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  • Writer's pictureDexter Hastings

Saturday book club - Fear no foe Chapter 16


Shay got up the next day feeling a lot more optimistic about life, he knew he was lucky to have been let off with just a caution yesterday and realized that his Dad would have never wanted him to follow him with the drinking. When Shay got to The Squared Circle, Kenny and Dexter were already in his offices waiting for him, Shay walked in and Dexter told him to sit down. Shay sat down and said “Right then Dext, when do I get another crack at Bruno?” Dexter shook him head smiled and said “It’s not that simple Shay” Shay asked “Why I’ve still got to be rated high enough in the British rankings, I knocked him down 3 times”. Dexter stood up and replied “Shay Frank promotes Bruno and you jumped ship mate, there aint no chance in the world he will let you have a crack at him again”. Shaylooked confused and said “So what I’m never going to be a champ?” Kenny then butted in and said “Shay you’re not looking at the big picture son, fuck the British title, the one we want is the World title”. Shay looked at Dexter thinking Kenny had gone completely mad, Dexter just smiled and nodded his head. Shay then said “So you want me to fight Jimmy Tarnna? Are you mad?” Kenny lent over to Shay and put his hand on his shoulder and said “No son, not yet, we are going to start again”. Shay looked completely confused now and asked “What do you mean start again?” Dexter told him that he was going to be having his first 5 fights at The Squared Circle against boxers that will be brought in from around the world. Shay’s reply to this was one of shock he said “You want me to fight in your club? I’m not trying to be funny, but my last fight was in front of 25,000 people and was for a title. I can’t go back to fighting in clubs”. Kenny looked deep into Shay’s eyes and told him in a stern voice “Shay you need to get back to your roots son, the first thing we need to do is get you back in shape and these fights will be good warm ups for fights to come. Dexter then said to Shay “And I’ve got a deal with Sky who wants to air the shows live on a Friday night”. Shay paused for a while, and then he asked “So how much do I get for each fight then?” Dexter smiled and replied “Now we’re getting somewhere, I want you to be top of the bill every 3 months and I will pay you 10 grand a fight because of the television and sponsorship money that will be generated”. Shay seemed happy with that and then asked “What would happen after the 5 fight were over?” Dexter told him “I’ll talk to you about that after you have had the fights Shay”.Dexter took a contract out of his desk draw for Shay to sign, Shay looked at Kenny who just smiled and nodded to say he should sign it. Shay signed the contract, him and Dexter shook hands and Dexter said “Welcome to 1066 promotions, oh and you should have the rest of your signing fee in your bank by tomorrow”. Shay looked at Dexter in complete shock and said “Are you serious?” Dexter smiled and said “Shay I’m a man of my word and trust me we are going to make a lot of money together”. Shay got straight back into training, he was a good 10 pounds overweight and completely out of shape, but with Kenny and the lads from Case’s Gym working him hard he soon got back into tip top shape. The first live show from The Squared Circle was in December, Shaywas now 26 and looking as sharp as he ever had been. Sky had a big night of boxing planed with Dexter’s show which they called Friday night at The Squared Circle starting it all off. They would then cross over to Wembley arena where Sky was going to broadcast Gary Britain and Bruno Beef both defend their British titles. Then to finish the night off in the early hours of the morning Sky were going to show Richie Hatter defending his Welterweight World title from Madison Square Garden in New York City, America. The show at The Squared Circle was a great start to a great night of boxing, there were 4 hard fought fights by local lads from Birmingham, Shay won the main event there easy stopping the highly rated German Hanes Clout in the second round. At Wembley, Gary Britain struggled to a point’s decision in his title fight; there were rumors that he was finding it hard to make the Middleweight limit. Bruno defended his Super Middleweight title with ease by stopping his opponent in the 4th with a viscous knockout. In the big one from New York Richie Hatter won a hard fought bout with a stoppage late on in the 10th round, it was a great advert for British boxing and the Sky producers were really happy with how the night had gone. Dexter, Kenny and Kelly were all impressed with Shay’s performance on his first fight in over a year and a half , he seemed to have got back to his old self laughing and joking with Kelly and the rest of the people at the after show party. The only time you seen slight lulls in his mood was when Emma came on the telly celebrating with Gary Britain after his title defense. In the year that followed Shay had 4 more fights at The Squared Circle winning all 4 of them by stoppage in some real good technical displays of boxing. The big news of that year was Britain moving up to Super Middleweight and beat Bruno Beef for his British title in a very close fight which he won on a split decision. Shay had now turned 27 and had finished the 5 fights Dexter had wanted him to do at The Squared Circle, Dexter called Shay to ask him to come to his office to talk about his future. When Shay got there he was surprised to see world champion Richie Hatter and his coach there. Richie was just leaving as Shay walked into Dexter’s office, Richie said hello to Shay and Shay asked him what he was doing here. Richie just smiled and replied “I’m sure Dexter will tell you mate”. Richie left and Dexter asked Shay to sit down, Shay asked Dexter what Richie had been doing here? Dexter just smiled and said “Just wait till Kenny gets here Shay and I’ll tell you”. When Kenny turned up the first thing he said to Dexter was “Has Richie been yet?” Dexter replied “Yeah Ken, it’s all sorted”. Shay sat there with at confused look on his face and asked “Sorted what? What’s going on?” Dexter looked at Shay with a big smile on his face and said “1066 Promotion’s has just signed Richie Hatter to its ever growing stable”. Shay looked shocked and said “No way, Richie signed with you? I thought he was with Goldsten?” Dexter told Shay that Richie hadn’t been happy with Frank for a while now and in his last fight Goldsten had held back a payment, so I put it to Richie to come in with me. He just signed as you came in, it going to put 1066 promotions on the map son. Shay smiled and congratulated Dexter then said “So what have you got planed for me Dext?” Dexter looked at Kenny and said “Haven’t you told him yet?” Kenny shook his head and said “No Dext, you tell him”. Dexter looked at Shay and said “Well the first thing is Shay; I have got you a new trainer” Shay looked at Dexter in disgust and said “Kenny is my trainer I don’t need anyone else training me”. Shay looked at Kenny and asked him what he thought, Kenny said “Son I have taken you as far as I can, you have got to make the step up if you want a crack at the World title, so you need the best trainer”. Shay just shook his head and replied “I don’t Ken, I need you in my corner, that’s all I need”. Kenny looked Shay in the eyes and smiled and replied “Shay what you need is a trainer who has been on the world seen and Dexter has got you the best coach around”. Kenny paused and then said “anyway I’ve got the gym to think about of and the up and coming boxers I look after, I can’t be moving halfway round the world at my age”. Shay was completely confused he turned to Dexter and said “Whose trainer then? And what this about moving?” Dexter smiled and said to Shay “Paddy Martin has agreed to train you Shay”. Shay replied in a shocked voice “What, Paddy Martin? Jimmy Tarnna’s old trainer”? Dexter nodded his head and said “Yes Shay the very same, he has also trained Richie Hatter and 3 other boxers who won World titles”. Shay didn’t know what to say, he knew how good Paddy Martin’s reputation was. He looked at Kenny and said “And you’re alright with this Ken?” Kenny replied “Yes son this is differently the way to go”. Shay then asked Dexter so what’s this about moving then?” Dexter replied “Paddy wants you to train at his gym, the world famous Paddy’s Gym in Brooklyn New York, so you will have to move over there for a while, it will be a great experience for you Shay”. Shay shook his head saying “I don’t know Dext, it’s a big decision”, Dexter then said “Shay do you want to be champion?” Shay replied straight away “Yes of course I do”. Dexter just shrugged his shoulders and replied “Well what’s there to think about?” Kenny butted in then and said to Dexter “Dext let him have a bit of time to think about it, it’s a big step” Kenny looked at Shay and said “But I think it’s the right one”. Dexter told Shay to go and think about it and give him an answer tomorrow, Shay left the club not knowing what to do, he called Kelly and told her what had been put to him. Kelly told him she would come round to his and talk to him about it after work. When Kelly came round later, they both sat down and Shay told her exactly what had been said to him. Kelly listened and Shay asked her what she thought. Kelly looked at Shay and said “Shay this is an opportunity of a lifetime, you will be being coached by one of the best trainers in the world and be living out your dream of becoming a world champ. I think you have to do it, not just for yourself, but for your Dad and all the people who have supported you over the years”. Kelly paused for a second then continued “Anyway if you’re in NewYork it will give me the excuse to come over there to see you and go shopping, do you know how cheap designer clothes are over there?” Shay laughed at this, but knew Kelly was right, if he wanted to progress in his boxing career he would have to do it. When Kelly left he went straight down to his Moms and had the same conversation, his Mom basically told him the same thing and told him how proud his Dad would be of him and how proud she was of him. This made Shay’s mind up for him, he was moving to New York to fulfill his destiny. He called Dexter the next day and told him he would do it. Dexter replied “Good decision Shay I knew you would make the right choice, we’re booked on the 10 o’clock flight next week, so get your bags packed”.

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