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Fight On

Boxing isn’t litigation either, but another hero of mine is another son of Philadelphia, albeit a fictitious one.

The story of Rocky Balboa is the story of a nobody who got a shot at the world heavyweight championship and lost. That’s right, he lost. It’s the unconventional story of an underdog who took his shot and lost.

But therein lies beauty.

You see, as the story goes, he only got a shot because the champion, Apollo Creed, needed someone to fight after the number-one contender got injured in training. Creed thought it would make good publicity to give a local tomato can a shot at the title. Someone he was sure posed no threat to him. At the time, Creed was the undisputed, undefeated champion of the world. He’d already cleaned out the heavyweight division, and he’d never been knocked down. He’d never even had to go the distance before.

But as the story goes, their bout went the distance, and the champ got more than he bargained for.

Make no mistake, though: he beat the tar out of the tomato can.

In the fourteenth round, he landed a flurry of combinations and a hard uppercut to the chin that laid him out.

The fight should’ve been over then, if not sooner. Everyone told the tomato can to stay down. Even his own damn trainer told him to stay down. Creed thought it was over and turned to the crowd with his arms raised.

But the tomato can didn’t stay down. To everyone’s disbelief, he beat the ten-count, broke the champion’s rib with a left hook, and went the distance. As the fifteenth round drew to a close, he was beating on the better man: the better man who whispered two words in his ear at the final bell: “No rematch.”

What a way to lose, huh.

Imagine it were you.

They gave Creed the split decision, but you were supposed to be a nobody, and he was supposed to be the heavyweight champion of the world.

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