Back to Work

Started by Daniel Kovach at Jul 02, 2020 2:56 PM
February 22, 1924
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29 Posts

Daniel Kovach

Boxer
364
?Years Young
47 Posts

"In all things, be vigilant."   His father's favorite saying.


Miami Armory Gym

Morning

 

It had been two weeks since Daniel had fought and won his last bout but now it was time to think about his next fight. He was scheduled to put on a match on the cruise liner, the Chanteuse, as part of the entertainment. This wasn't a full card of several fights as normally would occur there at the Armory but merely a special booking for the entertainment of the passengers  on a weekend cruise. One thing waas certain, he had never boxed on the ocean before, hopefully there would not be a lot of waves the night of the fight. For that fact he had never even been on a ship before. Only once was he even on the water despite Miami being right on the coast. He had been thirteen when he went fishing with a few relatives in a rented rowboat. They didn't catch anything but he had gotten a hell of a sunburn.  No worry there, this fight would be inside.

Dan was looking forward to it. It certainly would be a different experience. The cruises were known for their party experiences, he could enjoy himself too. Well, providing he didn't get beaten bloody. Risk of the game though. Plus, let's face it, it was another chance at prize money. This was his livelihood afterall. And every fight, especially every victory , moved him up in the rankings of possible contenders. So far he was undefeated but granted he was early in his career. Still, you can't climb the ladder if you don't sign up for bouts. His new management got him this gig, now it was on him to take advantage of it.

He arrived early that morning, soon after the joint opened up. Going to his usual locker, he started to undress to change into his workout stuff. Today was the day he was supposed to find out just who exactly he was going to fighting also. Gym chatter had it that it probably wouldn't be anyone all that good as any good manager wanted to fatten his client's won loss record so one could get better bouts later. But that didn't mean the pressure wouldn't be off. It would do his rep no good if he lost to some bum who seldom won a fight but got lucky or hot this time around.

 


Liked 1

George Townshend

Boxing Coach
290
?Years Young
22 Posts

"... and if one of his gloves touches you, it'll knock your bleedin' block off!"


George Townshend had thought long and hard about whom to use as a sparing partner to get Daniel ready for this ludicrous up and coming fight on the ship. The fight itself was a problem, and he had all sorts of voices barking in his ears with contradictory orders and demands.

First of all, there were the ship owners themselves, they wanted a spectacle, of course, to amuse their ocean going guests – that would mean a pretty balanced fight, not a walkover for either corner; then there was Bramwell, who wanted his investment, in time and money spent training and promoting the lad, to be well returned; then there was Mrs von Epp, who had, by some womanly wiles, not only persuaded Bramwell to offer Kovach a more than generous contract, considering what an unknown quantity he was, but stumped up money to buy “shares” in him. She already owned a racehorse, now she’d extended her holdings into the realms of man-flesh.

Most important of all the voices in his head, though, was that of his own conscience. He felt the responsibility of giving Dan the best training possible very heavily. The kid was good, and he could be great with the right training regimen and the right pattern of bouts to work through. This stupid showboat affair was likely to knock that all to Hell before they’d even begun.

At least he was sure that he’d found the right guy to place in the ring opposite Dan during training; it was a little unfortunate that the shared the same first name, which had the unintentionally humorous effect that folks in the boxing gym would start to refer to the diminutive trainer as “Big George” and the lanky young man who towered above him as “Little George”. Still, it was George Jessup’s very ganglyness that buttonholed him for the job: Daniel’s reach made life too easy for him in the ring, Townshend was going to take that advantage away from him, put him on the back foot, and make him work like stink to land a punch.

Townsend found Kovach getting changed and hustled up to him busily while the lengthy form of Jessup ambled behind him, hands in pockets.

“All right Kid” he greeted Kovach, and jerked a thumb behind him “This is you new sparring partner, George Jessop.”

Jessop didn’t even need to step forward to shake hands with Dan, his reach was that impressive.


Daniel Kovach

Boxer
364
?Years Young
47 Posts

"In all things, be vigilant."   His father's favorite saying.


Dan was lacing his boots when his new trainer approached followed by a gangly young man whom he did not know. He smiled up at George though.

"Mornin'," Dan nodded acknowledgement then to the other guy.

"All right Kid” the man greeted Kovach, and jerked a thumb behind him “This is you new sparring partner, George Jessop.”

Jessop didn’t even need to step forward to shake hands with Dan, his reach was that impressive.

Dan stood up though for the handshake as he looked the guy up and down for a quick assessment while still speaking. One thing that was impossible not to notice, this guy had a reach like a gorilla, definitely longer than his.

"Hey, George. Nice ta meet ya. So do I call both you guys George now? Might get confusing," he pointed out with a smile.


Liked 1

George Townshend

Boxing Coach
290
?Years Young
22 Posts

"... and if one of his gloves touches you, it'll knock your bleedin' block off!"


Dan was lacing his boots when his new trainer approached followed by a gangly young man whom he did not know. He smiled up at George though.

"Mornin'," Dan nodded acknowledgement then to the other guy.

The other guy nodded back, friendly enough.

"All right Kid” the man greeted Kovach, and jerked a thumb behind him “This is you new sparring partner, George Jessop.”

"Hey, George. Nice ta meet ya. So do I call both you guys George now? Might get confusing," he pointed out with a smile.

Jessop shrugged, and widely smiled his reply that yes, it was going to be a bit confusing.

“He don’t say much.” Townshend elucidated, and turned to Jessop. “Do ya?”

Jessop shook his head in confirmation of this fact.

“He’s a relation of Bramwell’s missus.” Townsend explained, and then turned again to the lanky boxer “Say, Jess, didn’t you once tell me that you’re some sort of tenth cousin five times removed to the Sorley gang?”

Jessop went to open his mouth, but then settled for a serious nod, no! two nods of the head.

“You heard of them, Kid? Yeah, a bad bunch all round, but Jess’s more interested in stamp collecting and bird watching than anything illegal, oh, and he’s a not too lousy in the ring either, should do us proud for training you up for this big stunt fight, Bramwell’s gotten us into.” There was something unmistakably pejorative in his voice whenever he spoke about the fight on the ship.

Suddenly, Jessop spoke.

Philately.” He enunciated, slowly and clearly.

“Phil who?” queried the coach, looking around to see who Jessop was talking about.

“Philately, is the collection and study of postage stamps.” the young man explained with great care.

Townshend looked at Daniel and nodded back at Jessop. “You’ll get used to him!” he promised. It was some claim, to be honest. Jessop was fast in the ring, but out of it seemed to operate in a different time stream to everybody else. The small man started to plan the training session:

“Well, both of you get changed and we’ll start with some…”

Ornithology.” Interrupted Jessop. Instead of explaining, this time he queued Daniel with a pointed finger, expecting him to put two and two together and define the term.


Daniel Kovach

Boxer
364
?Years Young
47 Posts

"In all things, be vigilant."   His father's favorite saying.


Dan hoped for one of them going by a different name but seemingly no such luck, his trainer seemed content with the situation, declaring the boxer wouldn't be saying much anyhow.

He’s a relation of Bramwell’s missus.” Townsend explained, and then turned again to the lanky boxer “Say, Jess, didn’t you once tell me that you’re some sort of tenth cousin five times removed to the Sorley gang?”

Ahh, yes Bramwell was his business promoter though he had yet to meet the man. Well, to young George a trainer was far more important anyhow so he wasn't worrying about it. As for the Sorleys, the name did not sound familiar at all?

“You heard of them, Kid? Yeah, a bad bunch all round, but Jess’s more interested in stamp collecting and bird watching than anything illegal, oh, and he’s a not too lousy in the ring either, should do us proud for training you up for this big stunt fight, Bramwell’s gotten us into.”

"Nope, news to me," the two hobbies surprised Dan after seeing the guy but it did mark the young man as most likely smarter than the average boxer. As for the liner fight, Dan knew George did not approve and never wasted a chance to indicate so.

"I don't think it's a stunt. It's a fight and it will count on my record. Plus I get paid for it. That's kinda the point of me getting into this career," Daniel pointed out.

"Philately."

What did that mean? Obviously his trainer didn't know either. Ohh, stamps, collecting stamps once the boxer George explained.

“Well, both of you get changed and we’ll start with some…”

Ornithology.” Interrupted Jessop. Instead of explaining, this time he queued Daniel with a pointed finger.

Daniel suddenly realized he was expected to answer this ???

"Umm, maybe the study of orns?" he smiled.

But by then Dan had put two and two together, he wasn't all that educated but he wasn't stupid either, he remembered the man's two hobbies. Coin collecting and birds.

"No, I think I know, you study birds," Dan stated with confidence.

 


Liked 1

George Townshend

Boxing Coach
290
?Years Young
22 Posts

"... and if one of his gloves touches you, it'll knock your bleedin' block off!"


Daniel suddenly realized he was expected to answer this ???

"Umm, maybe the study of orns?" he smiled.

Jessop just smiled and shook his head. He was a little odd, but his smile was so full of fun, it was infectious. It was going to be a difficult face to punch.

But by then Dan had put two and two together, he wasn't all that educated but he wasn't stupid either, he remembered the man's two hobbies. Coin collecting and birds.

"No, I think I know, you study birds," Dan stated with confidence.

Jessop nodded. “Ornithology is the study of birds.” he affirmed with a big grin of satisfaction on his mug.

Townshend rolled his eyes. “And will you two lovebirds please get changed and then you can start hitting each other instead of reading dictionaries!!” he yelled, although he never really sounded properly annoyed when he did that. “’Ornithology is the study of …’ hmph!” he repeated and stalked off to fetch the skipping ropes.

Jessop just smiled and started to get changed. As he stripped, it was clear that he was slightly heavier in class than Daniel, but that was not likely to be a problem, as long as he was fast enough to put Dan through his paces: practice his footwork, and try to land punches on, and defend himself against someone with an inch on him in reach. It wasn’t about heavy hitting, Dan would build that up through work on the bag and pads, with Jessop in a more passive role.

Townshend returned and handed each of them a rope with a wooden handle at each end. It was ironic that there were two types of persons who primarily used skipping ropes: little ‘sissy’ girls and big and violent professional boxers. “All right, warm up!” commanded the little Napoleon.

Jessop started to skip. Then incredibly, started to chant a playground skipping song!

“Down in the valley

Where the green grass grows,

There sat Janey

Sweet as a rose…”

“Can it!” ordered Townshend, and Jessop stopped, but there was a funny little grin on his face, like he quite liked ‘accidentally’ raising the little coach’s ire in this way.

Once he was happy that they were warmed up, and wouldn't injure themselves or strain their muscles by practicing with stiff limbs, Townshend got the gloves. These were the special sparring gloves which were just coming in, with extra padding. Without that, each man would have to pull his punches, thus rendering the practice session less effective.

The coach looked to Dan’s bandages and gloves first, with Jessop helping.

“You ever used sparring gloves before?” he asked Daniel.


Daniel Kovach

Boxer
364
?Years Young
47 Posts

"In all things, be vigilant."   His father's favorite saying.


Well, he got it right, it was about birds then, Daniel was glad he passed that impromptu test and the other boxer looked pleased. The guy wasn't like any other boxer he had ever met, as a group boxers were not all that ... well, intellectual one could put it? But George seemed a good egg. They should get along which was a positive for sparring partners. The last thing you wanted in a sparring partner was some hothead who was looking to drop you with a knockout punch. It was supposed be practice after all.

George the trainer was impatient over all this palavering though and barked that the pair of them needed to get ready to do some work. Fine with Daniel who finished tying his footwear then stood up and stripped off his shirt. He already had his trunks on. A glance over at George's physique showed the other man to be more solidly built than he was, but still with a long reach. This should be interesting. When they were ready, the veteran trainer handed out jump ropes, the de jure method of loosening up first.

Both young men started their routines, Dan bemused to hear George breaking into song but the trainer was in no mood to hear it and stoppered that up with an order. This went on for awhile, it was mindless exercise, almost relaxing in a way even as it warmed up the body. Told to put the things away, George the trainer now provided two sets of sparring gloves to the young men.

“You ever used sparring gloves before?” he asked Daniel.

"Sure! I don't own any of course, most gyms provide 'em," Dan assured the guy he was no novice at this sort of thing.

He turned his attention to the other boxer as he was getting laced up, "Say, George, how'd your last fight go? What's your record by the way?"

He was sincerely just curious, boxers liked to know that sort of info about othe boxers.


Liked 1

George Townshend

Boxing Coach
290
?Years Young
22 Posts

"... and if one of his gloves touches you, it'll knock your bleedin' block off!"


“You ever used sparring gloves before?” he asked Daniel.

"Sure! I don't own any of course, most gyms provide 'em," Dan assured the guy he was no novice at this sort of thing.

“Not like these, they don’t” Townshend bragged “Have a feel, extra squishy!” The trainer finished the bandaging and reached for the mitts.

He turned his attention to the other boxer as he was getting laced up, "Say, George, how'd your last fight go? What's your record by the way?"

Jessop just smiled his smiley smile and shook his head a little, it was up to the busy little Townshend to translate.

“Don’t ask him questions like that, he’s shy. Anyway, he can’t win fights, he’s not angry enough. Oh, he’s got the moves and the power, but he just does this for stamp money - Bramwell promised his missus he’d get him a job, his mother was at her wits’ end, I mean, look at the guy, he’s built like a brick shit-house, he’s brainier than a owl, but he’s virtually unemployable.”

Jessop actually piped up. “I’m not angry, George.” he confirmed.

“Yes, that’s what I just said.” replied Townshend, gesturing the big fella to give him his hands to bandage. “See Dan, a good boxer, a boxer who can win, he’s got to be angry about something. I never met a good boxer who isn’t angry. They might seem happy enough on the surface, but if you dig down, sometimes very, very deep you have to go, you find that they’re angry, very angry about something.”

Jessop looked sadly at Kovach.

“Are you angry, Daniel”

The little coach was getting impatient. “Oh never mind all that, come on, into the ring. Say, I’ll try to pick it up and roll it around a little, so you can pretend you’re on a ship!”


Daniel Kovach

Boxer
364
?Years Young
47 Posts

"In all things, be vigilant."   His father's favorite saying.


His trainer said these sparring gloves were not like the usual sort and pointed out why. After having them on, Daniel had to agree. More padding alright. Good, he didn't want to get hurt or hurt George, this whole thing was to get better at their trade.

"They feel good, George," he smiled as he punched the gloves together a few times.

His innocent attempt at simple conversation got squashed quickly as the older George grumped at him about it, oh well so much for that. He was not in the habit with arguing with one's trainer. He was not one of those.....how did the Eyeties say it?  Prima donna?

Jessop stated he was not angry and George then used that to make a point. He had stressed this sort of thing before, in the last fight. Wanting him to finish his opponent off, the killer instinct. Daniel listened but ...hell, he just wasn't angry, not now. He loved this stuff. But he nodded.

"Got it!"   Even if he didn't.

Jessop looked sadly at Kovach.

“Are you angry, Daniel”

Dan couldn't help himself and smiled, "Nope."

The little coach was getting impatient. “Oh never mind all that, come on, into the ring. Say, I’ll try to pick it up and roll it around a little, so you can pretend you’re on a ship!”

So the man did have a bit of a sense of humor, Dan was amused.

"Yeah you do that, you lift that ring. Maybe if you do it enough, we will get seasick?"

He clambered on up and slipped under the ropes, "So, where are the lifeboats?" Again he grinned.

 


Loved 1

George Townshend

Boxing Coach
290
?Years Young
22 Posts

"... and if one of his gloves touches you, it'll knock your bleedin' block off!"


"They feel good, George," he smiled as he punched the gloves together a few times.

“They’d better, they cost enough.” Townsend grumped.

Daniel listened but ...hell, he just wasn't angry, not now. He loved this stuff. But he nodded.

"Got it!"   Even if he didn't.

Jessop looked sadly at Kovach.

“Are you angry, Daniel”

Dan couldn't help himself and smiled, "Nope."

The little coach was getting impatient. “Oh never mind all that, come on, into the ring. Say, I’ll try to pick it up and roll it around a little, so you can pretend you’re on a ship!”

So the man did have a bit of a sense of humor, Dan was amused.

"Yeah you do that, you lift that ring. Maybe if you do it enough, we will get seasick?"

“All right, all right.” Townshend shouted, but by now both the sparring partners knew that his bark was far worse than his bite “I do the jokes around here! Now get busy!”

He clambered on up and slipped under the ropes, "So, where are the lifeboats?" Again he grinned.

Jessop chuckled goofily at this, and while they were doing some knee bends, holding on to the ropes, the direct but quiet young man let out a few more of his preciously harbored words.

“I like you Daniel. You’ve got a precocious store of humor.”

Townshend wanted to see some action at long last.

“All right, let’s have a dance. Jessop, give him some hooks. Kovach, block ‘em if you have to, but try and step out of them.”

And so it began: and though the session was entirely for Dan’s benefit, the little coach gave at least half of his instructions to George Jessop, having him try different combinations. Obviously, Dan could hear these instructions, so after a while, he told the two of them to spar freely. Jess had speed, flair and technique, but definitely lacked a killer instinct, almost stopping to apologize and ask after Daniel’s health on the rare occasions he landed a punch.

He was the polar opposite of The Killer. Now, using that hair-triggered lump of muscle as a sparring partner would have been like using a loaded revolver to scratch an itch at the back of your throat. It was notable that both men, Jessop and The Killer, had a certain gentle air outside of the ring. Killer was certainly angry about something once he got in there, though, although nobody seemed to know what about.