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.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

His fighting spirit will bring him back his success. What an inspiring story, Linda. As I remember what my family always told me since I was very young, “No retreat, No surrender”.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Another great story Linda. Nicely written and with a hopeful feeling at the end of the story. Well done.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Linda, this is such a positive and inspiring story. I like the fact that your protagonist is ready to get up and fight again, but for the right reasons.

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Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
1 year ago

Interesting story. Your pugilist hero was inspired by Muhammad Ali and went on to greatness of his own but forgot the lessons and fell off his pedestal. He returns home, relearns the old lessons and vows to go forward intent on inspiring others. Great take on the inspiration theme, but will he succeed?

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Linda, you write this as though it could be a reflection on our own personal fight. I can connect with that, don’t we all need a Mike in our lives at sometime. You put this across in your own interpretation of a great fighter. Well written Linda.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

I love your story, Linda. There are many of us who admired and followed Mohammad Ali’s boxing career since he was a true model for inspiration both inside and outside the ring. Already as a child, I got interested in boxing when the Swede Ingemar Johansson became a world champ. It’s interesting how we can be so far from that brutal reality and still be fascinated of it and use it for inspiration. I also like it that your protagonist returns to his roots when misfortune struck, to start rebuilding again from there.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
Reply to  Linda Rock
1 year ago

How fascinating that you met “Our ‘Enry”. I remember him very well from his fights with Ingemar and Ali and the problems he had getting his eyes cut. A famous line is when Ali afterwards told Cooper “You hit me so hard that it hurt my relatives in Africa.”

Santina Forlenza
Santina Forlenza(@santina-forlenza)
1 year ago

Hi Linda, I love when you say that success, that had led Lloyd to believe he was invincible, in reality, had weakened him. And even more I love this quote: “When you’re knocked down, you get back up. Not for the fame or adulation, but for the right reason… to inspire others”. Thanks for this story, Linda.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

In your story courage and determination are nicely expressed. The willingness to fight is inspiring and exemplary.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Linda.

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