Chapter 13 in my Book Fear No Foe Hope you are enjoying it
It was just before 9 o’clock, there was a load beeping noise from outside Shay’s house, he went out to see what all the noise was and was shocked to see Kenny and Dexter standing next to a stretch limousine.
Shay asked “Is that for us?”
Dexter replied “Well Shay if you’re going to be fighting for a title, you might as well arrive in style”.
Shay told Kenny that he had weighed himself today and he was bang on the weight.
Kenny said “see I told you not to worry about it now go get your bag”.
Shay went back into his house, he got his bag and told Kelly Kenny was outside. Kelly was shocked when she came out as she thought they were going down to London in Kenny’s bashed up mini bus he used to take the lads to the shows.
There was loads of room in the limo, so Kenny and Dexter were more than happy for Kelly to join them. Samantha was also in the limo and was happy to see another female joining them on the journey down.
They had a nice relaxing journey down there, Kenny had told Dexter and Samantha not to mention Emma or what had happened, so all the chat was very light hearted banter.
They got to the Savoy hotel where they were all staying at about 12 o’clock, they went to check in and drop their bags off before going to the weigh in.
Shay asked the women at the reception “Can I book another room please”
The receptionist looked at the computer and then said “Sorry Sir we have no rooms available, we are fully booked”.
Shay turned to Kelly and said jokingly “There’s no room at the inn love, I think there’s a premier inn down the road”.
Kelly laughed and replied “Well it will save me some money won’t it”.
Kelly asked the receptionist where the nearest hotel was to this one. Before the receptionist could answer Shay jumped in and said “Don’t be silly Kell, you can stop in my room”.
Kelly looked at Shay and said “Are you sure? Don’t you want to focus on the fight tonight?”
Shay replied “Kell I’m more than ready for the fight, but it would be nice to have a friend round me to take my mind off things”.
Kelly smiled and said “O.k I’ll stay in your room”.
Kenny then turned to Shay and said “I don’t want you getting up to any funny business the night before the fight”.
Shay replied “No Ken, there won’t be any funny business, now we going to the weigh in or what?”
Frank had told Kenny he wanted them at the weigh in at 1 o’clock, Frank intended to keep the 2 boxers apart from each other, Bruno’s team were told to turn up at 2 that day.
When they got to Upton Park there was a big press presence and also a lot of fans attending the weigh in, as Shay came in Wilson and Gary Britain had just finished weighting in for their title fight. As Shay walked up to the stage Wilson was just walking off it, as Wilson walked passed Shay Wilson gave him a wink and put his fist out for a knuckle touch. Shay raised his fist to his and they touched in a gesture of respect.
Wilson said “Good luck blud, bus that racist rarse up”.
Shay nodded at him and replied “I’m going to try mate, good luck to you as well mate”.
Shay stepped on to the stage, Gary Britain walked passed him, and Shay said “Good luck tonight Gaz”.
Britain didn’t even look or acknowledge Shay and walked straight passed him down the steps. Shay turned to Kenny and said “What’s up with him?”
Kenny replied “He’s probably focusing on the fight son, now come on let’s get this over with”.
Shay stepped on to the scales with just his track suit bottoms on; the official looked at the scales and shouted “Shay Dempsey 12 stone 3 ounce’s”. Shay looked down at the scales and couldn’t believe he was over the weight limit as he hadn’t had anything to eat since he weighed himself that morning. Shay stepped off the scales and turned and looked at Kenny.
Kenny went over to him put his hand on his shoulder and whispered in his ear “There’s only one thing for it Son”.
Shay replied “What half an hour in the steam room?”
Kenny smiled and said “No son, nothing like that, all I need you to do is strip”.
Shay looked at Kenny and said “Are you mad Ken, I ain’t getting naked in front of the press and all these people”.
Kenny replied “Don’t argue with me and just strip, I’ll put a towel in front of you”.
Shay reluctantly took off his track suit bottoms and boxer shorts and with a towel held in front of the scales covering his dignity he weighed in. the official shouted “Shay Dempsey 12 stone” the official paused for a second which felt like a life time for Shay then looked up and said “Dead”.
Shay breathed a sigh of relief and could now enjoy a good feed when he got back to the hotel.
He posed for a few pictures on stage for the press after he had got his clothes back on, Shay then made his way out of the room only stopping to sign autographs for the boxing fans who had came to see the weigh in.
He went back to the hotel with Kelly and Kenny and the first thing he did was order the biggest steak they had on the menu, he piled in the food and also took in loads of water to rehydrate. They all went back up to Shay’s hotel room; Kenny had Shay watching some of Bruno’s fights and went though the plan they had come up with.
Kenny kept saying to Shay “Use your speed, get in then get out and just keep moving”.
Kelly was sitting there very quiet; Shay asked her what she thought? Kelly paused for a second then said “That Bruno looks really good and I think your very brave getting in there with him, but if you look at your fight against Magson and his, you done a lot better against him. I truly think you are going to beat him Shay if you stick to your plan”.
Shay smiled at this and was feeling pretty confident about the fight.
Kenny went back to his room and Shay and Kelly ordered some room service and watched some film’s and chatted about the good old days when they were kids.
Kelly was surprised at how calm Shay was with less than 24 hours to his fight. Shay ended up falling asleep while watching one of Kelly’s chick flicks. Shay woke up early the next day feeling pretty confident; having Kelly round him had really taken his mind off Emma and all the crap that had gone on in the last week.
The live show didn’t start till 9 o’clock on the night and Shay’s fight was scheduled to go on at 10pm and be the main event of the night. Shay, Kenny and Kelly met up with Dexter and Samantha in the hotel lobby, they had breakfast there then to kill time went with Dexter to see some clubs he was thinking of purchasing in London. Dexter then took them to a posh restaurant for lunch and they headed off back to the hotel.
Kenny and Shay were heading off to Upton Park at about 7pm so they could get settled into their changing room and get a look at the layout of the place. Kelly was going to arrive later with Dexter and Samantha as she thought she would be in the way otherwise. When they got to the stadium, there were a few people just starting to enter the event that kicked off at half 7.
They met up with Frank in the reception.
He asked Shay “You alright son? You ready to put a good show on?” Shay replied “Frank I’m not here to put a good show on, I’m here to win the title and that’s what I intend to do”.
Frank smiled and said “Well I’m sure it will be a classic fight, follow me and I’ll show you to your changing room”.
Frank led them to West Hams away dressing room.
Shay looked at Kenny then asked Frank “How many of us are sharing this then Frank?”
Frank replied “Just you and Wilson, Gary and Bruno are in the home dressing room as they are both West Ham supporters, I’ve got security outside the dressing rooms so don’t worry about Bruno trying it on before you get into the ring”.
Shay laughed at this and said “Do you really think I’m that worried about Bruno? He’s getting put in his place tonight”.
Frank smiled and said “Well good luck Shay, I’ll talk to you about a new contract after the show”.
Shay grinned at Frank and replied “Yeah Frank sure thing”.
There was a good under card for the show, there were a couple of London lads fighting on the bill, but 2 of the boxer’s names caught Shay’s eye. Two of Shay’s old adversary’s from when he was an amateur were fighting on the show, Ronnie Docker and Danny O’dyer were both fighting, they had both had ten fights, but both had lost a few. Shay had some time to kill before he had to start getting ready, Danny and Ronnie were in the same changing room and Shay went up there to wish them good luck in there fights. They both thanked him and wished him luck in his title fight.
Shay went back down to his changing room and when he opened the door he was shocked to see Richie Hatter and Sam Magson in there chatting to Kenny. A shocked Shay said hello to Richie and Sam and asked if they were here to watch the show? Richie told him he was a pundit on the live show for Sky Sports and would be watching from the make shift studio Sky had made in one of the executive suites. Before Sam could say anything Kenny said “Shay, Sam will be helping me in the corner”.
Shay smiled at this as he had nothing but respect for Sam and all he had done in the run up to the fight.
The under cards had already started and Richie stayed for a while and had a chat with them. Richie left just before Ronnie Docker entered the ring, Shay watched on in his changing room as Docker won a good points victory against one of the tough London lads.
Kenny started taping Shay’s hands up as Shay watched Danny O’dyer fight, Danny won with a very impressive 3rd round knockout. Shay had now got changed and was just loosening up. The live show was about to start. Shay had given an interview earlier in the day as Kenny didn’t want them bothering him before the fight.
They interviewed Bruno live just before the Wilson, Britain fight started; Bruno told the Sky audience that he was going to punish Dempsey for everything he had said.
Shay watched on as he warmed up with Kenny for the fight.
Wilson who had been pretty quite was already warmed up and ready for his title defense. Shay watched Gary Britain’s entrance on the monitor, the place was packed out and the boxing fans at Upton Park went mental on this warm summer night as Gary walked down towards the ring. Britain had come out to I’m forever blowing bubbles by Max Bygraves West Hams signature tune. Upton Park was rocking to the sound of the music and the roar from the West Ham faithful who had came in there droves to see the show.
They called Wilson to come out, Shay, Kenny and Magson all wished him luck as he walked out with his precious Lonsdale belt around his waist.
Shay couldn’t believe the reception the champion got as he entered the stadium; Wilson got booed all the way to the ring.
Shay looked at Kenny and said “I hope I don’t get a reception like that”.
Kenny laughed and replied “You might do Son, but I don’t think it will be as bad as this”
The title fight started and Shay watched while he moved round shadow boxing just to keep himself warm.
It was a hard drawn out fight, but by round 5 Britain looked like he was just starting to get the better of Wilson. As the fight continued Kenny could hear a commotion outside the changing room door, he went out to see what was going on.
When he got outside he saw Dexter there arguing with the security that wouldn’t let him into the changing room.
Kenny asked Dexter what was up? Dexter took him to one side saying he needed a word.
Kenny said “What’s up Dext? Why anit you watching the fight?” Dexter looked at Kenny with a serious face and said “Ken, you are not going to believe who’s at ringside”.
Kenny replied “Who Dext come on I ain’t got all day”.
Dexter looked down at the floor rubbed his hand across his mouth looked up and said “Shay’s ex Emma is ringside mate, Samantha noticed her on the other side of the ring”.
Kenny looked shocked; he brought his hand to his face trying to think what to do. He said to Dexter “How the fuck has she got a ringside seat?”
Dexter replied “Well I don’t know Ken, but she’s in the seats allocated for Bruno and Britain’s guests. Are you going to tell Shay?” Kenny stood there thinking what he should do, he then said “I ain’t going to stress him out just before he gets in to the ring, hopefully he won’t notice her”.
Dexter replied “Well if you think that’s the right thing to do Ken. Just thought I’d let you know”.
Kenny told Dexter to go back to his seat and he would sort Shay out. Kenny went back into the changing room, Shay asked Kenny what was up outside?
Kenny just replied “Ahh it was just Dexter wanting to wish you luck, the security wouldn’t let him in”.
Shay laughed and said “Well his missing a cracking fight here Ken, Britain’s won this easy”.
Kenny sat down next to Shay and just watched the end of the fight; Britain won a unanimous point’s decision victory and was crowned the new British Middle Weight champion. The camera followed Britain around the ring as he celebrated with the cheering crowd. Britain then lent over the ropes to talk to his parents who were ringside. Kenny clocked that Emma was seated next to them and before Shay could notice his ex girlfriend on telly, Kenny distracted Shay by telling him to do some pad work with Sam.
Shay went to warm up and Kenny switched off the telly, Wilson came back to the changing room, his face was a mess.
He looked completely gutted he had lost his title, but still took the time to wish Shay luck before he went out for his fight.
One of the security came in and told Shay to get ready, they walked into the tunnel waiting to be announced into the stadium.
Kenny went though the plan with Shay, Shay seemed really calm and very composed. They were announced into the stadium his music started and so did the booing, there were some people cheering for Shay, but they were drowned out by the pro London crowd. None of it seemed to faze Shay; he was in great shape and even with all the stress of the last week was in the best shape he had ever been in. Shay got into the ring and looked over to Dexter, Kelly and the rest of his supporters that were at ringside.
Shay circled the ring and straight away saw Emma sitting ring side; he virtually stopped in his tracks and just stared at her. Emma was sitting there like she didn’t have a care in the world, chatting to Britain’s parents.
Kenny went over to him and led him back to the corner.
Shay said “Did you see her? What the fuck is she doing here? Who the fuck gave her a ringside seat”?
Kenny replied “I don’t know son, but forget about that little bitch and concentrate on the fight”.
Shay just stared down at her in shock at her having the gall to be there. Emma then looked straight over at Shay; she smiled at him and gave him a wave. Shay’s face had turned bright red with rage; he could feel the anger pulsing though his body. All this time Kenny had been talking to him, but Shay had seemed to have shut down and wasn’t listening.
Kenny then slapped Shay hard across the face; this seemed to snap Shay out of it.
Kenny then said “Son stick to the plan, forget about her, concentrate on winning this fight”.
Shay nodded his head and just stared at the floor, he was still raging inside and it was taking all his mental strength not to get out of the ring and give her a tyrant of verbal abuse.
Kenny kept talking to Shay trying to keep him calm, but then he heard a familiar voice from ringside shout “Ohh Dempsey you mug, you’re going to get battered”.
Shay looked down to see Chav standing right next to his corner.
Shay looked at Kenny and said “I really don’t need his shit tonight Ken”.
Kenny lent though the ropes and said to Chav “Why don’t you just fuck off you dirty drug dealing scum bag”.
Chav who was obviously coked up to his eye balls then tried to get at Kenny, he managed to get over the barriers so he was right next to the ring, Shay pulled Kenny back and stood in front of him, the security didn’t see Chav get over the barriers and it was left up to Sam Magson who was standing next to the corner to stop him.
Sam pushed Chav back and Chav then said “Don’t you put your hands on me bucket boy, who the fuck do you think you are?” Magson didn’t give it a second thought and hit Chav flush on the jaw with a straight right that would have knocked out most professional boxers. Chav crumbed to the floor.
The security then rushed over and carried Chav out of the arena, Magson looked up at Shay and Kenny in the ring gave them a wink and said “I’ve still got it, now come on Shay concentrate on the fight”.
This did make Shay smile, but the anger inside him was very much still there. After all the commotion had settled down Bruno entered the stadium to the same song as Gary Britain had came out to earlier. The place erupted with cheers and applause and people singing along to the music.
As soon as Bruno got into the ring it took 4 security guards who had got in there with him to keep him away from Shay, Shay just stared at the floor and wouldn’t look up. After all the announcements the Ref called them to the centre of the ring to give them their final instructions. Bruno was saying all kinds of things to Shay; Shay kept his eyes on the floor and went back to his corner. As Kenny put his gum shield in he was telling Shay to stick to the plan and concentrate. The atmosphere in Upton Park was electric; you could hardly hear the bell sound to start the first round.
Shay came out for the first round and went straight to work on Bruno, there was no attempt made by Shay to feel his opponent out or ease into the fight. Shay through a 5 punch combo flurry which all caught Bruno and sent him crashing to the ropes. Shay then hit him with the case’s special, smashing him with a left hook to the body and then a left hook to the head and finished it off with a thunderous straight right to Bruno’s jaw. Bruno was stunned and in a state of shock at how fast the young challenger had came out, he managed to move off the ropes, but Shay was straight on him again. Shay caught him with a jab as Bruno retreated away and then a sickening right to the body which everyone could see hurt Bruno badly. Bruno then tried to come back with some of his own shots, but Shay was relentless, Bruno threw a big right hand out which Shay slipped under and caught Bruno with a sweet left hook which put the champ down for the first time in his career. The pro Bruno crowd were stunned into silent’s, all you could hear was a few hundred people cheering in the capacity crowd of over 25,000 who had came to support Shay. As Shay walked to a neutral corner, he looked down at Emma and if looks could kill she would be dead 10 times over. Shay stood in the corner as Bruno was counted.
Kenny shouted to Shay “Shay box him Son stick to the plan”.
Shay didn’t even look at Kenny as the anger in him was spilling over. The Ref got to 7 and Bruno rose to his feet, he still looked groggy and a bit dazed, but the ref checked him and told them to box on.
Shay moved straight in looking for the finishing punch, Bruno backed away with his guard high, but Shay was on him. Shay smashed him again with a straight right to the body that brought Bruno’s hands down and then hit him with a straight right to the jaw, Bruno wobbled backwards and Shay caught him with another sweet left hook to put him down again. Shay walked over to the same neutral corner and looked down at Emma again, when he looked down this time he saw that Gary Britain was now sitting next to her with his arm round her. Emma looked up at Shay smiled and then gave Gary a kiss. Shay’s eyes nearly popped out of his head, Kenny was shouting at him to concentrate as Bruno rose to feet for the second time.
The Ref had told them to box on, but Shay was still looking down at Emma and Gary.
Kenny shouted at Shay again “Shay what the fuck you doing? Finish it! Finish It!”
Shay snapped out of it and moved over to Bruno who looked completely gone. Bruno moved away just trying to survive the round, Shay kept coming forward, but his punch’s seem not to be connecting as well as they did before, somehow Bruno managed to stay on his feet and get to the end of the first round.
Shay went back to his corner but his eyes were firmly fixed on Emma at ringside, Kenny sat him down and asked him what the fuck was up with him?
Shay still looking over at Emma said “Look at her Ken with that Gary fucking Britain, she was cheating on me with that tosser”.
Kenny looked over then shook his head and slapped Shay again round the face to get his attention. Shay look straight at Kenny shocked at what he had just done.
Kenny then said “Look son you got this won, get on your jab and look for the knockout, don’t waste your punches. Concentrate Son, he’s there for the taking”.
Shay nodded at Kenny as he put Shay’s gum shield back in, Shay got off his stool for the second round.
Bruno looked like he had got himself together after that disastrous first round, Shay moved in snapping out the jab. Bruno was just trying to keep away and get his composer back. Shay shot out the jab and moved in with a big right hand. Bruno slipped out of the way and countered well. Shay was looking to eager to throw the big right hand, Kenny was shouting at him to calm down, but inside Shay was ragging with anger. Shay was winning the second round easy, just by all the pressure he was putting on Bruno, but his shots were getting sloppy and were not as effective as they were in the first round. Bruno seemed to take heart from this and started going on the offensive in the later part of the round.
He pushed Shay back to the ropes with some good hard shots, this seemed to wake Shay up and Shay turned him and blasted out a viscous one, two’s. The jab caught Bruno clean on the nose spreading it all over his face, blood sprayed everywhere from the ferrous jab. Bruno dipped his head as he reeled from the pain, Shay’s right hand landed hard on the top of Bruno’s head. As Shay’s right hand connected, Shay felt a shooting pain he hadn’t felt in years, Shay stepped back and knew straight away he had broken his hand again. Shay didn’t show any pain on his face and just shot out his jab for the final seconds of the round.
Shay walked back to his corner and Kenny sat him down, Shay kept glancing over at Emma who was laughing and joking with Gary and his parents.
Kenny turned Shay’s head back towards him and said “Fucking concentrate Son that was a decent round, a couple more like that and I think he will be done”.
Shay had his arms resting on the ropes; Kenny pulled them down and put them on his knees, Shay winced in agony when he did this. Kenny stopped and looked at Shay’s right hand which was shaking uncontrollable.
Kenny looked up at Shay and said “Is your hand alright?”
Shay replied “Yeah its fine Ken”.
Kenny put his hand on Shay’s right glove which made Shay knock it away with his left glove.
Kenny shook his head and said “Son you’ve broken you’ve hand again, I’m going to call the fight off”.
Shay said “No Ken, I can do this, don’t let me go out on my stool, I can beat him”.
Kenny looked at Shay and could see he was determined to go on, Kenny said to Shay “O.k. son get your jab going and in about 3 or 4 rounds your right hand will be numb and you will be able to use it again, now box him Shay don’t let him back into this fight”.
Shay nodded as he rose from his stool for the third round.
Bruno came out very reluctantly to trade with Shay at the start of the round, he hadn’t noticed that Shay had broken his hand yet and Shay had broken his nose in the last round so he was being really conscious of the young challenger. Shay moved round the ring shooting out the jab, Bruno took most of them on the gloves and countered with some jabs of his own. One of Bruno’s jabs hit Shay’s right hand which he had pressed right next to his face, and Shay winced as the pain shot up and down his arm. Bruno stepped back and gave an evil grin as he realized that Shay’s hand was hurt.
Bruno now went on the attack shooting out combo after combo, Shay was still moving pretty good, but couldn’t really do anything to stop the onslaught. Bruno pushed him back to the ropes, Shay shot out his left hand, but Bruno caught him with a big left hook and then a right hook which split the top of Shay’s eyebrow wide open. Blood sprayed out like a fountain as Shay tried to get off the ropes. Shay moved to the side to get away, but Bruno landed a big straight right which smashed into Shay’s nose splattering more of Shay’s blood over the canvas. Shay managed to get off the ropes and shot out a few jabs, but they weren’t going to stop Bruno. Bruno bobbed and weaved under Shay’s jab and then let rip with a thunderous over hand right which caught Shay clean on the jaw. Shay crashed to the floor, blood pouring from his nose and the gapping gash above his eye. Shay lay on the floor and the ref began to count, he managed to get to one knee and looked over at Kenny.
He nodded at him to let him know he was alright, Kenny shouted over “Up at 8 son up at 8”.
Shay looked up at the Ref he had just got to the count of 4, but Shay saw out of the corner of his eye Emma clapping and cheering Bruno. Shay rose to his feet straight away, his head was still spinning, the ref looked at him and asked if he wanted to continue, Shay put his hands up and nodded his head. The Ref wiped his gloves down and told them to box on.
Shay came forward ready for the taking, but Bruno didn’t go in for the kill. Instead he spent the rest of the round dismantling Shay’s face; he wanted to make an example of him.
Bruno blasted shots in to Shay bloody and battered face, but every time Shay looked like he was going to fall he backed off.
The bell rang to end the third round Shay went back to the corner and slumped onto the stool.
Kenny went straight to work on the cut above his eye; Kenny asked him if he wanted him to stop the fight?
Shay told him he was fine and what ever happened he didn’t want the fight stopped.
The ring Doctor had come over to see how bad the cut was. Kenny had done a pretty good job of stopping the bleeding, the doctor looked at it and said Shay was o.k. to continue. Kenny told Shay to try and fight on the back foot and gets his jab flowing. Shay slowly got up for the fourth round.
Bruno came out and went straight back to work pummeling Shay’s already bloody and swollen face with big lefts and rights, Bruno was supremely confident and was playing to the cheering crowd.
Shay knew he didn’t have much time left before the Ref would stop the fight because of the cut above his eye. He took a deep breath glanced over at Emma and with all the rage in his heart mustered up a final attack. Bruno moved in quite relaxed thinking Shay had nothing left; he shot out a jab which Shay dipped under and caught Bruno with a big left hook and then a straight right hand which sent more shooting pains up and down Shay arm. Bruno was not ready or expecting Shay to come back with anything like this and he hit the floor for the third time in the fight. Shay slowly walked over to a neutral corner, Kenny and Magson were cheering at Shay from outside the ring. The Ref got to the count of 8, Bruno got up, and the bell rang to end the fourth round.
Shay went to his corner and sat down, Kenny poured water over Shay’s swollen face and wiped the blood that cover it with a towel and started working on the gaping cut above his eye.
Kenny asked him how the hand felt.
Shay replied “Broken Ken”.
Kenny replied “Look Shay you got to stop him Son or the Ref is going to stop you because of this cut”.
Shay got up to start the fifth round.
Bruno come flying out in this round, the knock down in the last round hadn’t really hurt him, and he was more pissed off than anything else. He blasted Shay with one, twos, Shay fought back with every last bit of his strength in his body. The cut above Shay’s eye had opened up again and blood was pouring down his face. Bruno shot out a crisp one, two that sent Shay back to the ropes, he then blasted Shay to the body, now looking for the knock out.
Kenny could see Shay was getting hurt real bad and picked up the towel to through it in the ring. Shay was out on his feet; Kenny claimed up the steps to the ring and threw the towel in. As he did Bruno hit Shay with the hardest and cleanest right hand of the night right on the temple of his head. As the towel hit the floor so did Shay completely unconscious. Shay was flat on his face motionless in the middle of the ring. Kenny jumped straight in before the Ref could even start counting. The place erupted with cheering and applause from all of Bruno’s fans. Kenny turned Shay over and put him into the recovery position, Shay was out cold, but was still breathing.
The Doctor came into the ring and so did the paramedics. They put an oxygen mask on him to help him breath. Bruno was still walking around the ring celebrating his victory, not once did he go over to see if Shay was alright. The medic’s moved Shay on to a stretcher. Shay was still unconscious as they carried him carefully out of the ring. When the crowd saw this there was a deep silence a lot of them may have booed him, but they wouldn’t have wanted any real harm to come to him.