Friday Fighting: I Knew How it Would End

I knew how the fight was going to end as soon as he threw that first punch. It was a right cross, thrown correctly. This guy was serious and he knew what he was doing. Instead of flailing away with a wild haymaker, his punch came at me in a straight line. The whole thing had started with his shoulder lurching forward, driving his rear hand from his cheek toward my head almost faster than I could follow with my eyes. But sight wasn’t the sense with which I would experience this punch or the several that came after it. He had rolled his knuckles slightly forward so that the hard part of the bone dug into my cheek as his fist came home. In addition to the force of the impact and the white starburst of near unconsciousness that flashed behind my eyeballs, I felt my eyes start to tear up just a little bit. I didn’t fall, but I rocked back and wobbled a bit as I tried to find my feet. Lots of times, a guy throws a punch like that and he gets a little movie playing in his mind. He might perceive that time slows down a little bit as he strikes. In his head, the soft, dull thump of meat slamming against meat becomes the clean thwack that only ever comes out of Hollywood foley shops. In those few, slowed-down seconds he might start to think about what a bad-ass he is; how he really is that guy: the one-punk Knockout King, badder than Tyson, Lee, and Lesner combined. He might just stand still for those few seconds after a really clean punch lands thinking how he just rung your bell or pushed your button and waiting for you to fall. Those few seconds after the one clean punch can make or break the fight. If you get rocked and immediately recoil you can take advantage of a moment of weakness, when it is there. As I started to launch my retaliatory strike, I noticed that this guy wasn’t standing still to take in his handy work. He was following up with another punch. If the fist entering the far right of my field of vision was any indication, it was a left hook moving in an elliptical motion toward my right temple

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