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'Twas the Fight Before Christmas
Jack McCallum
December 26, 2005
A high-wire experiment in sports fiction, written in nine chapters, sequentially, by nine SI authors, wherein a fast-fading pugilist suddenly finds himself in the bout of his life. Read on....
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December 26, 2005

'twas The Fight Before Christmas

A high-wire experiment in sports fiction, written in nine chapters, sequentially, by nine SI authors, wherein a fast-fading pugilist suddenly finds himself in the bout of his life. Read on....

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"He is," I said. "On a technicality."

"But his name's not Cavanaugh, it's Kelly. That's Eight-Count Kelly."

"And Potatoes O'Grotin and Finbar McCollow and--wait: How do you know his name, anyway?" I said, popping two more aspirin into my mouth.

She didn't say anything.

"Cheryl Sue?"

Her chin began to quiver and my stomach did the same. "Tommy," she said, "please don't hate me."

"Hate you for what?"

"I had no way of knowing, Tommy, no way of knowing...."

"What is it, baby? Say it."

But she just fingered that page of Ring magazine, looking like she was about to cry.

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