It was a knockout. In the 3rd round. Lloyd never saw it coming.
Just like he never foresaw how quickly his life would change when he was no longer ‘The Champ’. Hangers-on who once fawned over him, wined and dined on his money, suddenly weren’t around anymore. Vanessa, the stunning blonde, who had hung off his arm during the glory days, stopped taking his calls.
But it was losing Mike, his trainer, that hurt most. Mike, who had always been there for him on his climb to the top. Mike, whom he’d let down so badly. All those missed training sessions; taking their hard-earned success for granted.
Success, that had led him to believe he was invincible. But, in reality, had weakened him, extinguished the hunger once burning inside… leaving him vulnerable.
When you’re at your lowest, wallowing in self-pity, where do you turn? Lloyd turned to home… his family… his roots.
His bedroom was exactly how he’d left it, when he’d moved out and into a swanky new apartment. The wooden bookcase crammed with biographies of his sporting heroes, his medals taking pride of place on the dresser and the posters covering the faded wallpaper. Posters of a champion, whose boxing career had inspired his own.
Winner of an Olympic gold medal, he’d made his country proud. Only to be stripped of his license and WBA title when, at the height of his career, he refused to fight a war he didn’t believe in. Banned from fighting for 3 years, he’d come back, stronger than ever. Reclaiming his title and earning the name ‘The Greatest’.
Viewing the posters brought back the struggle his role model had faced and he was overcome with remorse. When you’re knocked down, you get back up. Not for the fame or adulation, but for the right reason… to inspire others.
With a new sense of purpose, he returned to the gym, putting in the hours and pushing himself to the limit. Months later, with Mike in his corner, he was back in the ring for the rematch. And this time… he was ready.