The Boxer

After Hector Velazquez won his welterweight title, his face was a mess. John Robinson did a number on it before Hector knocked out the ex-champ in the Fifth Round.

Velazquez held his now ungloved hands high with the oversized belt loosely laid on his shoulder. A teammate hoisted Hector a few inches so the audience could get a glimpse at the new champion.

Hector Velazquez was living a dream.

Two Spanish television broadcasters shoved microphones in his face and began peppering him with questions about the fight and the victory. Hector was eager to field the questions one at a time as he clutched the belt tightly with his wrapped hands.

Trainer Bruce, whose face was out of camera shot, reached over and continued cleaning up Hector’s cuts and putting ice on his bruises during the interviews.

The new champ turned his head and said, “What are you doing, Bro? Can’t you see I’m in the middle of interviews? My fans want to hear about what I was going through in the fight. There’ll be plenty of time to patch me up later.”

Bruce looked over at the manager who nodded and mouthed the words, “Fix him up.”

The trainer once again reached over, this time with a medicated salve and put it on top of a cut even as Hector was talking about being in total control of Robinson, his opponent. Bruce was having a hard time keeping the grease on Hector’s face because he was so animated about the victory.

Hector turned to Bruce again and said, “Bro! Stop it.”

The manager stepped in between the camera and Hector and said, “Interview’s over. Time to get you back into the locker room, Hector. We’ll take questions tomorrow morning at our press conference.”

The manager walked with Hector with his arm around his shoulder and said, “Hector, you’ve got another fight in 36 days. Thirty-six days. Bruce is trying to get you sewn up as soon as he can but you can’t be dissing him in front of the cameras. He’s got a job to do and you gotta let him do it. Getting that eye worked on is high priority right now. He’s thinking of your future, Hector. Don’t let this go to your head, my friend. Many greater than you have fallen far.”

Hector shook his head even as he raised his arms for the crowds again. He stepped out of the ring with his entourage and high-fived spectators on the way back to the locker room. He was the champion for now and everyone wanted to say they touched the champion.

Before Hector got past the fans, he stopped the entourage, and looked around for Trainer Bruce. He smiled at him and hugged him, and said, “Sorry about that, Bro. Fix me up. You’re the best.”

“We can wait until we get to the locker room, Hector. I’ll patch you up good so you’ll be in great shape for the ladies.”

Hector put his hands on Bruce’s shoulders and said, “That’s what I thought you’d say. So give it to me straight, Bruce. Will it be good enough for the cover of GQ?”

“Of course, Hector. Nothing a little duct tape or silly putty can’t fix. We’ll have to do something about those cauliflower ears though. They’re nasty. Can’t undo that. Good job on the fight, by the way. You’ll do fine next month.”


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