Antuofermo is from Bari, Italy, and has lived in the U.S. for six years. He is a good fighter, a bit reminiscent of Rocky Graziano, and while he came into this bout an underdog, he was a confident one. He stepped out swinging hard, and missing, and Emile tagged him with the short, hard right hand that opened the cut over his eye. It did not discourage Antuofermo at all.
He forced the fight all the way, disregarding the heavy right-hand upper-cuts landing below his heart time and again, swinging constantly and occasionally connecting to disturb the pattern of sweat beads outlining the bald spot on the top of Griffith's head.
After the fight Griffith sat quietly in his dressing room, swigging water from a polka-dotted ice bag. His face, which has none of the graffiti of forgotten punches marking most old boxers, was smooth and oddly peaceful. He thought he had won the fight, but he was not unduly disturbed that he had not.
"They don't count body punches, do they?" said Clancy. "He was hitting the kid all the time to the body and those blind so-and-sos didn't see it. He wins the fight. He wins the fight."
"Mommy, don't be so upset," Griffith said to his mother, who was sitting beside him and crying. "Here. You take this. You need it more than I do." He handed her the cold water bottle.
"I think you won the fight," a friend said to him. "I don't know how anyone could have scored it 8-2 for the other guy."
"Eight-two?" Griffith said. "Ain't no way I lose 8-2. He never hurt me. Look at my face, mahn. You see anything?" His face was cheerful. He looked like a winner.
"What now, Emile?" someone else asked, and Griffith smiled. He seemed, for no good reason, a happy man.
"Now I go back to work, mahn," he said. "I am not disgraced, am I? I was not tired ahfter this fight, I was strong. So, anyone who wants to fight me, I will fight. Emile Griffith is not finished, mahn."