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His Record Was Perfect Until He Won a Fight
Parke Cummings
October 16, 1967
From the age of 6 on this pugilist never got a decision, never landed a blow. Then fate took over as manager
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October 16, 1967

His Record Was Perfect Until He Won A Fight

From the age of 6 on this pugilist never got a decision, never landed a blow. Then fate took over as manager

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He started me off with the left jab, which meant that he had me launching a series of jabs at his jaw, all of which he dodged with such ridiculous ease that the punches might just as well have been started from Stockholm or the interior of Tibet. Since Andy made no attempt at counterpunching I faced no danger of getting hurt, but he was constantly urging me to jab faster. The result was that I wound up each session untouched but totally exhausted.

The worst of it was that Andy was always breathing encouragement. "That's a good jab," he kept telling me as he dodged and sidestepped effortlessly. "Very good indeed, lad—getting better all the time." It may very well be that I developed the most unique jab in the history of fisticuffs. But it had yet to find a target when I had completed my final lesson.

The lessons over, I went around the campus a little cockier perhaps than before. At last a boy who had been making a practice of needling me made an unusually insulting remark. Secure in my new skill, I launched my left jab—my $50 left jab—at him. It missed.

And then an extraordinary thing happened. As I saw him start to retaliate, some instinct made me pinion his arms. I then put a foot behind his heel, pushed with all my might and flung him to the ground. There was a brief following struggle, and I had him on his back.

I then got a strong grip on his left arm and started twisting. "You take back what you said?" I demanded, twisting harder.

He cussed a little, then gave an agonized yell of pain. "All right," he said. "I take it back."

My perfect record was smashed to smithereens! Maybe, I thought as I pondered the wreckage, I should have been a wrestler all along.

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