Saturday Book Club - Fear No Foe Chapter 10
The 10th instalment of my book fear No Foe, I hope you are enjoying it and please let me know what you think of the story line via the website .
Shay and Emma didn’t wake up until the afternoon the next day. Shay went into the bath room really hung over, he looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe the state of his face. He had 2 black eyes; the top of his left eye was really swollen and was so bruised it was a deep dark blue colour. He stood in front of the mirror examining his upper body, he had grazes all over his shoulders and arms and his back had deep rope marks across it from the ring. He looked down at his ribs; the whole left side of his rib cage was bruised and very painful.
Emma walked into the bathroom and Shay said to her “Em look at my ribs Babe”.
Emma looked Shay up and down very hung over herself and said “Bloody hell you look like a bad spud, do you think you need to go to hospital?
Shay laughed which hurt his bruised and swollen ribs and his very hung over head and said “No babe the Doctor at the show said they were only bruised and I would be in pain for a week or so”.
Emma wasn’t really listening as she was just as hung over as Shay, she said as she left the bathroom “Ahh ok babes, do you want a coffee, I think we both need one”.
Shay said “yes” then got freshened up and went down to the newsagents to get the papers.
When he got back and read the back page of the paper, boxing had for once taken over the back page from football. The head line read in big bold letters “British Beef” And the sub headline read Bruno Beef destroys Taylor to become champion again. They had an excellent picture of Bruno knocking Taylor out, it gave a brief summery about the fight and near the end it mentioned the other fights. It said there was a 8 page pull out in the centre of the paper to get the full story on all the fights.
Shay quickly turned to the centre pages, there was a whole page on all 4 fights. He went straight to the article about his fight, the head line read “The Hammer Blow” and under there was a small head line saying Dempsey gets off the canvas to win one of Britain’s fights of the decade. The article itself was a glowing reference for Shay, the report said Dempsey showed great skill to control the fight and when Magson poured on the pressure in the later rounds, Shay held his own and stayed with the veteran boxer.
The reporter wrote about Shay getting knocked down, Magson gave it his all and when he put Dempsey down in the last round, me and all the other reporters thought it was all over. Shay showed great grit and determination to get up, and then come back with a devastating right hand to end the fight. The reporter prediction for the title fight wasn’t as pleasing to Shay’s eyes. The reporter predicted that Bruno would be too strong for the 22 year old Birmingham boxer and would stop Shay early in the fight.
In all the papers there was great praise for Shay’s win, but they all thought Bruno would win the title fight. It wasn’t the first time Shay had been the underdog and was looking forward to proving the doubters wrong.
Shay was going to take a nice long break from boxing; him and Emma had booked a month’s long island hopping in the Caribbean. Shay and Emma had a really relaxing holiday; it was just what they needed some quality time together.
Emma was straight back to work when they came back; Shay intended to have at least another month away from the gym as Kenny had ordered him to take a good break before he started back. All Shay did was relax at home or at his Mom and Dad’s house making sure they were alright. His Dad had started to improve a little bit; he had stopped smoking now and didn’t really drink anymore. He still didn’t look the big strong man Shay had always looked up too, but at least his better life style had improved his breathing.
It had been nearly 3 months since Shay’s last fight when Kenny called him to tell him to come down the gym to talk to him and Frank about when and where the title fight was going to be.
When he met up with Frank and Kenny in Kenny’s office at the gym, Frank told him that he was thinking of holding the fight next summer in a football stadium, but hadn’t decided which one.
Shay was a bit disappointed that he was going to have to wait so long for his shot at the title.
Shay said “So I’m going to have to wait over 12 months for a shot at Bruno? I thought you would have wanted this fight as soon as possible?”
Frank replied “Shay trust me mate, this is going to be the biggest boxing event Britain has ever seen. I’m in talks with a few football clubs who all want to hold this show next summer, we got the Britain, Wilson for the British Middle Weight title and you and Bruno for the British Super Middle Weight fight as the main event. Win or lose Son you’re going to make a mint on this fight with sponsorships and all the personal and promotion appearances you will be doing before the fight, you’re going to be a busy lad”.
Shay looked over at Kenny who for once was very quiet, Shay asked him “So what do you think Ken?”
Kenny looked at Frank then turned to Shay and said “I don’t usually agree with Frank, but I have got to say it’s a good Idea, we’ll have more time to work out how to fight Bruno”.
Frank smiled at Ken’s reply and said “See Shay me and Kenny agree for once”.
Kenny then said “But Frank, I do think Shay’s purse should be more”. Frank looked shocked at this and replied “Ken he’s getting 20 grand for it, how much more do you want?”
Kenny leaned back in his chair smiled and said “We want 30 grand or Shay doesn’t fight, no negotiations 30 grand or there’s no fight”. Frank could see Kenny wasn’t going to budge and said in a very annoyed voice “O.k. Ken, Shay can have 30 grand for the fight” he then looked at Shay and said “You better put on a good show for that Son”.
Shay smiled and said “Good show? I’m knocking your boy out and winning the title mate”.
Frank smiled and said “That’s the spirit Shay; I should know when and where the fight will be by the end of the month”.
Shay was kept busy for the next month by lots of promotional work for 1066 entertainments and of course Brumsdale. Dexter had asked Shay to come to the club so he could talk to him about a deal he wanted to offer him.
When Shay got there he went up to Dexter’s office, he went in and Dexter was sitting behind his desk and to Shay’s surprise Kenny was also sitting in his office chatting away to Dexter.
Shay said “Alright Dext how you doing mate, Ken what you doing here?”
Kenny replied “Dexter asked me to come Son; he’s got an offer for you”.
Shay was confused, if Dexter had a sponsorship offer for him he didn’t need Kenny there, Dexter asked Shay to sit down, he did.
He asked Dexter “So are you offering me a new sponsorship deal?” Dexter stood up smiled and replied “No Shay I don’t want to sponsor you anymore”.
Shay looked shocked at what Dexter had said and answered “Why have I done something wrong?”
Dexter laughed and said “No Shay I want to promote you”.
Shay was still confused about what was going on and replied “But Goldsten promotes me”.
Dexter smiled at Shay and said “Yes he does Shay, but for only one more fight Son. I have started promoting some of the lads that fight on the shows at The Squared Circle, but I want to expand my promotion and management company to the big boys in British boxing and then the world”.
Shay looked shocked and turned and looked at Kenny.
Kenny just said to Shay “Listen to Dexter Son, I think this is the way to go”.
Dexter continued “Whatever happens in the title fight Shay, win or lose, I want you to sign. I’m willing to give you 100 grand as a welcome, and then you will get a percentage of the TV and gate recipes of all the shows you fight on”.
Shay still looked confused and was trying to work out in his head how that would work out for him.
Dexter then said “For instance Shay, if I was promoting your title fight I reckon you’d be getting closer to 50 grand for the fight”.
Shay smiled at this and turned to Kenny again and said “And you think this is a good idea Ken?”
Kenny replied “Son I trust Dexter 100 percent, Frank is a snake and sooner or later he is going to fuck you over, so I think we should go with Dexter”.
Shay didn’t give it a second thought and said to Dexter “Well if Kenny thinks it’s a good idea I’m in Dext”.
Dexter smiled and said “That’s great Shay, 1066 promotions might have its first champion in the next year or so”.
Dexter then told Shay in a very serious voice “There is one thing though Shay, until you have had your last fight for Goldsten you can’t tell anyone and I mean anyone not even your misses”.
Shay replied “Emma won’t say anything Dext’s, she’ll be fine”. Dexter shook his head and said “Shay look no one can know or Goldsten will fuck it up, yeah Emma’s seems like a nice girl, but she ‘s a women and there’s no way she would be able to keep this to herself, so just keep it to yourself”.
Shay nodded his head and agreed, Dexter then put his hand out and shook hands with Shay to seal the deal.
Dexter said “I’ve shook your hand Shay so to me the deal is sealed I’m a man of my word, so whatever happens you will be with 1066 promotions next year”.
Shay nodded his head and Dexter opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
It was pretty easy for Shay to keep it secret from Emma, she was away an awful lot, Shay did ask her that how come she went on all these photo shoots and he didn’t see much of her in the fashion magazines she buys?
Emma snapped at this and said “A lot of them are for foreign magazines and you couldn’t get them over here”.
Shay just smiled and said “I was only asking Em, I’m just glad you’re doing so well”.
It had been 2 months since Shay had seen Frank; Shay had called him about the date and where the fight was going to be held, and Frank just kept saying he would let him know when he had news.
Shay had turned 23 now and was back at the gym, but was only keeping fit and helping Kenny train the other pro boxers.
Frank called Kenny and told him to bring Shay down to London in a week’s time for a big press conference he had set up, Kenny ask Frank “So when and where’s the fight then?”
Frank just replied “You will find out when you come down Ken”. Kenny told Shay about the press conference and that they would find out when and where on the day, Shay was just glad that the fight was finally on.
He got in contact with Emma who was away on another photo shoot and told her all about it. Emma told him she was really happy for him, but might not be able to get down there as she was in Paris, but she would try.
Shay replied “Well if you can’t get there make sure you watch it on telly”.
Shay then gave Kelly a call and told her he was coming down to London next week and did she want to meet up while he was down there. Kelly seemed a bit down, but said “Yeah it will be really nice to see you Shay”.
Shay asked her if everything was alright, Kelly just said “Yeah I’m fine; I’ll see you when you come down”.
The press conference was being held at the Savoy Hotel in the Strand in London, as Shay and Kenny walked in they were greeted by Frank, who wanted a word with Shay. Frank told Shay that as he only had one more fight on his contract he wanted to offer him a new one.
Shay didn’t know what to say to Frank, but Kenny jumped in and said “Frank he ain’t signing any contract till after the fight, we’ll talk to you then”.
Frank wasn’t happy about this, but had known Kenny long enough to know he wasn’t going to get anywhere going on about it. There was only going to be four of the boxers at the press conference, Shay, Wilson, Gary Britain and Bruno Beef.
Shay and Wilson were the first ones there, Gary turn up soon after, but seemed very distracted about something.
When Shay went up to him and said hello he seemed very quiet and nervous around Shay. Shay thought it was quite funny to see Gary ‘Great’ Britain so nervous; Shay asked him if he was o.k.
He replied “Yeah just got something on my mind that’s all”.
Before Shay could say anymore, Bruno entered the room, as soon as he saw Shay he was shouting abuse at him.
As Bruno walked up to the stage he shouted “You ready for me boy! I’m going to give you education in boxing then knock you out”.
Shay laughed at Bruno and replied “Bruno the cameras ain’t running yet, save your pantomime act for when they are rolling”.
Bruno rushed towards Shay, but the security stopped him from getting anywhere near him. Frank went over to Bruno and told him to save it for the ring.
Bruno gave Shay a look and a very sinister smile and said to Frank “Yeah he can have it all in the ring”.
The press conference started, it was being shown live on Sky Sports. Frank told the British press that The Battle of Britain II would be held on the 1st of August at Upton Park East London. This made Gary Britain and Bruno Beef smile as they were both lifelong West Ham supporters. Wilsons face wasn’t as happy, he was from south London and a Millwall fan and he was going to be fighting at their arch rival’s stadium. Shay on the other hand wasn’t bothered, he’d never really been into football and never really followed any team, but thought it was going to be great fighting in a football stadium outdoors.
Gary started off the press conference, when asked what he thought of where the show was being held.
Gary said “Yeah I love the fact it’s at Upton Park, I’ve been brought up a West Ham supporter and try and get down there as much as I can. I know I’ll have great support there”.
They asked Wilson the same question and his reply was blunt “I’m not bothered where it is, but it will be good to beat Britain in front of his fans especially as he’s West Ham”.
Gary looked over at Wilson and said “Well who do you support?” Wilson replied “It doesn’t matter who I support, this aint football it’s boxing and you are going to get beat son”.
Gary smiled and said “Well all I can say is it will be a good fight, but I am pretty confident I will win and become Champion”.
Wilson sucked his teeth at this and replied in Patwari “cha man, I am eyes is going to beat your bumble clart you little rarce”.
Gary Britain looked at the press and just shrugged his shoulders and pulled a face that said to the press what did he say.
Wilson then got up and walked out shouting abuse at Gary as he went. Before Gary could say anymore Bruno piped up and said “I see the native is restless, now let’s talk about what we are really here for, me giving Dempsey a boxing lesson”.
One of the reporters asked Bruno “So don’t you think Dempsey will be any challenge?”
Bruno replied chuckling to himself “Challenge? I’m the best British boxer and there’s no one who can touch me. Yeah Dempsey done well against Magson, but let’s have it right, he was out on his feet and got lucky. On the first of August he is going to run out of luck and his unbeaten record and may be his career will be over”.
The media looked at Shay for a reply, Shay paused for a second then said with a smile on his face “I’m glad Beef remembered that I’m unbeaten and yeah I might have had a bit of luck on my side against Magson, but the fact is I stopped him, something The Beef couldn’t do”.
Shay looked over at Bruno and continued “Bruno you want to make sure I don’t do a Jimmy Tarrna on you mate”.
Bruno looked like he was going to explode; he turned to Shay his face bright red and said “Dempsey you’re not even in Tarrna’s league and he was lucky that night I wasn’t in a good place. I just hope you’re ready for the beating of your life”.
Frank ended the press conference there as he knew Bruno was ready to start acting up.
They lead Shay and Bruno out of separate doors and Shay and Kenny went up to their rooms in the hotel.
As they went up to their rooms Shay asked Kenny how he thought he done.
Kenny smiled and said “You done well Son, you got him riled, now every time you meet him do the same”.
Shay laughed and said “I don’t know Ken he looked pretty mad” Kenny replied “I know Son, but that’s a good thing, people make mistakes when they fight mad”.
Shay went to his hotel room and called Emma to see if she was going to be coming to London. Emma told him that she was still in Paris and would be home in a few days.
Shay said “I wished you could be here, but I understand if you had to work”, he told her he loved her and couldn’t wait to see her when she got back.
Emma just replied “Yeah me too Babe, look I got to go I’ll see you at home”.
Shay then called Kelly to sort out meeting up with her later, he told her he would book a table at the Savoy where he was stopping.
He asked her “is James coming with you I need to know so I can book the table”.
Kelly replied “No it will just be me”.
Shay asked Kelly why he wasn’t coming. Kelly just said she would talk to him about it when they met.
Shay then said in a jokey way “So it’s a table for 2 then and don’t get trying it on with me, it’s not a date”.
Kelly laughed and replied “You got no chance mate, anyway isn’t Emma joining us?”
Shay said “No, she’s in Paris”.
Kelly replied “Ohh right, I thought I saw here today shopping in Oxford Street”.
Shay said “No I just talked to her on the phone she’s still in Paris”. Kelly replied in a very bitchy way “Well I suppose all these skinny models look the same”.
Shay laughed at that and said “Shut up, I’ll see you about 7 Kell”.
When Kelly got to the Savoy, Shay was waiting at the bar for her. Kelly looked stunning in a long black dinner dress that really showed off here womanly curves.
Shay walked over to her gave her a kiss on the cheek and said “Wow Kell what can I say you look amazing”.
Kelly smiled and replied “Thanks Shay, I thought I’d make the effort seems we’re in such a posh place”.
Kelly then said cheekily “But you could of made the effort too”. Shay laughed at this and replied “You cheeky cow, this suit cost me a grand, Taylor made from Savo Road, anyway you can order what you like tonight it’s on Goldsten promotions so we don’t have to do a runner like we used to from the curry houses when we were younger”. Kelly laughed and the Matradee showed them to their table. They sat down and the waiter gave Shay the wine list, Shay looked through it like a connoisseur.
Kelly was very impressed with this until Shay looked up at the waiter and said “Can I have a pint of Stella and a bottle of Lambrini for the lady please”.
The waiter just looked at Shay confused; Kelly looked at him in shock, Shay cracking up with laughter.
He then handed Kelly the wine list and said “Here you pick, what do I know about wine”.
Kelly looked at the wine list, then Shay asked “What do you want red or white?”
Kelly replied “Red I think, but there so expensive”.
Shay took the wine list off Kelly and said to the waiter “Your most expensive bottle of red please, ohh and a pint of Stella”.
Kelly looked at Shay; Shay just shrugged his shoulders and said “Goldsten paying for it so we might as well”
Shay asked Kelly where James was and how come he hadn’t come? Kelly told him that they had split up; Shay really didn’t know what to say to that news and asked her if she was o.k. Kelly told him she was fine and it was probably for the best as she was thinking of moving back to Birmingham as she had been offered a new job there.
Shay said “I’m sorry to hear that about you and James, but I’m happy that you are coming back to Brum”.
They enjoyed an excellent 3 course meal and were really enjoying each other’s company, chatting about the old days when they were kids.
Shay said “It has been such a long time since it had just been me and you I do really miss this”.
Kelly agreed telling Shay she missed all the laughs they used to have together and they should make the effort to meet up more often. Shay agreed and said they should cap off the night with the finest Champagne the Savoy had to offer. They went to the bar and Shay ordered a bottle of 500 pound Crystal for them and told the bar man he wanted to buy everyone in the bar a drink and to put it all on the hotel bill. Shay and Kelly drank the night away with other guest wanting to talk to Shay about his upcoming fight against Bruno, when the bar closed they went up to Shay’s hotel room to raid the mini bar.
They were both very drunk, Shay put on some old tunes from when they were kids. They reminisced about how they were when they were younger and how far they had come since their days in Newtown.
Shay said to Kelly “I got to say Kell you have grown into one stunning looking woman, I can’t believe you’re the same girl who used to help me with my home work”.
Kelly smiled at Shay and said “Come on Shay your with one of the best looking girls in Newtown when we were younger and now she’s a top model, I’m not a patch on her”.
Shay looked at Kelly and replied “Yeah Emma’s is gorgeous no doubt about it, but if you saw what she has to do to look that good”.
Shay took a drink from his bottle of beer and continued “But Kelly you go natural beauty, you don’t need hardly any make up and I got to say you got a cracking body your what a real woman should look like”.
Kelly smiled and replied “Stop trying to embarrass me, do you say this to all your mates?”
Shay laughed and said “Well if Kenny had an arse like yours, I probably wouldn’t get any training done”.
Kelly burst into laughter and said “You’re a cheeky fucker” and gave Shay a playful punch to the shoulder.
Shay jumped off the bed laughing and said “Ahh so you want to take on the soon to be Champ do you?”
He got into his boxing stance and started dancing round the room. Kelly stood up as well and put her hand up and moved round with him shooting out playful lefts and rights.
Shay was laughing so much he did see how close he was to the bed and backed into it and ended up flat on his back on the bed.
Kelly saw her opportunity to get the advantage in there play fight and jumped on top of him. Kelly had Shay pinned to the bed and was slapping him in the face asking him if he gives up.
Eventually through the laughter Shay shouted “I give up, you win”. Kelly put her hands in the air in triumph as she sat on Shay, laughing and shouting “I’m the champ, I’m the champ”.
As the laughter died down, there was a moment, a pause, a second where there was silence. They both looked each other in the eyes, Kelly lent her head down and Shay’s head came up at the same time, there lips met for the first time and they kissed.
They had known each other since they were kids and this was the first time anything like this had happened.