‘If I’m not risking death I’m not living’
the reigning middleweight champion mused,
as multiple microphones were shoved in his face.
Callen High Caliber Collins,
had eaten a sumo wrestlers breakfast
and qualified for cruiserweight
by the weight of his eyebrows.
Two billion people counted down the minutes and seconds.
Adversity University was emblazoned on High Caliber’s jacket,
and Guerilla Gorilla embroidered on his cap,
as he swaggered to the centre of the colosseum,
accompanied by his trainer, manager and cut man.
His entrance was a stark contrast
to his opponent’s Circus Soleil style entourage.
High Caliber’s opponent was universally known as The Beast.
In Oxford Street they call him Tracy.
It isn’t a drag name,
it’s a reference to the cyclone
that demolished Darwin in 1974.
When Sugar Ray Robinson killed a man in the ring
he bought the victims poverty stricken mother a house.
After Ben the Beast Baxter pummeled a comatose man,
on his way to the canvas,
he blew celebratory cigar smoke
into the face of the victim’s mother.
She was quicker than a rattlesnake,
with her canister of pepper spray.
Nobody wanted a man who donated his winnings
to rebuilding the lives of troubled teens
to lose to a distillery, casino and brothel owner,
but The Beast was a cold, calculating stalker,
who outweighed Collins by a sledgehammer
and a block of cement.
Betting against him was considered as risky
as surfing a tsunami.
As the referee issued his instructions,
High Caliber met the Beast’s murderous gaze,
with more funny faces
than an ocean liner of clowns.
The bell sounded.
High Caliber’s footwork was the envy of every hip hop genius.
By the time the Beast answered one question
there was a new wave of mysteries to solve.
Landing flush on Collin’s cranial fortress
was like hitting a dragonfly with a spit ball.
Every time The Beast grazed his skull,
counter punches flew
from angles more unexpected
than the weirdest creature in the queerest universe.
The beast finally landed a shot
that would have dazed a rhinoceros.
High Caliber returned fire with a right uppercut
and a double left hook.
As he waved the giant forward
hordes of doubters began to believe.
‘I’m going to make you my bitch’
the Beast raged,
like a badger taunted with a bullwhip.
The bell sounded.
A television audience that could’ve overcrowded
every stadium on Earth,
wanted High Caliber’s gloating, smirking, nemesis humbled,
like a Michelin star spangled sommelier
reduced to selling goon bags from his garage.
High Caliber put an imaginary microphone to his lips.
‘This pugilistic braniac is the ultimate Maniac,
The tide is coming in, your’e about to drown
Collins is your matador, not your rodeo clown.
‘Your big mouth looks like a mummified c%#@,’
the Beast goaded, from his corner stool,
between spitting out globules of diluted blood.
Round two commenced,
Baxter nearly false started,
on his way to colliding with the ropes.
For ten rounds he threw punches
fit to disfigure a Stegosaurus,
but failed to hurt the crazy clown,
who rolled his shoulders like Mayweather
and danced like Ali.
Baxter’s corner had no advice left,
unless volleys of vicious obscenities,
A blind, naked hatred fueled hay maker
penalized Collins for standing still for a nanosecond.
A billion people groaned in unison
as he sank his knees, looking as incapacitated
as a bulldozer fighting pit bull.
‘A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t’,
roared the ghost of Jack Dempsey.
Before the referee could signal box on,
High Calibre was ambushed
with a series of kidney punches.
Discontent with a disqualification victory,
Collins summarized the latest research
on everything from self-hypnosis to veganism.
The day he stopped pissing blood,
he was shimmying up a hemp rope,
to a sun singed lookout,
for some relaxing hand stand push ups.
Collins promoter thought basketball
was a good way to break an ankle,
but he’d never explicitly forbidden
climbing like a human spider,
above a wild river.
The pre rematch publicity was plagued by rabid envy.
Journalist Jermaine Leech attempted to dispatch
Collins biography down the garbage chute hatch.
High Caliber sat silently,
waiting for the defamatory errors to pile up,
like the also rans in a crash them up derby.
“Eight minutes of overrated, orchestrated derision
is hit with instantaneous, spontaneous precision.
In bitter sediment clouds from my distant past
fools imagine self-sewn, flags flown at half mast.
I was buried upended, but I never surrendered!
I’m not one to portray powerful lungs as cystic,
I am a doubt demon purging, optimistic mystic;
knocking out once invincible happiness slayers,
slamming hate sprayers and gnawing naysayers,
outing Leeches who don’t want to be tax payers!
High Caliber has doused a smoking microphone,
Forget it Jermaine, all the fireworks have flown.
The rematch of the millennium arrived.
The brutal technician eyeballed the grinning warrior artist,
High Caliber had seen Baxter fall countless times in his mind.
“Knowledge is not enough, we must apply,
willing is not enough, we must do”
an apparition of Bruce Lee affirmed.
It was the strangest beginning to a bout.
High Caliber circled, like a ballet dancer/Tiger Shark.
“Are you a fighter or Margaret Fontaine”
the man with 666 tattooed on his chest roared.
In the dying seconds of round one,
the bobbing, weaving, bombing Ben the Beast Baxter
walked into a left jab that obscured the hardest right hook
High Caliber had ever thrown.
As The Beast prepared for a left uppercut,
he was cracked with a right cross.
He returned fire,
missing a retreating Collins by millimetres.
High Caliber wasn’t a “bring your muskets and cannons
to the paddock at noon” kind of guy.
Guns and Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” filled the arena.