Sicilian hellion – Dempsey and Firpo by George Bellows

Dempsey and Firpo by George Bellows

The two contenders faced each other in the ring. Skipping, hopping, throwing aggressive glances with the sole purpose of trying to psyche each other out. Intimidation is the name of the game tonight at the colosseum. Spectators have been awaiting this fight for months, excited by the build-up covered by multiple television channels. A lot is at stake, not only money but pride and revenge.

Martel and Vicenzo have met in the ring before. Vicenzo, the Sicilian hellion as they call him, threw Martel on the floor after he hit him in the jaw. This was two years ago when Martel was an up-and-comer during  one of his first fights, one he will never forget. He remembers the screams of the spectators  in the stands, clapping their hands and stomping their feet. After the bout, all felt like a blur and he questioned if he ever dreamt this moment or not. The photos in the newspaper the following day snapped him out from his haze: he had fought the night before and he had lost.

Martel went through several phases. In the course of a year, he had wished to quit, doubted his talent, wondering what he could be doing instead. Young and on edge, he finally began to box again and most importantly believing in himself. From then on, he caught up with training and promised himself that he would face Vicenzo before the latter retired. Winning was not the mission. Facing his demons was the challenge.

On a rainy Saturday night in the city of Milan, standing proud and stronger than he could ever be, Martel punched Vicenzo out of the ring.

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