An uppercut has a way

Of loosening up your thoughts

Like the one that jolted him

For the last time

Before the mist

Of blood and sweat

Could clear the air

Even before this legs

Could turn to rubber

His mind went back

To that first day in the gym

A hundred years ago

When it was all laid out before him

Like a path to manhood

Halfway through the fall

His chin leading the way

He caught a fleeting glimpse

Of the glory he had imagined

Of holding a shining belt

High above his head

High enough

For even his father to see

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