He was sweating, breathing heavily, but seemed highly aware of his surroundings as he glanced around in the crowd of overly enthusiastic people. I watched intently as he moved his feet quickly, bouncing on his toes, but staying in his corner of the ring. I listened to the encouraging cries around me shouting his name: “Alex Gabriel!” Alex stared blankly at his opponent as he glared back at Alex. The man was at least seven feet tall and quite brawny. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve guessed that all bets would go against Alex, seeing as he was about a foot and a half smaller and less built. But of course, I do know better. I watched the man throw punches in thin air as he sprung up and down. A blaring ring went off signaling the beginning of the match. This fight is different than most, it was more intense and kind of a mix of Boxing and street fighting. There are no rounds, there are no rules, and the first one knocked out loses. The larger man smirked and charged fast like a bull but Alex was quicker as he slyly stepped to side and stuck his foot out, tripping the man. I chuckled at his childish move.
The man frowned, slightly dazed and confused, and stalked angrily towards Alex. Without hesitation, he threw a right hook punch, but Alex was quick enough to dodge it and return a punch into the man's gut. He cringed, but Alex didn’t have time to pity him as he did a roundhouse kick to the face. I winced as the nose-crunching sound echoed through the dark, stuffy room. It took a couple seconds for the man to retaliate and get a swing at Alex. I was in the perfect place to view the heavily padded leather mitten connect with Alex face. I watched his face scrunch up in pain and his mouth guard fly out.
He backed up, not bothering to pick it up, and spit out bloody saliva. His nostrils flared with anger as the man held a cock smile, but Alex wasn’t going to give up. He was quick as he glided towards the man and slammed his fist into his jaw. The man stumbled back but he had no time to defend himself as Alex slid his feet from under him causing the man to fall to his knees. In one swift move, Alex did a back leg round kick and the man was out. The crowd cheered as Alex collected his cash winnings, leaving the man on the ground. I couldn’t help but smirk as I saw the cocky smile on Alex's lips. The announcer stepped out into the middle of the ring, quieting the boisterous crowd.
“Who’s next?” He hollered out.
No one moved as Alex walked around the inside of the ring.
“No volunteers?” Alex questioned. He was one arrogant man, and I was sure he knew it.
“No one is man enough--”
“I volunteer.” I heard myself say. I could practically hear heads turn in my direction. Slipping off my black worn hoody, I walked amused at the gasps and whispers that erupted around me.
“You’re a girl.” Alex stated. “I’m not fighting a girl.”
I sneered at him.
“Are you saying you’re scared?” I knew at that point I had touched a nerve seeing as he practically stuffed his hands through his red gloves. The announcer handed me the feeble man’s blue gloves and left the ring, but not before whispering to me about my funeral. I chuckled as I stretched my arms and legs.
I can do this. I can do this! I chanted in my head.
The bell rang and adrenaline coursed through my veins. I was smart enough to go with the flow rather than charge at him like the man before me did. I knew one of us was bound to throw a punch sooner or later but right now it was getting nowhere. Building up the courage, I took two quick steps toward him and threw a left hook punch. He dodged it and took a swing at me. Quickly throwing my hands to my block my face, I did a front foot kick, getting him in the gut. I smirked proudly at my first hit but I knew this wasn’t over. Alex glared at me, throwing another blow to my face. I dodged it again but didn’t have time to block the side kick to my ribs. I groaned at the throbbing pain.
For the next twenty minutes, we had built up a pattern. He would throw a punch, I’d dodge. I would slam my foot into his ribs, he’d block. I could tell people were growing tired and anxious to see who would win. I was becoming exhausted, but Alex seemed to look like he just started. I wanted to surrender, but I needed the money desperately.
As the fight went on my energy was getting lower, my forearm aching from blocking on the punches, my ribs throbbing from the kick earlier. I was ready to give up and then just like that, my prayers were answered. The announcer stepped onto the stage with a mic in his hands.
“Okay, the judges and I have decided to call it a tie." Relief washed over me.
“You can’t do that!” Alex barked. I subconsciously took a step back at the terror in his voice.
“Calm down, Alex. We have decided to give each of you your winnings.” I smiled proudly, stepping out of the ring.