The Punisher

(Midwest Fight Fest, South Broadway Athletic Club)

The fighter from St. Louis was really winded now. His body buckled and his chest heaved as he tried to catch his breath. When the referee momentarily broke up the fight, the local guy sort of wobbled, delirious. The other one, the punisher, was from out of town and still clear-headed. He was in fine shape and almost seemed to be toying with the other. The local fighter moved in to throw a punch but got overpowered and knocked around and finally thrown to the mat again. The out-of-towner jumped on top and twisted him into a painful-looking position, then rapidly snapped him in the ear with quick, brutal smacks. At the same time, he jabbed at the local fighter's kidneys with his knee. The local lay there, struggling for awhile, taking a nasty beating, until finally he wasn't bracing himself for the impact anymore.

Mike patted my back and asked, "You all right? You're being pretty quiet." He had started drinking very early that morning, so by the time we arrived at the fights that night, he was quite drunk, in a fine mood and speaking in a British accent. In fact, I was nauseated. Mike smiled again, almost sympathetically. "Pretty nasty, eh?" He's much better with violence than I am.

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