The Boxer | By: Maurice Eggleston | | Category: Short Story - Action Bookmark and Share

The Boxer

This is a true story. 

Entrance into the army. 

It was a cold winter's morning inFebruary, I borded the train for Canterbury , the center for basic and trade training, wondering what I ' ld gotten myself into. When we arrived at the station, we stepped off the train, only to be met by a big burly lance corpral. All of us were now standing on the platform. He took one look at us and started screaming and balling at us, "Stand in three rows and call your name! "This we did.

He then shouted "right you scum! Your in the army now and I 'm going to be your mother for the next six weeks!! Right there is a bus waiting for you at the car park which will take us to camp!"

We arrived at camp and herded off the bus. The corpral was still shouting obscenties at us all the way to the barrack rooms 

We arrived there and were shown the rooms. There were six beds to aroom and we were designated each a bed. 

Well, our first day was a nightmare come True. It was a gruelling six weeks of training which involved Drilling, pyhsical training, weapon training and lots of bawling and shouting. There were thirty of us in the troop at the beginning and at the end of the course we were down to twenty one in total. Trade training was easier and I passed with flying colours, we were then posted to Beverly to do driver training which I also passed. 

In trade training we were ordered to state our choice of posting, I wrote Hong Kong, cyprus and Germany. 

I ended up in Germany at a place called Celle. 

As a lad I wasn' t very strong and was bullied alot at school, slowly the others realised that they could have a go at me. On seeing this my colour sergeant called me to his office. 

Now, my colour sergeant was a hard man and had seen action in his time and wasn' t a man to mince his words. I stepped into his office and slammed my right leg into the floor and stood at attension, it seemed as though he was ignoring me, as he went through his paper work. I was wondering what I' ld done wrong  (in the army, when someone calls you into his office, it's usually not good. He looked up from his paperwork and looked me directly in the eye and said "Dog, this year your going boxing."

I looked at him startled and exclaimed "F__k off, colour "

He then muttered "You've got a choice, either you go boxing or I' ll find a reason to lock you up for three weeks "

It didn't take me long to make my choice. Going to jail in the British Army was no laughing matter, in fact it was a nightmare. They had you doing alsorts of pathetic punishments like cleaning the toilets with a toothbrush, bedpacks, pokeydrill and many more things that delight the minds of the regimental police staff, but I won't go into that. I squandered over to the block wondering what I ' ld gotten myself into. I thought to myself "six weeks of rigorous training. I' ll end up getting my face punched in. "Deep in my thoughts, I bumped into Charlie, my good friend. "Hi ",he said. I returned the greeting. "So, your going boxing? Well, I'm the trainer and I ' ll bet you a crate of beers that you'll call me a "bastard" within the first three days of training. "

Now, I thought about this and thought I' ld win, so I agreed. Guess what, I lost the bet because on the second day I could hear myself yelling at him "You bastard! !!" 

I ' ld never experienced anything like he was putting me through. I was a physical wreck desperately looking for somewhere to hide. By the end of the first week , he had us doing a hundred press ups followed by two hundred situps and then another hundred press ups! But you know what? He never let up on the training until the last week. 

In the last week, the physical training warrant officer invited the companies to the ring. We were all gathered around the ring, he stood there inside the ring and started to speak, "I don't want to see any dirty fighting, i. e biting and kicking."

Great, I thought. 

As his speach finally came to an end, he finally said, "Some of you will walk out of the ring as heroes but some will not. Those that came in here as a weakling usually end up winning."

At that, I thought, we' ll see. 

The next week I had my first fight. At 09.00 am, I went to the weighin and sure enough, I weighed in at 71.5 kilos, just right for light middle weight. My trainer tried to calm me down, by saying, I ' ll walk this fight but I was thinking, is this for real! 

My fight was scheduled for 14.30 hrs, my team and trainer were helping me warm up for the fight. To be frank, I was crapping myself. It was time, my trainer and I walked to the ring. I can remember my knees shaking like a leaf and thinking to myself, I hope this goes well and I don't get K.O. My trainer was saying to me, "you' ll walk all over him. Just box him. "

I got in the ring, I stood in my corner, we were then called to the middle of the ring, we were addressed by the referee, nobiting no kicking and I want to see a clean fight. " We touched each others gloves and returned to our corners. 

The bell rang, I thought this is it! Make or break. We came out into the ring, the referee held up his hands and said, "box "

At first, I sparred with my opponent, I immediately noticed that he was slow, so I let out aflurry of combinations and sent my opponent to the floor, I was still throwing punches at him as he landed on the mat. Fortunately, referee seperated us and sent me to my corner. When my opponent finally rose to his feet, we were called to the middle of the ring by the referee. He called out, " by unaminous decision and technical knockout, the winner is the blue corner."At that the referee raised my hand. My company were going nuts and shouting "Dog".

After that fight, my trainer was praising me, he said "for your first fight that was very good, 52 seconds in the first round, excellent. "

The next morning I woke up stiff as hell and did the stiff legged walk to breakfast. The next week I won the next fight but lost in the final. 

The End 

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