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Jared Yates Sexton

swiped with his right, that goddamn cannon, and it barely got my cheek. It hurt though, cracked a molar, and that snapped me awake. I got the hell away and ducked the jab he was loading up. Out of desperation I hurled that hook, the one that’d got his manager’s attention, and it smacked him spot on the ear.

Now, I never did much as a fighter. I won my share and lost just as many.

But I’ll be honest - that hook had to be one of the best in the business. It had to be. I knew from early on I didn’t have much to offer. Feet were slow. Knuckles broke too easy. I couldn’t manage a long bout to save my life. But that hook? It was my saving grace, the one tool I had in my bag that worked worth a damn.

Well. Buster found out about it. When it hit he backed off, stumbled even,

and had to take a second to get his head in order. I could tell it shook him up, that it made him reconsider the situation.

Buster, his manager said. You good, son?

He was looking at me out of worn-out eyes. He nodded and charged again.

This time I could feel the heat coming off him like exhaust. I didn’t see much except that haymaker charging up in his lump of a right shoulder. When I woke up it was a good half hour later and I’d swallowed four of my front teeth.

They slipped me some extra for the surgery. I pocketed a couple hundred

and told the dentist to only replace three of those teeth. I wanted a memento. Now, when I smile, people get a good look at the souvenir I got from Buster Mathis.

Things changed after that. Word spread that I’d stood the man up. I got

more fights, even got a shot at the City Champion. Fought Hector Ramos at the Roosevelt Gym and got knocked out in the seventh. There was word that Ramos was dirty and put pig-iron in his gloves, but I didn’t protest. I was done fighting at that point, done waking up with bloody sheets and bruised hands. I’d done

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Profile for Buffalo Almanack

Buffalo Almanack, Issue No. 2  

Short fiction by Jared Yates Sexton, Amanda Miska, Paul Hamilton and Robert James Russell.

Buffalo Almanack, Issue No. 2  

Short fiction by Jared Yates Sexton, Amanda Miska, Paul Hamilton and Robert James Russell.

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