest, I will give him an education in boxing, it will be just a case of how much pain this young lad can take before he goes down”.

Shay was speechless at what Bruno had said; he looked at Kenny who was sitting in the front row of the conference.

Kenny just looked at Shay and gestured with his hands for Shay to stay calm.

Shay took a deep breath and replied “I’m just concentrating on my next fight against Magson and that’s all, I think Bruno should do the same”.

Bruno then started on Gary Britain saying “Ahh there’s Britain’s golden boy, what’s up Gary scared to move up in weight? I think Britain will win the box off easy and beat whoever wins the title” Gary Britain didn’t look at Bruno and just kept smiling at the press. Bruno then really started to get out of order he said “Well at least if Gary wins the title it will be back in British hands”.

Wilson turned to Bruno and got out of his chair and said in a very urban street like accent “What you trying to say Beef I’m more British than you”.

Bruno just smiled and said “Well you want to learn to speak English mate, not that Patwari urban shit, you’re not on the streets now selling drugs”.

Wilson went for Bruno, but the security stopped him, Frank went to pull Bruno away from the mic, but Bruno just put it down and walked out of the conference.

Frank apologized to the press, but he knew he had all the publicity he needed for this show to be a success.

The next day the newspapers were full of the story of Bruno Beef’s attack on Wilson and the other boxers. It was going to be a must see event of the summer.

All the publicity hadn’t done Shay any harm, he was interviewed a few times for the national and local papers and he even got to appear on a sky sports boxing show as one of the pundits.

Shay was training hard, after his last fight Kenny was concentrating on Shay’s cardio as he didn’t want him running out of steam in the later rounds.

Shay and Emma didn’t get to see much of each other with her modeling and him training. Shay was also spending a lot of time round his Mom and Dad’s, to make sure they were o.k.

Shay and Kenny watched loads of Magson’s fights; he was a very durable boxer who liked to mixes it up on the inside. They watched the Magson v Beef fight and Shay couldn’t believe how well Magson had done. He took everything Bruno threw at him and still kept coming forward, Kenny’s plan was simple.

He said to Shay “Do the same as you did in the last fight, box him on the outside, keep your distance, but be ready to do 10 rounds”.

Shay just replied “Yeah just can’t be running out of steam against him”.

As the fight drew closer Shay got a call from Kelly telling him she was coming back to Birmingham to see him fight.

Shay said “Ahh I see you got the boxing bug now, I’ll get you and James ringside tickets again.

Kelly replied “No I haven’t, but it is a big fight for you, so I’m coming to support you”.

Shay thanked Kelly and said he looked forward to seeing her again.

It was now the day before the fight, Shay weighted in spot on the 12 stone limit and so did Magson, there were no dramas at the weigh in, that’s until Bruno and Taylor came to weigh in. Bruno taunted Taylor all the way though, telling him he was going to knock him out in the 3rd round. Taylor already looked like he was a beat, he was trying to laugh it off, but you could see in his eyes he was scared.

Emma was on a modeling job, but told Shay she would be back for the fight, Shay wasn’t happy about this she had always been with him the night before a fight and he didn’t like the change in his routine. He had a decent sleep that night and woke up ready for his biggest challenge. Shay got his normal phone calls from Dexter, Gary Southan and Kenny. Kenny told him he would pick him up later and drive him to the show.

His Mom called him to wish him luck; she wasn’t coming to the fight as his Dad couldn’t come because of his condition. Shay’s Mom wished him all the luck in the world and told him how proud they were of him.

His Mom put his Dad on the phone to talk to him, he said in a very breathless voice “Listen to Kenny son; I know you can do it”.

Shay replied “Dad I’m going to do it, I’m going to make you proud”. His Dad replied in-between breaths “You already have son, I’ll be watching on telly”.

After he had finished on the phone to his Mom and Dad, he called Emma on her mobile to see what time she would be back, Emma told him she was driving back right now and would be there for the start of the fight, she wished him good luck and told him that she loved him and couldn’t wait to see him”.

When he had got off the phone to Emma he was feeling very inspired and very confident from what his Dad and Emma had said to him. Kenny picked him up about 6 o’clock in the evening and they headed off to the N.E.C just on the outskirts of Birmingham. They got there at 7 o’clock, the show started at half past 7, but the live show on Sky didn’t start till 9. Kenny and Shay went to the changing room and were told that Gary Britain would be kicking off the live show against Duncan Rogers, then it would be him and Magson followed by the 2 British title fights.

Shay watched the buildup fights on the television in his changing room while he got ready and warmed up. He was very calm and very focused.

As Kenny taped his hands he said to Shay “Remember Son, this Magson is one tough lad, so box him, wear him down don’t get involved in a brawl” Shay just replied confidently “Ken I aint putting a foot wrong tonight, Magson aint going to get near me”.

Kenny just smiled and said “That’s what I wanted to hear”.

The live show started bang on 9 o’clock, the N.E.C was full to capacity, 25,000 people in the arena waiting in anticipation of the great night of boxing a head.

The Britain, Rogers fight was a hard fought match, Rogers really took it to the golden boy Britain and seemed to wobble him a few times, but Britain showed great grit and determination and stopped Rogers with a devastating combination of punches in the 8th round.

Shay watched on from his changing room and could not be anything but impressed, he turned to Kenny and said “Do you know what Ken, I think Britain is going to win that title, whoever has it after tonight”. Kenny nodded his head in agreement then said “Well he’ll be saying the same thing about you after your fight”.

Shay laughed and replied “Somehow I don’t think so Ken”.

Because Shay was the local lad he was told he would be entering the ring second, Magson had got a warm welcome from the crowd, he was a well respected boxer and had brought quite a few supporters with him.

When Shay came out the place went wild, the local lad was getting a great reception from the mostly Birmingham crowd. Shay soaked up the atmosphere as he climbed the steps to the ring. Shay slipped though the ropes, Magson moved over towards him and got right into Shay’s face to try and intimidate him. Shay stood there eyes fixed on Magson with only an inch between them, the Ref pushed them apart and told them to go to their corners.

Shay saw Emma, Dexter and Gary sitting ringside.

Emma who looked stunning as always shouted up to him “Come on baby, you can do it”.

Shay smiled and gave her a wink. As the announcements were being made he saw Kelly waving at him from the other side of the ring, he pointed his glove at her like he did last time.

The Ref called them to the centre of the ring. Magson looked charged and was really trying to get in Shay’s face, the ref told him to move back. He gave them their instructions and they went back to their corners.

As Shay walked back to his corner he noticed another familiar face ringside, it was a face that he never thought he would see again. Sitting there with a slutty looking woman on each side of him was his old foe Chav. The lad Shay had knocked out when he was 14 was sitting in the most expensive seats in the arena, Shay looked over at him and Chav shouted “Dempsey you’re going down”.

Shay just shook his head.

When Shay got back to the corner, he said to Kenny “How’s that fucker have ringside seats”.

Kenny said “Who you going on about?”

Shay replied “Him with the 2 birds”.

Kenny looked over and then said “Shay does it matter, concentrate on Magson and stick to the plan”.

Shay nodded as Kenny put his gum shield in.

The bell went for the first round; Magson came forward and went straight on the attack with a volley of lefts and rights. Shay moved out of the way and caught Magson with some sweet one, two’s. Magson kept coming forward, but Shay was controlling the fight with his superior jabbing and countering.

Shay completely out boxed Sam in the first 3 rounds of the fight and was completely in control.

In the 4th round Magson’s pressure started to pay off for him, he was cutting the ring down well and not giving Shay any room to move. Magson got Shay on the ropes and banged in some viscous body shots. Shay just couldn’t get his distance in this round, Magson had started pouring it on in this round and Shay was feeling it and was happy to hear the bell to end the round.

He sat down in the corner.

Kenny gave him a drink of water and said “You have got to keep your distance Shay, don’t get into a war with this bloke, that’s not the plan”.

Shay took a deep breath and replied “Ken I’m trying, but he’s better than I thought he was”.

Ken then said “Look Shay, you have out boxed him for 3 out of 4 rounds, now get out there and do it”.

As he got up for the 5th round the capacity crowd were applauding and cheering both boxers, but Shay could hear one voice above all the crowd. Chav was right next to his corner and he could hear him shouting “Come on Magson, smash him up, he is nothing”.

Shay looked down at him with a look that could kill, Chav stood there with his arms spread wide and a smug grin on his face mouthing the words “Wanker” to Shay.

Kenny shouted up at Shay “Stop looking at that dick head and concentrate on the fight”.

Rounds 5 to 9 were a complete war both boxers gave it their all, one minute Magson would look like he was going to go down, then Magson would come back and Shay would look in trouble.

Both boxers were bloody and bruised as the 9th round came to an end, Magson’s right eye was completely swollen shut and Shay had swelling over both eyes.

Shay sat in the corner, Kenny just said “Right son it’s the last round and were home and dry”

Shay didn’t say anything he just nodded and took deep breaths.

Chav was still shouting abuse at Shay from his ringside seat, but by this time Shay had blocked all the noise out.

Shay and Magson went to the centre of the ring and touched gloves to start the 10th and final round.

Shay got his jab going from the start of the round; he pumped his left hand into Magson’s swollen face. Magson bobbed and weaved trying to get on the inside knowing that he needed a knock out to win. Shay was controlling the fight and looked like he was going to cruise to victory, but Magson from somewhere mustered up the strength for one more attack. Shay let a nice one, two go, but Magson managed to slip past Shay’s right hand and caught Shay with a ferocious left hook and then a devastating straight right hand. For the first time ever, Shay was looking up from the canvas, he had always wondered what it felt like to be knocked down and now he was getting a firsthand account of it.

He remembered what Kenny had told him all through his career, “If you get knocked down Son, don’t try and be a big man and get straight back up. Look over to your corner and listen to the Refs count”.

To Shay the whole thing seemed to be in slow motion, he looked over at Kenny who was shouting “Are you o.k son, Are you o.k?”

Shay nodded at him to let him know he was. The ref was up to 4 on the count, Shay’s head had cleared slightly, but he was still a bit disorientated. He focused on Kenny in the corner, but could see right behind Ken in the crowd Chav laughing and cheering at the sight of Shay being knocked down.

The count was now at 7, Kenny shouted “Get up Shay get up”.

The ref got to 8 and Shay rose to his feet. Shay put his hands up to show the ref he was o.k., the Ref looked him in the eyes wiped Shay’s gloves down on his shirt and told them to box on. Shay’s head still wasn’t fully recovered and Magson seemed to sense this and moved in to finish him.

Shay could see a very blurry looking Magson coming towards him; he took a deep breath and shot out a straight right hand. Magson had just got into range to unleash a volley of punches, but Shay’s hopeful straight right caught him flush on the jaw nearly taking his head off with its power and Magson’s forward Momentum. Magson went crashing to the floor; Shay still not fully recovered from the knock down could tell from the feel of how hard he had hit Magson that he wasn’t going to be getting up. Shay stepped over Magson’s motionless body and walked over to where Emma and the rest were sitting with his hands raised in the air.

The ref got to the count of 2 before calling the fight over as Magson was out cold. Shay was still celebrating his win and hadn’t realized that the Ref had called for the doctor and the paramedic’s to come into the ring. Ken came over to Shay.

Shay turned round with a smile on his face saying “I’ve done it Ken, I got my title shot”.

Kenny grabbed him and replied “Yes Son, you have, but Magson looks in a real bad way”.

Shay looked over and saw all the medical staff standing round Magson as he lay unconscious on the ring floor, Shay rushed over to see if he was o.k. the crowd was silent as Magson hadn’t moved for 2 minutes, Kenny tried to take Shay back to the changing room to get him out of there, but he wouldn’t leave until he knew what was going on with Magson.

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