“The bell was supposed to signal the end of the round. But there would be no more rounds. Instead, its plangent couplet barged into the silence that bore witness to Miguel Berchelt’s collapse. It was as if the bell, that signal of rest and respite, also knew the fight was over, that Berchelt, unmoving and alone on the MGM Grand’s blue canvas, needed a doctor, not a stool. And it was over. The adage goes that a fighter who hits the canvas facedown stays there. It makes some sense, that. If the reflex to defend your face—so primitive, elementary, undeniable—is inert, what can ten seconds’ grace do?”

Read Oscar Valdez and the War Against Cliché on Hannibal Boxing.


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