Heart of a Champion

LOU CHRISTINE’S

“HEART OF A CHAMPION”

 

San Miguel de Allende & Hiking Club 650

Lou Christine: vipsma@gmail.com

Mexico phone: (415) 151-3298

Copyrighted, Library of Congress 1996
BLANK SCREEN:

We hear the roar of the crowd. We hear leather making brutal contact. Our ears confirm there’s punishment being doled out. We hear the grunts.

FADE IN:

INT. 1990, A BOXING RING CAESAR’S PALACE, LAS VEGAS, ROUND-7 — PRIME TIME

The white man’s getting pulverized. Each shot sends him to the ropes. We see those shots landing yet we don’t see who’s dishing them out. We only see the gloves and hard-hitting forearms delivering bone-crushing body shots. At times the punches land in slow motion, permitting us to better appreciate the fury.

The HBO cameras are on hand. Tuxedo-clad announcers sit by ringside. The crowd is vicious and blood thirsty.

FIRST ANNOUNCER (OS)

Looking back, the beginnings of tonight’s bout seems like an awfully long time ago, Jim.

SECOND ANNOUNCER (OS)

Yeah, if I can stop to catch my breath, and appreciate how Lionel Snatch began tonight’s title quest, the same way he’s began all 38 of his pro bouts…by taking a-give-me-your-best-shot right to the jaw… and taking it from of all people…off the glove of Boom-Boom Cummings, The Heavy-Weight Champion of the World... Well, I’m tellingya, Merlin, truth is stranger than fiction.

BOOM BOOM CUMMINGS, 33, a soon-to-be ex-champion continues to get the Julius beat out of him. The challenger’s gloves, gloves belonging to, LIONEL SNATCH, do the damage. Now we see him. He’s blazing; he’s light-chocolate brown, under 25, with the body of Adonis. He’s almost a mirrored-image of a long-ago Cassius Clay, maybe a little bigger. Only the pride of a once-proud champion holds him up. Snatch begins to go up top… he’s head hunting and connecting. The bell mercifully ends round 7. (CONTINUED)

FIRST ANNOUNCER (OS)

Of course, Jim, anybody who knows anything about present-day boxing, remains mesmerized, Snatch’s trademark being to give his opponent an unobstructed opening shot.

The camera pans the fight crowd.

SECOND ANNOUNCER (OS)

For those of you born on Mars, and who don’t know the whole story, Snatch was so touted by his manager, Johnnie B. Goode, with Goode willing to have his boy absorb any opponents opening shot. Well, Lionel took that hit, backing up Johnnie’s claim, yet he’s continued with what has become the sport’s most-bravado tradition throughout his entire career… and here he is, tonight, tough-as-nails, fighting for, and looking as if he’s going to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World.

We’re in the challenger’s corner. Topped by a blue-wool cap, CRABBIE WHITCOMB handles Lionel. He’s an old pug, 60ish, looks as if he could have been born in a gym. TOOTHLESS FREDDIE is posted behind the ropes. He squeezes a sponge, letting water drip down over Lionel’s head.

CRABBIE

(gravel voiced)

He’s ready to be put to sleep. Stay focused.

TOOTHLESS FREDDIE

Murder the cocksucker.

Round 8 begins. Snatch moves in for the kill. Our viewing prospective has the camera pulling backwards somewhat, so our perception begins to see the venue as further away. The POV is shrinking, and the camera continues to do so until we view the fight through the monitor of a black and white TV.

INT. TRAINING ROOM — CONTINUOUS.

The TV set captures the fight in progress. Our view expands and we see the front of LOTTA’S face.She’s Puerto Rican, 23, and hot looking. Her coffee, ice-cream complexion and her dark-shaded eyes are made up. Lotta’s painted lips are pouted. Her hair is slightly tousled. Her facial expressions begin to contort.

Her big-brown eyes are half closed, yet she continues to remain fixated the TV’s screen. She licks the outside of her mouth. Her tongue stretches to its limits, moistening her powdered cheeks. Now and then she moans. Her moans eke out in sequences, perhaps synchronized with the landing punches.

We see further down, down beside her, past her tangerine, velour gown. From the waist up she’s bent over. The top half of her is laying on a training table. Her evening gown has been pulled up around her hips. Two hands grip onto either side of her buttocks, the back-strip of her tangerine-colored, G-string undies has been pulled aside and she’s getting boffed royally from behind.

The guy pumping her, he too moans. His moans also match the fury. He too keeps at least one eye on the TV screen, and he too screams out passionately with each solid delivery. The guy’s older. Christ, he looks like Dennis Hopper. He and the young diva are in full ecstasy.

LOTTA

That’s it, baby… oh, baby, pound that sucker… oh, baby mehor, I love it. I fuckin love it. Pound it! Pulverize him baby!

DENNIS HOPPER LOOKING CHARACTER

Oh! I’m f-u-c-k-i-n-g, t-h-e, s-h-i-t, o-u-t, o-f, t-h-i-s; p-u-s-s-y! Yeah! Kill the sombitch! Knock him out!

LOTTA

(screaming)

Knock the cocksucker out! Oh! Ooh! Fuck me, baby! Fuck, me! Yeah!!

INT. THE RING — MID ROUND 8-CONTINUOUS

Boom Boom can take no more. He’s been reduced to a heap of blood and sweat. He tumbles to the canvas, at the feet of Lionel. The referee hoists up Snatch’s arm. Pandemonium breaks out. Snatch is being carried around the ring by a jubilant entourage. The crowd cheers.

FIRST ANNOUNCER (OS)

Boxing pundits say, this kid might have the staying power to remain champion well into the next century. He has all the tools, Merlin, He’s tough talented and mean.

INT. DRESSING ROOM– CONTINUOUS

Lionel Snatch explodes through the doors of his dressing room, entourage in tow. Cameras flash. His wife, Lotta Snatch, runs towards him still dressed in the tangerine evening gown with her emotions in tack. She throws her arms around him and delivers a take-your-breath-away kiss. He’s still dripping with sweat and she’s too cool.

LOTTA

(Whispering in his ear)

I took every hit for you, baby.

She’s dabbing a boo-boo on his forehead.

LIONEL

I know you did, baby.

Johnnie B. Goode, the Dennis Hopper-looking character, strolls over and puts his arm around his boy’s neck and announces to the press.

JOHNNIE B.

Lionel’s proven to the whole friggin’ world.

Johnnie’s shaking hands. Lotta stands next to her man, proud like, groping him, petting him and looking voluptuous. (CONTINUED)

JOHNNIE (CONT’D)

Go ahead, everybody, have something to eat. We’ll answer your questions at the press conference in twenty minutes. Now if you’ll excuse us.

Lionel, Lotta and Johnnie B. go back to where the very TV and massage table are located; where Johnnie B. and Lotta did their thing. Once in the inner sanctum Johnnie pulls Lionel close to him.

INT–INNER SANCTUM–CONTINUOUS

JOHNNIE B.

You OK., my man?

Lionel just nods. He looks away.

JOHNNIE B.

Sure?..

LIONEL

(quietly)

Yeah, I’m OK.

JOHNNIE B.

We’ve been through this before. You did it your way. I did my part and so did Lotta…that should be the end of it.

Lotta’s stroking the back of Lionel’s neck.

LOTTA

I’m so proud of you, baby…I’m so proud.

LIONEL

Sure…

JOHNNIE B.

We’ve seized the fucking moment. Let’s enjoy the spoils.

LOTTA

C’mon baby, we’re on top of the world!

Lionel maintains a far-away look.  (CONINUEDD)

Lotta kisses Lionel hard. His eyes become the camera’s focus. They’re sharklike, brooding and remain open as he takes the full brunt of her kiss. On the screen, his face begins to spin picking up speed and the kissed face’s image begins twirling and twirling and twirling then picks up speed.. We’re thrown back to another time.

FLASHBACK: 1976

EXT. AN AVENUE IN ATLANTIC CITY NEW JERSEY — DAYTIME

Four kids, not yet teenagers; two white, two black, looking tough puffing on cigarettes, defiantly stroll the avenue looking for trouble. One kid is a young, LIONEL SNATCH, the other black kid, MITCH BLUE, he’s bigger than the rest. The white kids are, RADD SWINK and TOOTHLESS FREDDIE, whose grin substantiates his nickname.

As they stroll past parked cars, Lionel’s bending car antennas in half. An old merchant comes out of his shop and sees the mischief.

OLD MERCHANT

Hey!… What you kids doing?

MITCH BLUE

Fuck you, you old Jew!

LIONEL

Your mother eats white pussy!

Radd gives the old geezer the finger. Mitch Blue’s ready to go over and give the old man a whooping. Toothless Freddie laughs.

The kids continue down the street. Lionel flips his still-lit cigarette butt through the open doorway of a shop.

EXT. OUTSIDE A DRY CLEANERS–CONTINUOUS.

Lionel’s twirling one of those toy-horse-head’s on a stick salvaged out of rubbish. He points the stick towards his sidekicks. They take turns with the stick fucking-with each other.

We see a huge exhaust fan, hurrying out hot air from inside a passing-by dry cleaners. A blast of hot air is heaped upon Lionel. He becomes startled by the blast. The startle turns to nastiness.

(CONTINUED)

LIONEL

Motherfucker!

He rips the toy out of Toothless Freddie’s hand. He jams the stick’s back end through the protective screen’s mesh. The stick jams the fanning system. The fan’s twirling blades come to a sudden halt. A awful sound erupts. Sparks fly. We hear employees screaming. There’s havoc forming inside the cleaners.

The boys grin. A big black man comes running outside.

BIG BLACK MAN

You little bastards!

The howling kids take off down the street. The man’s in hot pursuit. They turn a corner. The black man’s still after them. They’re picking up distance between themselves and the chasing man.

EXT. OUTSIDE AN ATLANTIC CITY GYM — CONTINUOUS

The boys dart inside

INT. A.C. GYM– CONTINUOUS

Inside’s a bevy of activity. Guys are jumping rope, sparring, and hitting bags. CRABBIE WHITCOMB wearing his blue-knit cap who doesn’t appear to be much younger is nearby ringside. He has his feet propped up on a desk. He’s reading a Henry Miller novel. Out of the corner of his eye he sees the four boys, hurriedly filtering through the gym.

The training boxers all but ignore the four delinquents. The big black man, who by then is taking gas, stops for a look see and he stretches both of his huge arms across the gym’s doorwaY.

The kids have crawled under the ring’s apron. Crabbie studies the kids then looks back at the big man. Radd Swink peeks out from under the apron just out of the big man’s sight. Radd places his finger up to his lips and his eyes plead. He ducks back underneath the ring. The big man doesn’t see them and moves further on down the street.

INT. UNDERNEATH THE RING–CONTINUOUS

The four boys crouch and giggle underneath the ring’s canvas floor. While under the crawl space, Lionel stares up and inspects the up-close ceiling. The ceiling bulges and rumbles from the activity. (CONINTUED)

INT. A.C. GYM–CONTINUOUS

Crabbie places down his Henry Miller novel and goes over at the ringside pulling up the apron’s curtain. The boys emerge.

CRABBIE

What the hell are you kids up to?

TOOTHLESS FREDDIE

That ole nigger man was after us, man. He’s an old queer. Told us he was going to suck our dicks or else!

CRABBIE

Old nigger man, huh! What kind of talk is that? Want me to call the cops?

LIONEL

We don’t need no pigs, old man.

CRABBIE

No pigs, huh! You kids are full of shit! You got trouble written all over ya.

RADD SWINK

C’mon, mister. Like, Freddie, sez, we were doing nothing.

CRABBIE

Oh, yeah. Nothing yeah. You kids should start taking care of your bodies rather than making trouble.

The kids, aren’t paying attention to Crabbie, they look around at the training.

MITCH BLUE

Hey, I know who you are! You’re, Crabbie Whitcomb, the guy who trains boxers, boxers going to the Olympics. I saw you on TV with Sugar Ray and Michael Spinks!

CRABBIE

That’s right. But we ain’t talking Olympics here.    (CONTINUED)

TOOTHLESS FREDDIE

Hey, mister, why don’t you take us to the Olympics? Take us!… I’ll even let ya suck my dick.

LIONEL

What the fuck you talking about? This old-raggety man ain’t gonna take us to no motherfucking, Olympics, you dumb motherfucker.

CRABBIE

Oh, yeah, Mr. Wisenheimer, what makes you such an authority?

LIONEL

‘cause, raggety-ass motherfuckers like, you, takes nobodies nowheres.

CRABBIE

You got a lot to say, little man.

LIONEL

That’s right. I’m a talking motherfucker.

MITCH

Well, if you can’t take us. Teach us how to box. We bad, we bad!

CRABBIE

Well, that’s the first correct statement I’ve heard spit out of your smart-little mouths. C’mon over here you little shits.

Crabbie walks over to the heavy bag. The boys follow.

CRABBIE

(to Freddie)

Give it a whack.

Freddie gives the bag a weak hit.

CRABBIE

Ya got nothing. Get outta here! You should be the one sucking dicks. Ya hit like a girl! You! Big mouth, it’s your turn. (CONTINUED)

Lionel gives the bag a better sending.

CRABBIE

Not bad. What’s your name?

LIONEL

Lionel Snatch.

CRABBIE

Stand over there. OK, who’s next?

Mitch Blue takes his turn. He gives the bag an even better whack than Lionel. Crabbie’s eyes light up. Then he motions for Radd to take his shot. He gives it a good punch too.

CRABBIE

So, you little snot noses want to learn how to defend yourselves, become Olympians?

In unison the kids say, ‘Right on!’ except for Lionel, who just gives a defiant stare towards the old man.

CRABBIE

Come back Saturday morning, nine sharp, if ya want to be taught something worthwhile.

EXT. SIDE STREET IN AC–NEXT DAY DAYTIME.

Johnnie B.Goode is on his knees. He’s wearing a fancy suit and a straw hat. He’s rolling dice with some other men. His Lincoln is parked half-way up on the curb. (NOTE JOHNNIE IS WHITE)

JOHNNIE

C’mon, give me the eight! Give me the eight!

He rolls the dice and #8 tumbles out. Johnnie hoorays, scoops-up the wrinkled bills and loose change that lay scattered on the cement.

The other men who have been gambling shake their losing heads with dismay and begin to split up.

The four young punks come sashaying down the street. They each have their own defiant and exaggerated stroll.(CONTINUED)

Johnnie stands up. The four boys come walking directly towards him.

Lionel pulls up his shirt, exposing, then extracting a silver plate tucked in beneath his pants.

JOHNNIE

So this is it, huh?

LIONEL

COD., motherfucker!

Johnnie fishes for a five-dollar bill.

JOHNNIE

You better watch your little-fucking mouth. It’s bad enough ya steal from your mother.

LIONEL

She don’t use this shit anyway. She just takes it out and rubs it up with polish every couple of years.

JOHNNIE

You’re just a little hustler the way I was. A couple of years from now when the casinos are going full tilt. I got a feeling you and I will be doing some scamming. Who are these punks you’re hanging out with?

LIONEL

This is brother, Mitch, and the two whities here are, Radd and Toothless Freddie.

JOHNNIE

You boys should pay attention to, Lionel. He’s sharp. Maybe we all can start doing business together.

An AC. squad car comes roaring up the street, and brakes in front of the quintet.

FIRST COP

Don’t take one fucking step Goode, ya white nigger ya. I’ll blow ya away. (CONTINUED (CONTINUED)

JOHNNIE

What the fuck you stiffs talking about?

SECOND COP

Yeah, sure. We just searched that dump you call a pad. Got enough evidence to send you up to Rahway for a term.

The cops handcuff Johnnie and cart him off. The kids are pushed aside and all but ignored.

MITCH

So you call that motherfucker, the man?

LIONEL

Don’t worry about, Johnnie. He’ll be back.

A crowd gathers. Some catcalls are yelled towards Johnnie, who’s sitting and looking pissed-off inside the squad car.

OLD BLACK WOMAN

Mercy! What’s this neighborhood turning into?

Three girls, the same age as the boys—one’s carrying a boom box. All jitterbug to the tunes of Prince’s Purple Rain. A younger Lotta, whose-then last name is, Perez, does a hot huchi-cuchi on her own as they make their way towards the action oblivious to the goings on.

The boys gawk at the girls and offer enticing grins. Lionel looks hard at Lotta. She gives back a sardonic smile.

LIONEL

Gonna get me some of that shit. Look at ‘em sweet, little, Puerto Rican, baby cakes… hmm hmm.

Lotta brazenly walks over to the boys.

LOTTA

(towards Radd)

Hola, Senor Radd, buenas dias.

RADD

Buenas dias senorita.

LIONEL

(towards Radd)

What the fuck you talking that spic shit for?

Then towards Lotta

LIONEL

And what the fuck you doing talking to this white motherfucker? You should be talking to me. Don’t you know that black men and Spanish ladies are made for each other? Our dicks are el grande.

Radd says nothing and sort of looks away, acting embarrassed.

LOTTA

That’s your problem. At least Radd’s a gentleman at school. Ladies of my stature don’t want to mess around with riffraff.

LIONEL

Well what if I knock grayboy’s teeth down his throat? Then he’ll look like this other goofy, no-teeth, white motherfucker?

MITCH

Yeah bitch, be directing your attention towards the brothers. We only let ‘em hang with us so to talk to white pussy.

LOTTA

Pehor! You’re both malo. (towards Radd) You should chose new friends.

Radd remains mute. Lotta hearing enough begins to wiggle their way on further down the block. The four boys watch ‘em go.

LIONEL

(shouting to the departing girls)

You’ll see, bitch, someday when I’m heavyweight champeen, you’ll be begging to wax my jimmie.      (CONTINUED)

LIONEL

(towards Radd)

She’s my bitch now. I see you talking to her again I’ll mustard your ass.

MITCH

Yeah, you heard the man. Hands of Lotta. She’s Lionel’s whore.

LIONEL

Hey, motherfucker! Who you calling a whore? She’s my bitch.

MITCH

Fuck you! You wanna make something of it?

The two boys begin to fight. Radd AND Toothless Freddie jump in attempting to separate the boys. Radd holds Mitch. Freddie attempts to block-out Lionel.

LIONEL

I’ll kill your fuckln’ ass.

MITCH

Yeah, you and the Russian army ya, cunt.

Mitch then slugs Radd… Radd slugs Mitch… Lionel gets Toothless Freddie in a head lock and starts beating his face. Freddie cries.

EXT. ALONG SOME RAILROAD TRACKS–LATE AFTERNOON

The four combatants sit together wearing brooding sneers and aren’t talking much. Freddie has a band aid on his forehead. Lionel has a cut lip and both other two boys look worse for wear.

A passing passenger train grabs their attention. Quickly they begin to gather and toss rocks. A conductor at the door of the rear car talks frantically on a walkie-talkie. He waves his fist at the boys. Together they take aim. Mitch’s rock nails him.

MITCH

Popped him! Popped that, Casey-at-the-switch, motherfucker. Twenty points! And a ten-point bonus for hitting a dude of a different persuasion.            (CONTINUED)

The striking of the train has relieved the tension. Lionel decides to share his smokes and the renegades go down to sit on the tracks.

TOOTHLESS FREDDIE

So what, we gonna go down tomorrow, and let that old man teach us how to box?

MITCH

Yeah, I wanna get some gold. Imagine all that foreign pussy at the Olympics.

RADD

Yeah, it be neat. Imagine!

LIONEL

That old man don’t know jack shit.I’m sticking with Johnnie B. He’ll teach me. Whats that old man drive?… Nothing. He rides the jitney. Johnnie goes in style.

RADD

The only thing Johnnie is going to be driving…is his dick up some inmates ass. C’mon, Lionel, lets go get tough.

A long freight train comes chugging down the tracks. The boys step off the rail. It comes to a stop. In seconds they’re breaking the government seal and are inside, rifling through the goods packed in crated boxes. The freight; porcelain-bathroom fixtures, freight that’s worthless in their eyes. For fun they break some toilets and tanks along the trestle, and then head back towards town, smoking cigarettes and continuing toying with one another.

INT. AC GYM–SATURDAY MORNING

The gym has a younger crowd than before. The four, out-of-place ruffians march in. Crabbie’s up in the middle of the ring refereeing two kids, kids even younger than our cast.

CRABBIE

That’s it! Show ya got the ‘heart of a champion.’ That’s it. Good!

As bell rings he notices the new kids. Crabbie stoops under the

ropes and signals for one of the other guys to take over.                           (CONTINUED)

CRABBIE

So, you hoods have decided to come in huh? Let’s see if I can make something out of ya.

MITCH

Alls we want to do is make the Olympic team, except for Lionel here. He wants to be heavy-weight champ.

CRABBIE

Well, I guess the most important thing is, to want something. Then the rest is academic. Ever hear of writers named, Hemingway or one named, Henry Miller?

The boys just shrug their shoulders.

CRABBIE

What the fuck do they teach you in school these days anyway?

TOOTHLESS FREDDIE

We don’t go to school.

CRABBIE

Oh, excuse me. I forgot, ya don’t need to go to school when you know everything. OK you, Einsteins, go get on the scale, then go see Fisher for some equipment.

INT. AC GYM–DAYS LATER

We see Crabbie teaching the boys, instructing them the way to hold their hands. They’re in head gear and boxing trunks.

MONTAGE:

1) We see them taking turns hitting the big bag.

2) We see them struggling with sit ups. Radd works hard at it. Mitch

does his more easily. Lionel’s doing good. Freddie’s suffering.

3) We see them early in the morning. Old-man Crabbie is

running with them. Despite his age he’s faring much better.

Freddie lags behind.

4) Toothless Freddie is trying to master the speed bag, it’s set too high to hit. He’s jumping so to take a whack at it. Crabbie comes over to adjust the bag so it’s more suited to his height. Once adjusted Freddie gives it a whack, it rebounds hard off the top, and comes flying back and knocks him to the floor.Lionel, Mitch and Radd, all sitting next to each other crack up and they fall backwards, falling off a bench while laughing.

5) Crabbie’s out front with his own rope, and the boys struggle as  they try to master the jumping.

6) Lotta and her friends peer inside the open door. She smiles at   Lionel. He smiles back then shows off by smacking Freddie, who’s gawking. Then she smiles at Radd, who’s over in the corner      working with weights. Radd smiles back. Lionel sees the corresponding smiles and gives Radd a mean stink eye, then Lionel      returns a sour look just for Lotta’s benefit.

EXT. AC STREET CORNER–NIGHT

Lionel’s on the corner with the three other boys. He has a cigarette dangling from his lips. He’s hollering out at some passing gals and grabbing his crotch.

There’s a noisy nightclub a few doorways up. Mostly black dudes hang outside. They ignore the punks. They’re sitting on car fenders talking stuff, wearing sunglasses despite the darkness. Some provocative women also hang out.

SEXY BLACK CHIC

(towards one of the men)

C’mon, baby, share some of that night life. I’ll be serving chicken til eight, we’ll drink wine to nine, make your jimmie hard and fuck all night!

BLACK MAN

Get in the back of the car, bitch.

Crabbie comes out of a grocery store with a package in his hand. Unseen by the boys he sneaks up and rips the cigarette out of Lionel’s mouth, and tosses it in the gutter.

CRABBIE

You never saw Ali put that poison to his lips! If you’re gonna be somebody, you gonna knock that shit off, ya here? (CONINUE)

LIONEL

This ain’t the gym, ole man.

CRABBIE

Gym, schym, if you wanna be trained you’re gonna hafta go by my rules!

LIONEL

What like jumping rope? That’s what tussy-assed motherfuckers do. You want us to jump rope like girls.

CRABBIE

Jumping rope was good enough for Joe Frazier and Joe Louis. You wanna become a champ?

LIONEL

Yeah, but…

CRABBIE

But my ass, ya little shit. Now listen, and this goes for the rest of ya. ‘cept for you Freddie. I’m going to Colorado Springs before the Olympic team heads up to Montreal. When I come back on the 18th, I wanna see Mitch, Radd and Lionel in the gym, four times a week. Ya gotta get ready. You’re gonna get your first taste of the action. We’re going up to Newark in September to compete with a boys club up there. Sorry, Freddie, you ain’t ever going to be a boxer of any sort. Ya couldn’t make a pimple on a real-boxers ass. If ya still want to hang around and help the fellas, that’s OK with me, but I can’t take the time to train ya.

MITCH

Fuck you!. All for one, and one for all. (CONTINUED)

CRABBIE

Have it your way. That’s very noble of ya. But there were only three Musketeers. I don’t give a rat’s ass, I’m not going to kiss your little butts. Three of you have certain potential, one of you don’t. Take it or leave it. I’m outta here.

Crabbie heads down the street.

EXT. A LOADING DOCK BELONGING TO A VARIETY STORE–DAYTIME

Two black men unload boxed TVs from a truck backed up to the loading dock. TVs sit on the dock unguarded before being carried inside.

We see Lionel and Freddie out in front of the truck, out of view of the working men. As a car passes, Lionel kicks the front of the truck, making a thumping noise. The men in the rear hear it. Freddie tosses himself on the ground and screams out.

FREDDIE

Oh, my Leg! Oh, my leg!

LIONEL

Help! Hit and run! Help!

The two truckers run to render aid to a faking Freddie. Mitch and Radd sneak around the other side of the truck, hop up on the loading dock and lift a TV.

INT. INSIDE LIONEL’S HOUSE–DAYTIME

A beat-up couch and torn curtains are notable fixtures in the run-down apartment. The rest of the house is filthy. A little baby with a stinky diaper roams the living room. Our cast is glued to the TV.

The Olympics are being broadcast live from Montreal. Sugar Ray’s getting his gold medal, taking dignified bows before the crowd. We get a glimpse of Crabbie, huddled in his corner.

FREDDIE

There he is! There he is! There’s Crabbie! Look he’s with Sugar Ray! Damn! (CONTINUED)

RADD

That’s radd, man! That’s radd!

MITCH

(Towards Lionel)

What you say now, motherfucker? There’s what you call a raggety-ole man. Well, there he is on world-wide TV. Where’s that Johnnie B. Goode, motherfucker?

FREDDIE

Yeah, Lionel, where’s, Johnnie?

Like that! Lionel hauls off and slaps Freddie hard across the face. Freddie starts crying.

LIONEL

Shut up you, snake-fanged, motherfucker!

MITCH

What you doing shit like that for?… Why don’t you hit me chump?

LIONEL

I didn’t hit him, I slapped him, the way you slap a bitch.

MITCH

You’re a lame motherfucker.

LIONEL

Well take your shot, nigger!

Mitch goes for Lionel. Radd intervenes. Lionel’s mother comes storming out of the kitchen and starts slapping him. Then she’s slapping all the boys. They run out of the house laughing and snickering while on their merry wayward way.

EXT. OUTSIDE AC GYM–AN AUGUST NIGHT

Radd Swink’s alone, he’s passing by the gym. He takes a look inside. Crabbie’s situated in his rest position, feet up on a desk, and he’s reading a paperback.

RADD

Hi, Crabbie.

CRABBIE

Hey, Radd. C’mon in. Whatcha doing?

RADD

Just bumming around. We saw you on TV. When ya get back?

CRABBIE

Just last night.So whatcha doing now?

RADD

Nothing really.

CRABBIE

Kinda late, huh?

RADD

I suppose.

CRABBIE

Ain’t ya gotta be home? Whats your folks say?

RADD

They don’t care much.

CRABBIE

How come?

RADD

I don’t know.

CRABBIE

Wanna take a walk?

RADD

Sure.

EXT. A STREET IN AC–CONTINUOUS

They walk towards the boardwalk, making their way up the ramp leading to the boardwalk. Once there Crabbie leads them over to the rail, so to look out at the ocean. The moon sits on the horizon.

CRABBIE

Ever do any reading?

RADD

Not really. I mean I ain’t got nothing against it or anything. It’s just nothing I’ve read so fars’ been that interesting.

CRABBIE

I’ll tell ya, son, reading has enabled me to travel the world without ever leaving A.C., and I’ve traveled back in time, to the Middle Ages and back to ancient Greece, all because of books.

RADD

I never looked at it that way.

CRABBIE

Boxing and books have been my life… remember when I asked you guys if you ever heard of Henry Miller and Hemingway?

RADD

Yeah.

CRABBIE

That’s when life was romantic. That was a time of adventure, my boy. I just missed that time.

RADD

Who were they? (CONTINUED)

CRABBIE

They were mostly reporters, Americans, living overseas, covering the World War. After the war they stayed for awhile, lived mostly in Paris. They stayed there so to write. But they did a lot more.

RADD

Like what?

CRABBIE

Besides writing? They partook in an off-beat lifestyle, hanging around with the other international hipsters of the time. They became rich and famous.

RADD

How come they couldn’t be that way while back in America?

CRABBIE

Well, for one thing, they wrote erotic stuff, very erotic, indeed. Europe was writer friendly. Paris was a water-shed of new ideas about literature. F. Scott Fitzgerald found it that way, so did Hemingway and Miller, plus they got to boff a lot of French broads.

RADD

Yeah, I hear them Frenchy broads like to suck it.

CRABBIE

Whatta-you hear? You know anything about fucking?

RADD

(not convincingly)

I get my share.

CRABBIE

Bullshit! A real woman would kill ya, ya little pip squeak.

RADD

Bring one around, I’ll show ya, I’m a fucking-machine. (CONTINUDED

CRABBIE

Well, I’ll tell ya… If wanna know something about fucking, read Henry Miller. That guy’s stuff makes the blood flow, why your dick would get so hard… so hard, ya could saw down a god-damned, red wood… Then of course there were prudes back in America who didn’t want anybody reading that shit, so much so his stuff was banned for years.

RADD

So what happened to them?

CRABBIE

Oh, they all got rich and famous, heroes in the literary world. Champeens, just like Sugar Ray and Michael. Only thing, their talents didn’t erode the way a fighter’s will. If I had it to do all over again, I’d jump a steamer the way they did in the old days; fuck flying on the Concorde. I’d sail right past the Statue of Liberty, under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and sail over the Atlantic. I’d get me a little love nest on the Left Bank, meet myself a little Frenchy and, ah forget it.

RADD

Geez!

CRABBIE

All right, enough of the romantic B.S. Let’s talk about our business. Are you guys going to get ready for Newark?

RADD

Well I am, and I think Mitch and Lionel are. They’ll be there. I’d bet on it.

CRABBIE

Let’s head back.

EXT. AC. GYM–CONTINUOUS

Both Radd and Crabbie are outside the gym. Crabbie locking the gym’s door, then double checking the lock.

CRABBIE

Ya gotta watch it around here anymore.

RADD

Hey, no sweat, ya got protection now.

CRABBIE

Yeah, sure. Here, I got this out of my desk drawer. It’s Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. Try it out, it might be up your alley.

RADD

Solid! Yeah, gangsters. I dig it. I’ll read it. You’ll see. Maybe after I read it I can become world champ and then go to France and bang some of them Frenchys. I’ll make so much money Crabbie, I’ll buy you one too.

CRABBIE

Get the fuck outta here ya little-shit ass! Go home!

The boy and the man head in different directions. Crabbie looks back for a departing look-see. Half-a-block down Radd’s looking back too, he smiles back and gives a final wave.

INT. BUS ON THE WAY TO NEWARK–DAYTIME

The AC. gym’s boxing team sits on the bus. Crabbie, Fisher and two other men chaperone. Freddie’s acting up. Mitch sits next to him. Lionel and Radd sit together. Radd’s already engrossed in Henry Miller’s Sexus. He got his jacket over his lap. There’s sweat on his upper lip. Crabbie sits across the aisle from Radd.

He hands out a couple of fight magazines. Mitch studies the magazines with interest. Freddie looks out the window. Mitch and Lionel compare pictures and ratings.

MITCH

I can see my name right there.

Lionel says nothing, acting bored by the rhetoric. (CONTINUED)

LIONEL

You motherfuckers should shut up and start concentrating on your opponent! White bread’s sitting here reading some motherfucking-romance novel, and you, dufus are day dreaming in Ring Magazine. Start thinking about the nigger you’re going to duke it out with up in Newark.

Crabbie sits back and smiles. He opens a Stephen King novel.

INT. NEWARK BOYS CLUB, RINGSIDE–EVENING

Fighters names from the AC. gym pepper the leader board. Radd’s on center stage. He’s fighting another white kid. Radd acts confident. He jabs and jabs. Though not so pretty, he scores and scores. By the end of the 3-round-bout he’s exhausted.

The referee holds up our boy’s arm. He smiles towards his corner. Freddie and Mitch are giving each other high fives. Lionel isn’t smiling. Crabbie rubs Radd’s head affectionately.

Now we see Mitch beating up a competitor. Mitch dominates the entire fight, but is DQ’d for kneeing the kid, retaliating after a non-incidental low blow. He argues with the officials.

MITCH

Whatchu mean? The motherfucker hit me in the balls!

Crabbie’s in the ring restraining Mitch, pulling him away.

We see Lionel take the ring. He’s focused and serious. The contest has to be stopped after only half-a-round. Lionel dominated.

Other bouts continue. Radd and Freddie are all smiles. Mitch is pissed. Lionel looks as if he’s won nothing.

LIONEL

They shouldn’t have stopped the fight. They shoulda let me knock the motherfucker out.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

INT. AC GYM 1980–NIGHT

President Carter is on the TV, stating how the American Olympic team will boycott the Summer Olympics, an Olympiad that was to be held in The Soviet Union. The boycott is due to the invasion of Afghanistan.

Two older fighters; SONNY HOPSON AND MARTY DAWKINS looked shocked, hearing the Prez erase their Olympic dreams.

Crabbie’s face is downcast, rather than looking up into the disappointed fighters eyes.

The four boys are now around 16. They too are in disbelief.

FREDDIE

Fuck them, sand niggers! What do we care what the Russians do to them?

MITCH

See, the white man is trying to keep us down. They don’t care.

Radd walks over to commiserate with Hopson and Dawkins.

RADD

Sorry, guys.

Hopson has tears in his eyes. Dawkins looks away. They shake their head to acknowledge Radd for his consolatory sentiments.

LIONEL

That’s alright. Come ‘84 they’ll have to deal with us.

EXT. AC STREET CORNER–SAME EVENING

Lionel and Mitch zero in on four white kids coming out of the movie theater. Lionel strolls up to the biggest kid.

LIONEL

Loan me-dime, motherfucker!

The movie goer doesn’t get it and doesn’t respond. (CONTINUED)

LIONEL

What, you, some deaf motherfucker? I said loan me a dime!

MITCH

What’s a matter with you, boy? Didn’t ya hear the man?

Focusing then on another scared kid.

MITCH

How ‘bout, you? Lend us a dime… Wait! I got it… I got it… You don’t want to lend us a dime. So, then, tell ya what we’re going to do, brothers, we’re just going to rob, ya ass. Now give us all your fucking money.

1ST KID

C’mon, man, we ain’t got no more money. We spent it in there.

LIONEL

You lying piece of shit.

Mitch grabs one and tosses him up against the wall.

EXT. AC STREET–MOMENTS LATER

Both Mitch and Lionel are splitting up there extortion booty. Lionel looks over. There stands a more mature Lotta by herself. He ditches Mitch and crosses the street.

LIONEL

Hey, baby, you look exhausted.

LOTTA

How’z that?

LIONEL

‘Cause you been running around inside my mind.

LOTTA

What are you learning in that gym?  How to box or how to say stupid pick-up lines?          (CONTINUED)

LIONEL

I don’t need no lines to get what I want.

LOTTA

No, all you need to do is some strong-arming, like I saw you do with them white boys outside the movies

LIONEL

They’re fucking chumps. ‘Take from he weak to remain strong,’ that’s what I, say. You want some of the strong, baby?

Lotta says nothing but doesn’t rebuff Lionel. Instead, she fixes a subtle smile on her face. Lionel roughly takes her hand.

EXT. ALLEY WAY–CONTINUOUS

He bullies her back into the alley. He’s all over her, making grunting sounds. Without a fight she succumbs. He’s squeezing her good-sized tits. The crucifix around her neck dangles. He’s squeezing her crotch.

He grabs her hand and shoves it towards his groin area. She’s melting with passion. She squeezes back. He has his way with her, and is all over her like an animal. He pushes her down to her knees.

LIONEL

Go ahead, baby, put that black magic in your mouth. Yeah, baby that’s it. Suck out the cream.

Lotta moans. Lionel laughs. He pulls her up and then turns her around, pulls down her panties and buggers her from the rear. All being done under the alley’s light.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

INT. AC GYM–1983

1) We see the 3, older, more-mature, more-polished fighters working out, they’re all around 19-years old. Mitch hits the speed bag with authority. Lionel works with the medicine ball on his abs. Radd’s in the ring with another man, he’s practicing a counter punch. Crabbie’s turning full-circle, giving instructions. Freddie’s carrying a water pale.

CRABBIE

We got two weeks before we hit the road. Think sharp! Act sharp! Be sharp!

Radd comes walking over he has some books in his hands

RADD

(to Crabbie)

I liked Ayn Rand. But I liked Portnoy’s Complaint  better. Hey, you got anymore of that Vonnegut stuff. That guy’s a trip.

CRABBIE

Did ya like the part in Breakfast of Champions, where he talks about the gold?

RADD

Yeah. That was a trip… Hey, Crabbie don’t mention anything to the others, but I’ve been doing a little composing myself. Just short stuff, mostly about boxing. Would you like to see some?

CRABBIE

Really, well I’d love ta! But first let’s concentrate on Trenton.

RADD

What happens if we win in Trenton?

CRABBIE

If we win there, we go to the Mid-Atlantics’ in Philly. Then to the regionals up in New York, then to the nationals, this year in Tulsa. If any of us are still standing. We go to the Olympic tryouts in Colorado Springs.

Crabbie breaks away from Radd and in his typical gravel voice.

CRABBIE

OK. now, listen up. I don’t want any trouble out of you guys during the next four weeks. This is an opportunity for all of us. (CONTINUED)

The fighters continue to go about their business. Mitch and Radd raise their gloves towards each other and pantomime.

EXT.OUTSIDE THE DOOR OF THE AC GYM–EVENING

Lotta drives up in a convertible. She’s ravishing. Mitch, Lionel and Radd are exiting the gym’s door. Lotta has big eyes for Lionel. He leaves the men without saying goodbye and hops into the passenger seat. He scoots over towards Lotta and begins groping at her. She shoos him off, somewhat embarrassed about his behavior in front of the others. They begin to pull away.

LOTTA

Hi, Radd. Bye, Radd.

Radd gives a weak wave back. They pull away from the curb.

EXT. INSIDE DRIVING CONVERTIBLE–CONTINUOUS

LIONEL

Whatchu doing talking to that motherfucker?

LOTTA

Ay, Carumba, I wasn’t talking to him. I said, hi and bye.

LIONEL

That’s talking to the motherfucker. I don’t want you saying nothing to him. I don’t want you saying much to anybody, other than and me. Understand that, bitch?… Now lets talk about this upcoming wedding.

Tears well in Lotta’s eyes. She sneaks one fleeting look in the rear-view mirror.

We see Radd standing there with a lump in his throat. He can only anticipate what she’s going through.

MONTAGE:

We hear the music of Marissa Etherage’s Wake Me Up In The Year 2001. At first, the lyrics are sung by a back-up, male voice. We hear the repetitive lyrics; In the future, In the future, In the future...

1) We see Mitch fighting in Trenton. We see him dominating. We see Crabbie yelling from a corner. We see Mitch taking his bows. We see, the still-toothless Freddie giving Crabbie a high five.

The music continues

2) We see Radd out pointing a real built black kid in Philly. The corner’s celebrating and the Crabbie looks pleased.

3) We see Lionel decking a guy in New York. His victorious gloved hand is being hoisted in the center of the ring. He looks as if he doesn’t appreciate the referee touching him.

The music continues.

4) We see all three boys posing for a photograph, holding trophies. Even Lionel forces a smile.

5) We see the headlines on the Sport’s page of the Atlantic City Press: AC Trio Makes It To Olympic Finals.

Penetrating guitar-sounds from the song accent the moment.

6) We see a mid-section belonging to a boxer taking a volley of body shots. The body falls to its knees. Blood drips down. We now see his face. The dropped guy isn’t one of our guys. Then we see Lionel standing over him.

7) We see Lotta reading the paper. We see Lionel on the phone, smiling, and looking over his shoulder to see if anyone is looking.

8) We hear the bell ring three times. We hear the announcer in

Tulsa call out Radd’s name as Middle-weight champ. We hear the      cheers.

The music continues.

9) We see more victims falling beneath the fury of Mitch and Lionel. We hear the announcer announce, Lionel Snatch as light, heavy-weight champ and Mitch Blue as the cruiser-weight champ. The music fades.

INT. VISITOR DRESSING ROOM IN TULSA–AFTER THE FIGHTS

There’s total jubilation. People are hugging each other. The press wants in. A chant breaks out: Olympics! Olympics! Olympics!…

FREDDIE

We’re going to Korea baby. Gonna get me some of that sideways pussy.

Mitch comes over to Radd.

MITCH

You OK for a white boy. I wasn’t always so sure about you, I been a little worried since you been readin’ all that white shit Crabbie lays on you, but the way you handled that brother tonight. You one mean mother.

RADD

Solid!

Lionel removes his tape, and remains serene. Radd comes and sits down on the bench. He extends his hand. Lionel gives him a weak shake.

RADD

When you gonna lighten’ up?

LIONEL

Whatchu mean, motherfucker?

RADD

You know what I mean, hard ass. We’re not back in AC no more, we’re on our way to something, you, me and Mitch.

LIONEL

What makes you think I care what you tussies are up to? I got my own life and my own agenda. Johnnie B. will soon be getting out. He’s gonna run my career, and soon enough I’ll get away from your sorry ass. And since we’re talking, I don’t want you talking to my bitch anymore…that means no ‘hi’s,’ or ‘bye’s,’ or any-other sneaky shit like that, just so you can get a chance to squeeze her Puerto Rican pussy.

RADD

You’re fucked up, man.

LIONEL

You keep talking like that and I’ll fuck you up.

Crabbie’s on the scene. The boys tone it down. Lionel walks away.

CRABBIE

Wanna get some dinner? Let’s see what Tulsa has to offer.

RADD

Sure…

INT. LOCAL ITALIAN RESTAURANT IN TULSA–EVENING

Radd and Crabbie sit a table draped in a red-plaid, table cloth, a bottle of chianti sits.

CRABBIE

I read your piece. I’d say it’s pretty good. You might have a future there.

RADD

Future?.. I’m on my way towards one.

CRABBIE

That’s another reason I wanted to have dinner with you. Now don’t get pissed. What I’m going to tell you is for your own good.

RADD

What’s this all about?

CRABBIE

Like I say, it’s about your future. Look, you’re going to get a decent shot to make the Olympic team, and a lot of it has been your-own doing, but much has been mine. You see I’ve been shading you.

RADD

Whatta ya mean, shading me?

CRABBIE

Well, you know I’m instrumental in the IOC. Let’s say I’ve had some control over who you been fighting.

RADD

What you getting at?

CRABBIE

I think you’re a great kid and you got a lot-more going for you in some ways, more than the other fellows, but it’s not boxing talent. The truth is, you might get lucky and win gold in Korea. Hey, look, you’re tough, you’ve done every god-damned thing I’ve asked, since you been 12, but, kid, ya got no punch. Oh, you can take a hammering and ya can score points, but ya don’t have KO power, at least not enough to go big-time. You’ll get murdered up there… Now Mitch, if he can keep his cool and gets some good management, why he might make a good pro. Lionel on the other hand has it all, including plenty of meanness.

RADD

So why are you laying this on me now?

CRABBIE

Cause I got a lot of respect for you…I wanted to tell you first before anyone else tries to break your bubble… Look, Radd, take your best shot at the trials, if you make the team, savor the experience. I’ll tell ya, there’s nothing like it. But then look for another profession. I won’t have anything to do with you if you turn pro.

EXT. JUNE 1984 U.S. OLYMPIC TRYOUTS COLORADO SPRINGS–DAYTIME

We see the fight crowd entering the venue.

INT. DRESSING ROOM–CONTINUOUS

Mitch gets his hands tapped by Freddie. Radd sits reading. Johnnie B. Goode, with a carnation in his suit lapel, comes barging through the dressing-room door. A guard attempts to restrain him.

JOHNNIE B

What is this motherfucking bullshit? Let me pass!

Crabbie gets up because of the commotion. Lionel sees what’s going on.

LIONEL

Ho! Chill! Let ‘em in. He’s, my man.

CRABBIE

What’s going on here? You know the rules, fighters only.

LIONEL

Johnnie’s my new business manager.

CRABBIE

Since, when?

LIONEL

Since always. Let ‘em in or I ain’t fightin’!

Crabbie stops and considers the situation. He relents.

CRABBIE

Now’s a hell of a time to be pulling a stunt like this.

JOHNNIE B.

Don’t worry, my man. My interest are with, Lionel, now. After Korea he’s getting married, and is gonna have responsibilities, and I’m going to be his best man. We’re going to make a lot of money, old man. We figure we could use you. We’ll give you big money. More than you can make trying to make stiffs into contenders. We got a contender here. I know it, you know it.     (CONTINUED)

Crabbie says nothing. His sentiments are written all over his face.

INT. RINGSIDE–CONTINUOUS

Radd’s opponent is a Detroit black kid, whose name is Kit Williams. Radd begins to score. He smartly moves in and out and with efficiency peppers Williams’ face with a flurry of jabs. But Williams begins to connect with some heavy punches. Radd shakes them off and starts to work on the body. The body shots aren’t slowing Kit Williams down. By round 3, Williams begins to get the upper hand, by the end of the fight he’s pounding Radd. Only Radd’s stamina and good-work ethic keep him on his feet. He loses.

Mitch Blue faces; Eddie Wong, an American-Oriental kid from LA. Both fighters go after each other. The fight is a toss up. Eddie Wong decisions Mitch.

Mitch, not satisfied with the decision, goes ballistic.

MITCH

I ain’t shaking nobody’s hand. They only gave it to the gook ‘cause the Olympics are in Korea. The motherfuckers gave it to him for TV ratings. Fuck this shit, ya can have your whole-honky program!

Crabbie attempts to restrain Mitch. He persists.

Johnnie reaches over and whispers in Lionel’s ear. Both men smile.

Lionel enters the ring for the right to represent the United States in the light heavy-weight division. He’s fighting Cap Solace from New Orleans.

Lionel destroys Solace. He’s going to Korea!

INT. BACK IN AC GYM, AFTER THE OLYMPICS–DAYTIME

Radd’s wearing an Olympic T-shirt. He’s clearing out his locker, He has books to return to Crabbie who’s working with some young kids.

Mitch Blue shows up, he’s wearing sunglasses, and has a band aid on his head. He’s drunk and motherfucking his way all around the gym. (CONTINUED)

CRABBIE

Hey! Hey! Mitch, knock it off. What the hell do you think you’re doing? Plus, you’ve been drinking. You know how I feel about that.

MITCH

Fuck your jive rules, man. I ain’t no longer part of this shit. I’m going pro. I’ll fight for money, not for some pussy-assed trophy.

CRABBIE

Look, Mitch, I’m gonna have to ask you to leave. I don’t want no trouble. Maybe some other time.

MITCH

What other time? My time is done old man.

Mitch flashes a further sign of contempt and leaves. By then Crabbie’s standing next to Radd.

CRABBIE

Look at him. A couple of months ago he was a picture of promise, An undefeated contender. Now I hear he’s getting into bar-room fights. He’s drunk and rumor has it he’s already doing drugs. He won’t last. It’s a god-damned shame.

RADD

He took the loss pretty bad, plus when he found out that Lionel didn’t invite him to the wedding he became more foul.

CRABBIE

I didn’t see you there.

RADD

Did you expect to?

CRABBIE

I suppose not the way it is… let me ask you something, what you gonna do?

RADD

Silkwood Ford dropped me as a budding pitchman. I had a couple of endorsement offers, but they’ve seemed to have dried up. I’d like to get out of here for awhile… Don’t worry, Crabbie, I ain’t turning pro. I suppose you were right, no matter how I’ve worked. Lifting weights, even doing 500-hand presses, every day, up against a cement wall hasn’t given me hands of stone.

CRABBIE

Say, I might have something for you. I’ve been talking to the Hagler camp. They got a big fight coming up. They scouted you at the trials and liked what they saw. Seems, Marvelous Marvin, who’s all business, has been wearing out sparring partners. Eddie Scott called me, he’s looking for a couple of boys to go up to Mass. It’s six weeks of work, they’ll pay a G-note a week, plus lodging. This way, maybe ya can stay around the game and continue to hone your skills, stay in shape, who knows?

RADD

I’ll think about it.What’s up with you?

CRABBIE

Who’s kidding who? I’ve sold my soul to the devil. As much as I don’t trust that Johnnie character I can’t ignore the fact that Lionel has a golden opportunity. I’ve never trained a world champ in the pro ranks, and I guess it’s a chance. It’s going to be some circus, me, Toothless Freddie, Johnnie and Lionel. We’ll see.

RADD

Christ! I’m glad I’m getting outta here.

MONTAGUE:

INT. HAGLER TRAINING CAMP WEEKS LATER–DAYTIME

We see Radd up in the ring sparring with Hagler. he’s wearing protective head gear and protective body armor.

1St HAGLER HANDLER

Who’s the new boy?

2nd HAGLER HANDLER

Radd Swink, a kid out of Atlantic City. One of Crabbie Whitcomb’s boys, a runner up in the Olympic trials.

1st HAGLER HANDLER

Looks good,

2ND HAGLER HANDLER

They say the kid has a great work ethic, real fast for a white boy, and can take a bundle of punishment.

1st HAGLER HANDLER

What’s the rub?

2nd HAGLER HANDLER

Hits like a patty cake.

1st HAGLER HANDLER

Too bad. If he could go… might be something.

It’s the end of the work out. Hagler and Radd give each other high fives. Radd taking high fives from the Hagler entourage as he exits the ropes.

HAGLER TRAINER

Good job, Radd, ya hung in there with the champ. You’re just what the doctor ordered to toughen him up against Mugabi

We see Radd getting along, shaking hands. We see Hagler walking up to him, putting his arm around him.

We see Radd between workouts, he reading the sports page, sees that Lionel Snatch has won his first match, by a knockout. Headline says, Pro’s Debut Gives Opponent First Shot—Then KO’s The Sucker Puncher.

EXT. STREET CORNER AC–NIGHT

We see Mitch hanging with a bad crowd. He looks drunk. He pulling a roll of bills out of his pocket and giving them to another man. We see him in a shoving match with a man and Mitch roughs him up.

INT. A MAKESHIFT RING SOMEWHERE–NIGHT

The wall clock says 3:30 a.m. We’re in some back room, it’s smoky and there’s a seedy crowd gathering to watch Mitch fight some karate guy bare fisted It’s like a cockfight. Mitch pulverizes the guy.

EXT. AC HIGH RISE-DAYTIME

We see Lionel and Lotta in a new nicely-furnished apartment. Freddie’s there, carrying boxes in from the outside. He’s putting boxing books, and sports magazines on a book shelf.

FREDDIE

Hey champ, ya read this shit? Don’t tell me Crabbie got ya reading all this stuff.

LIONEL

That’s why you’re a chump. Ya need to educate yourself. I’ve been studying the motherfucking-history of boxing and other sports too. When I go on Carson, I gotta have my shit together. I figure to keep on looking in them magazines until my name’s in the books.

LOTTA

Hi, Freddie, want something to drink?

LIONEL

Don’t offer him nothing. He’s outta here as soon as he puts the books away.

Johnnie B. comes through the door wearing another outrageous suit.

JOHNNIE B.

My, man, we got ‘em all shook up. You’ll never guess who called. That electric-haired motherfucker… Don King himself. Wants to talk ‘bout some bouts. (CONTINUED)

Lionel nods.

JOHNNIE B.

I’m telling ya, no matter who ya talk to, remember, the brothers run the fight game. Maybe them pin-striped motherfuckers run Wall Street, maybe the Degos have the say at the casinos and the Jews own Hollywood, but make no mistake about it, the brothers run boxing. King’s been in the joint, the brothers know exactly what’s going on. Now, Witherspoon was King’s boy, but Pinkton took the crown. The brothers say King was willing to forfeit Witherspoon’s crown for a bigger favor down the road.See how long Pinkton keeps the title. WBC WBA IBF … just a bunch of mo’fucken’ mumbo jumbo. They should call it the mo’fucken’ KBA or KBC, ‘cause that electric-haired motherfucker calls the shots. He wants to meet you bad.

Lotta’s been prancing around the apartment in a red-silk pants suit, arranging knickknacks and Lionel’s trophies on the book shelf.

LOTTA

Sounds to me they might not be the right people. Maybe you should talk with Crabbie.

Lionel’s face turns mean.

LIONEL

Lookie here, bitch, your job is to suck my dick, look good on my arm, and have my babies. Leave it to me and Johnnie… That ole man don’t know nothing about promotion. Now get your spic ass in the kitchen and make us a couple of salads.

He double checks seeing if Lotta has gone. He winks at Johnnie.

(CONTINUED)

LIONEL

We got this shit wired, man. Tell ya what. Play along with King, act like we’re ready to make a deal but when he offers, hedge. Set me up 6 quick fights, dudes with more than 10-pro bouts. Then tell him I don’t want to be syndicated til I’m 10-0. After I’ve taken 10-opening shots we’ll talk some motherfucking turkey. Fuck the electric-haired nigger. I’ll fuck him in the ass too.

INT. AC GYM–DAYTIME

Crabbie’s at ringside and Lionel is going through his pre-training ablutions. Crabbie looks at Lionel with interest. He squints his eyes, there’s something different. Lionel’s taking off his head gear and is giving Freddie some sort of orders. Freddie heads in Crabbie’s direction.

Johnnie B. Goode makes his entrance, he’s added a golden-knobbed walking stick to his attire.

CRABBIE

(to Freddie)

What’s going on?

FREDDIE

Says, he no longer wants to wear the head gear, wants to start to get used to getting hit. Something he and Johnnie B. came up with.

CRABBIE

(buttonholes Johnnie B. hushed tone)

What the fucks going on here? Wasn’t that high-wire stunt during his debut enough?

JOHNNIE

My man, Crabbie, what you mean?

CRABBIE

You know what the fuck I mean, Lionel’s removing his head gear while sparring.

JOHNNIE

We got a little promotion going here. He knows what he’s doing.

CRABBIE

Well, I don’t!

JOHNNIE

Look, my man, this is no longer the amateurs. Boxing’s become a stage. Ali changed everything forever. We don’t do it like the Olympics anymore. Lionel comes under my direction and so do you. Both Lionel and I think you have something to offer. You watch his diet, you see he stays in shape and you study his technique like your studying a motherfucking map to a gold mine. Other than that, just cash your check.

CRABBIE

I’ve molded this boy!

JOHNNIE

We could give a fuck. We’re throwing you a bone. Be like a good dog and chewwww.

On the word chew, Johnnie strolls away and discards Crabbie like he’s an ash on the end of a cigar.

INT. AC GYM A COUPLE OF MONTHS LATER–DAYTIME

There’s a bevy of activity going on. Johnnie B.’s presence is obvious. He’s added a carnation to his persona. Freddie’s sweeping around the ring apron. Lotta’s there. She’s pregnant. Crabbie working on Lionel’s bob weave and duck. Crabbie’s ducking and weaving. Lionel’s paying close attention, doing precisely as Crabbie says.

Radd comes through the door of the gym. He’s sporting a silk club jacket with Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s name embossed on the back.

Fighters break their training to shake his hand, pat him on the back, and ask how things are going. Everybody’s all smiles.

Crabbie has finished his workout with Lionel. Lionel goes over to give Freddie a raft of shit. Crabbie notices the commotion in the front of the gym. (CONTINUED)

CRABBIE

Well, if its not the sparring partner! Read any good books lately?

RADD

Yeah. Hey, what’s up with Tony down at the Bar and Grill? He comped me a grilled-cheese sandwich, the cheap prick never gave me jack shit, and then I got wondering about ‘Greeks bearing gifts?

CRABBIE

I’m very impressed. So you’ve read about, the face that launched a thousand ships. That ole Homer was some story teller… and as for Tony, why son, you’re almost a celebrity around here, word spreads, seems you made quite an impression. I hear Hagler’s in love with you.

RADD

Ya wouldn’t have thought so, the way he banged me around, he’s a pro, man, a real pro.

Lotta comes out of the rest room. She looks towards Lionel who’s still raggin’ Freddie. Johnnie B’s on the pay phone. She too makes her way towards the small circle that’s forming around Radd.

LOTTA

Welcome home senor.

RADD

Lotta, whattaya say? But why not call me mousier? Someday I going to take up Crabbie’s advice, once I make enough money and steam on-over to gay Paree, and write the great-American boxing novel.

CRABBIE

So what, you been using the pen?

RADD

Let’s say I’m pecking at the typewriter. It’s tougher to master than your patented right hook. (CONTINUED)

Lotta takes on a nervous look.

LOTTA

Look, I just wanted to say hi and welcome ya home.

She looks back to see where Lionel is and then slips away.

Radd continues to stroll through the gym taking notice to changes.

He winds up in front of the ring, his back is to Lionel. Crabbie and a few others are with him.

Freddie sees him before Lionel.

FREDDIE

If it isn’t the, Great White Hopeless. Hey, my man….

Lionel looks down, stops and stares. While Freddie delivers a welcome-home hug he explodes.

LIONEL

Get your motherfucking sorry ass out of my gym. JOHNNIE! Get this honky motherfucker out the door!

For some unknown reason Lotta can’t control herself.

LOTTA

Lionel!

Lionel charges to the ropes. He glares at Radd.

LIONEL

You been talking to my bitch?

LIONEL

(to Lotta)

You been talking to him?…

3 beats: Lionel side straddles the ropes and rushes over to Lotta and slaps her, then slaps her again!

The onlookers freeze, not wanting to believe their eyes. Lotta runs away in tears. Radd’s body language is that of self restraint, but he’s trembling, perhaps, not of fear but, because of the horror. Crabbie’s totally disgusted and under his breath…

CRABBIE

(stage whisper-deliberate)

Fuckin’ animal!

LIONEL

What you say, old man?

Not waiting for an answer.

LIONEL

All you motherfuckers, get the fuck out. Freddie get ‘em all out, gym’s closed.

Johnnie B.’s off the phone, he’s walking to the center of the action with his hands extended in a; ‘what’s going on?’

JOHNNIE

(to Freddie)

What’s going on?

FREDDIE

Lionel’s throwing everybody out of the gym. He’s pissed ‘cause Radd’s here.

Johnnie B. looks around.

JOHNNIE

Well you heard the man, get your fucking asses out the door!

Crabbie places his arm on Radd’s shoulder.

CRABBIE

C’mon, kid, lets go get another grilled cheese.

INT. TONY’S BALTIMORE BAR AND GRILL–LATER

Crabbie and Radd sit in a booth. It’s Greek owner stops by.

TONY

Whats-a this? He-a come-in-a-here twice-a twice-a-in-a one-a-day-a?

RADD

Tony, I never appreciated this joint until I lived someplace else.

TONY

God-a-blessa-you. This time you pay… no?

CRABBIE

Hold your horses, Ulysses, I’m picking up this one.

Satisfied, they won’t be asking for handouts, Tony moves on.

RADD

I don’t get it Crabbie, you don’t need that stuff.

CRABBIE

I’m telling ya, it’s ridiculous, but I see another side of him. I mean, if it was just he and I… I could even handle that Johnnie.

RADD

Think so?

CRABBIE

When he works with me he’s like a god-damned choir boy. He even works harder than you and that’s saying something, but with that woman, the fucker’s possessed. He thinks Jake Lamotta was too easy on his old lady. said so after he saw the movie. Said it in the press for Christ sake, he’s crazy but that’s what makes him special.

RADD

What’s this new thing, taking an opening shot? (CONTINUED)

CRABBIE

He and Johnnie wanna cook up his image before they sell out to King, build a big following before they have to deal with Don. Maybe they can stave off King awhile. They’re both smart realize they’ll need him for the title shot. So, Lionel was crazy enough to take an opening shot. I’m telling ya, the whole fucking place went crazy. Lionel took the shot, laughed, then knocked the guy clear out. Once they get a load of that shit on TV, and if he survives, the fucking boxing world will embrace him, they’re both talking about doing it all over again next month.

RADD

Next month! He’s already fighting again next month?

CRABBIE

Johnnie B. already got the state commission in his hip pocket. He’ll fight three more times before we get our first snow fall.

CRABBIE

So tell me what’s up with you?

RADD

Before I left the Hagler camp, Tony Tubb’s camp called. Want me to come in and ready him for Greg Page. Want me to study film. At the Hagler camp they said I’m a good mimic… can copy style. Them pros hit a lot harder. I’m glad the equipment’s better. Hey, the food’s good, met some pretty women. Read a book or two, stay out of trouble, life’s not so bad.

CRABBIE

I’m not going to hafta worry about you, am I? You’re not going to get the bug?

(CONTINUED)

RADD

Don’t worry yourself. I know I can’t hit. My saving grace, I’m good sport and can take a a punch. As long as I can stay with some class organizations. Maybe I’ll learn something.

CRABBIE

I’ll tell ya what ya learn. Learn how to type. Go to New York. Catch that steamer. Piss on Jim Morrison’s grave.

INT. JOHNNIE B. GOODE’S OFFICE–DAYTIME

Johnnie’s on the phone.

JOHNNIE

That’s right, Don. We understand, you’re the man…. It ain’t like that. We don’t give a fuck about the black shit. We only care about the green. C’mon, Don, black-white, white-black, we don’t care… Don’t give me that it’s a great country shit. I know about America. America’s about motherfucking money. That’s iT, loud and clear, ya got the money, ya get the honey… That’s right, Don! I’m beginning to sound a lot like your bovine motherfucking ass. Let me, Johnnie B. Goode, tell you something about America, Mr. King. A brother can shoot seven people dead with lots of witnesses. He can admit it. He can say he was motherfucking crazy, that’s right, motherfucking crazy and that faggot can get off Scot free with temporary insanity, but let the motherfucker bounce seven-motherfuckin’ checks and then let him try to tell the judge he’s plum crazy. Bullshit! His ass is going to the stern. Americans are serious about motherfucking-money… We’ll talk to you again when Lionel’s 15-0… That’s right, he’ll still be taking the first shot… OK. OK, the party? Yeah, we’ll be there, sure, Lionel, will bring his wife. I’ll tell him you insist. (CONTINUED)

Johnnie B. finally hangs up the phone. Across from him sits a well-composed, nicely dressed Lionel. He chewing his thumb nail then spitting the bitten-off nail on the carpet. He’s shaking his head up and down with approval. Johnnie B. wears the smile of jackal.

INT. BALLY’S GRAND BALLROOM AT THE DON KING GALLA–NIGHT

Everybody’s in tuxedos. ALI’S floating around the room but not like a bumble bee. He’s been slowed by the effects of fighting. JOE FRAZIER shakes hands and has photos taken with some young fighters. GERRY COONEY AND LARRY HOLMES slap each other on the back.

SUGAR RAY, MARVELOUS MARVIN and TOMMIE HEARNS, all keep out of each others path. Their body guards have strict orders and wear space-age ear phones with microphones and coordinate with one another as they follow their guys around, leading them in other directions, so to keep them out of each others path.

INT. MEN’S SALON–CONTINUOUS

HEARN’S BODYGUARD

(talking inconspicuously into his Mic)

Whatchu mean Sugar Ray’s got to take a dump?… Not now!… Tommie’s taking a leak, motherfucker. Tell him to hold it, or next thing we know, Sugar Ray, will be duking it out in here with Tommie with a load of shit in his tuxedo’s pants.

INT. BACK IN THE MAIN BALLROOM–CONTINUOUS

Lionel’s peacocked in a blue-velour tuxedo. Lotta’s wearing a tight-fitting, pearl-beaded dress. Johnnie B.’s with a fabulous-looking blonde. Lionel absorbing the full glory of it all. He acknowledges the onlookers. People are pointing out the 15-0 heavyweight who gives his opponents the first shot. The foursome move through he crowd.

 

Radd Swink’s looking dashing and at ease in a black tux ,he orders a Coke. He turns and leans his elbows back on the bar rail and too is in awe of the boxing talent. A couple of black sparring partners from the Tubbs’ camp come up. They’re all smiles.

 

Don King handles the crowd like a vote-stomping politician. We hear his laugh. He finds himself face to face with Lionel.

DON KING

There’s the young man! There’s the man I’ve been wanting to meet.

Lionel showing that he’s a politician himself, smiles back, and gives Don a slap-down handshake.

DON KING

That’s right, that’s right, only in America!

Johnnie B. catches up and Don gives him a handshake. The ladies are introduced. Lionel scrutinizes Don’s manners as he greets Lotta.

DON KING

Ladies, if you’d be good enough to please let me borrow the gentlemen for just a few moments up in my suite . . . let’s say in about a half hour . . .

LIONEL

We’ll be there.

DON KING

Alright! Only in America, only in America, that’s what I say.

INT. DON KING’S SUITE–HALF HOUR LATER

Don’s sitting in a winged back chair, his leg is crossed. There’s three or four other men.  One’s TREVOR BERBICK, who’s not in King’s stable. The casual conversation has to do about pro-basketball.

DON KING

Say what you will. I don’t care how many rings Bill wears or how many points Kareem eventually scores, Wilt had to be the best.

Johnnie B. and Lionel come into the suite.

(CONTINUED)

DON KING

Gentleman! Gentleman! Welcome! My associates and I were just comparing the attributes of Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul Jabbar verses the talents of Wilt Chamberlain…Trevor over there, say hi to Lionel Snatch… Trevor thinks Kareem is the all-time best, Lionel, Trevor’s going up against Alan in Miami, in March. Where’s Alan? I’m disappointed. Maybe we’ll have to do something about that, nah, nah, nah, Tim’s giving me enough grief since Alan took his crown. So, who be it, Bill, Kareem or Wilt?

JOHNNIE B.

Well if ya ask me, Russell has the rings.

DON KING

But, Bill, was never traded. Wilt had his franchise sold from under him, had to leave the confines of the city of brotherly love for the heathenism of the Barbary Coast. Bill remained solidly in place under, Red.

TREVOR

But Kareem plays the new game and he dominated Wilt.

DON KING

Ludicrous. Do you know the brother’s shooting percentage during his final year? Shot an amazing seven-twenty-seven while leading the Lakers to a World Title.

LIONEL

Excuse me, Mr. King. Have you told these motherfuckers Wilt played more minutes than any man who ever played the game?

DON KING

Haven’t gotten to that part yet.

LIONEL

Have ya told them, while facing the best, every night, going 48 minutes, playing hard on both ends of the court, that the motherfucker, I mean the man never-ever, fouled out of one, motherfucking-ball game, and that’s during his entire career? Then tell ‘em how the motherfucker found the time to fuck 20,000 bitches.

DON KING

Touche young man. Touche. That’s a statistic overtly overlooked. Did you know that, Trevor? How ‘bout that, Johnnie?

Don looks at the other men in the room and then motions towards Lionel that only they possessed such esoteric information.

EXT. VERANDA OF THE BALLROOM–SIMULTANEOUSLY

A black woman leading a quartet sings Someone to Watch Over Me.

Radd’s on the veranda getting some air. Lotta seeks some air too. She has yet to notice Radd. He sees her standing there looking at the lights coming from the other casinos along the beach front.

RADD

Buenas noches, senora.

Lotta turns to see the handsome smiling face of Radd.

LOTTA

Buenas noches, senor.

RADD

So… how’s life living with a contender?

LOTTA

Contending…

RADD

Contending. That’s a good word. Webster’s Dictionary; to contend: to-fight—to-compete—to-vie-for.

LOTTA

Is that what you’ve been doing all these years? Have you been contending, Radd?

RADD

I suppose I have, only thing, nobody’s told me what I’m contending for.

LOTTA

If you were, would it be worth fighting over?

RADD

Hey, don’t rope me in.

LOTTA

Why not, afraid of getting tied up?

RADD

That’s a laugh.

LOTTA

Why?

RADD

You know, as well as me…that thing, you’re married to has been contending since we’ve been kids… he’s pegged me, thinks I’ve always been against him. There’s nothing he’s got I want.

LOTTA

Oh really. Then tell me what he senses? Does he sense what you want?

RADD

I never gave anybody reasons to sense anything.

LOTTA

Maybe you’re a contender, Radd? And you don’t even know it.

RADD

All I know he’s had a bug up his ass about you and me since day one.

LOTTA

That’s because you don’t understand, Lionel.

RADD

I understand, he’s a brute, and I understand he wants to own you.

LOTTA

And he does.

RADD

So, why am I right here talking to you?

LOTTA

I don’t know, maybe fate has brought us together here to have this talk… Funny, I think I know you… and I bet you think you know me, and this is the longest conversation we’ve ever had.

RADD

Crabbie says the same kind of stuff.

LOTTA

How’s that?

RADD

Oh, when he talks about fate and all them Americans writers who found their way to Paris, after the war. He says, that fate took them, and it merged their off-beat ideas, and it was a magic time.

LOTTA

Magic time. Hmm, I like the sound of magic time. Do you know magic?

RADD

Nah, Shoots, I only know how to spar.

LOTTA

How’s that going?

RADD

Well, right now, it’s paying the bills. I’m making inroads.

LOTTA

Are you happy?

RADD

Are you?

LOTTA

I got nice clothes, a beautiful condo, a convertible, and until two years ago I ain’t ever been out of New Jersey, except to visit a cousin up in Philly. so I guess I’m making progress.

RADD

Then I’m happy for you.

LOTTA

Well then, I’ll try and be happy for you.

RADD

Thanks.

LOTTA

I guess I should be getting back.

RADD

Sure.

LOTTA

Well, enjoy the party

RADD

Yeah, thanks, you too.

LOTTA

Luego

RADD

Ciao.

Lotta heads towards the French doors. She stops at the threshold. Radd’s still standing next to the mason pillar. She blows him a kiss. It’s as if he catches wind of her kiss and even though she’s gone it’s as if he breathes it in. He’s exhilarated but the look on his face says he’s tormented by her departure.

INT. DON KING’S OFFICE–SIMULTANEOUSLY

Johnnie B., Lionel and King sit alone.

DON KING

Donald Trump’s building a new casino in Atlantic City. He’s not here tonight, he’s somewhat disturbed I’ve chosen this venue, rather than one of his hotels. Anyway, he’s willing to pay huge sums in order to make his new location a showplace, one that’s top of the line. Wants to have at least half-a-dozen title fights broadcast out of there in a year. My reckonings tell me, if we could start to showcase a local talent, an Atlantic City boy, it’d be auspicious for the gate, and bring out a lot of suckers for the casinos. Lionel. . . Lionel, now that’s a powerful name… like a lion?

JOHNNIE B.

We’re ready to talk to you, Don. Lionel here’s 15-0, nobody’s laid a glove on him, other than the blow he gives from the get go. But, Don, weez business men too. Lionel don’t want to wind up some nobody, some punch-drunk, only to shine shoes on the boardwalk.

Don rises from his chair and goes over to the bar and grabs a bottle of Corvousier.

DON KING

(pouring)

Johnnie?

JOHNNIE

Sure…

DON KING

Lionel?

LIONEL

No, don’t touch the stuff.

(CONTINUED)

DON KING

Excellent. That’s what I like to see. A man in a leisurely state who doesn’t need stimulants… I’ll call Trump tomorrow, we can coincide the opening of his Taj Mahal, and, my man, how’d you like to fight Bonecrusher Smith?

INT. A LOCAL BAR IN AC–1987

Patrons line up at the bar. The focal point is the fight that’s about to be telecast on HBO. Mitch Blue’s standing drinking down shots of booze. He’s drunk. He’s topped with a black-felt fedora that’s angled. He’s sporting a tuxedo jacket. He’s bare chested, other than heavy-gold chains draped around his neck. He’s wearing sunglasses. Lionel Snatch’s name mentioned on TV brings on cheers.

MITCH

(to anyone)

Fuck that sell out, tussy. I hope Bonecrusher kicks his motherfucking ass. Sorry-assed motherfucker. It should be me up there. Why not? ‘Cause the motherfuckers give into the gooks.

Through the TV’s monitor, we see Snatch and Smith go to the center of the ring for final instructions.

EXT. CENTER STAGE TRUMP’S TAJ MAHAL–CONTINUOUS

The sound Cellos play deep sounds like those in the Jaws movie, only slower. We see referee Miles Lane’s mouth move. We don’t hear what’s being said. We see Crabbie and Toothless Freddie anxious in Snatch’s corner. Everything’s in slow motion. We see Lotta, strikingly beautiful. We see Don King and Donald Trump sitting together. Nicholson’s there, so is Hagler, and in the lesser seats sits, Radd Swink, with sparring partners from Berbick’s camp.

Snatch goes to his corner. The cellos get louder and slower. Lionel turns because of what has to be the sound of the bell, we still can’t hear anything but cellos. He steps to the center and extends his proud chin eager to continue his tradition

Bonecrusher’s right connects.The music ceases. We then hear the crowd’s ROAR! They go crazy after Snatch takes the blast flush on the side of the cheek! He retreats a few steps. Bonecrusher rather than charging just stands there and admires his handiwork.

Snatch raises his gloves the crowd becomes more frenzied!

INT–AC BAR–CONTINUOUS

The bar crowd whoops it up. They’re frenzied!

INT. AC GYM–CONTINUOUS

Home town fighters react watching on the gym’s TV.

INT. RINGSIDE-CONTINUOUS

Announcers with their eyes bugging out have perspiration dripping-off their faces,

INT. RINGSIDE DON KING’S AND DONALD TRUMP’S SEAT–CONTINUOUS

Don King and Donald Trump are spellbound. Don gives Donald a big smile. Donald shakes his head with a ‘I never saw anything like it.’

Bonecrusher comes and comes hard. He connects another solid right. That one seems to stun the 21-year old contender.

They wind up in a clinch.

BONECRUSHER

I’m going to fuck you up for trying to show me up like that you, nigger motherfucker.

Referee

C’mon, break it up!

Lionel’s getting hit, belted like never before! Crabbie screaming for Lionel to move. He doesn’t. Freddie’s screaming. Lotta looks away. Radd studies it all.

INT. AC. BAR TWO BLOCKS AWAY–CONTINUOUS

MITCH

Kick his fucking ass! The nigger don’t deserve nothing! It should be me up there kicking his ass. He couldn’t take my opening shot! I’d bust his jaw!

Mitch raises his glass and screams   (CONTINUED)

MITCH

Fuck, Don King and fuck, Donald Trump! You’ll see, Bonecrusher will have to knock him out ‘cause the bitch is probably fixed.

INT. CENTER RING STILL ROUND 1–CONTINUOUS

Snatch has only gotten off a couple of shots. Crabbie looks pissed. Johnnie B. dressed in a purple suit. He bites into his manicure.

When the round ends Lionel staggers back to his corner.

CRABBIE

What the fuck you doin’? You crazy! He ain’t no amateur. Don’t get yourself banged up. Listen, keep away. Make him chase you. Let him burn some energy.

Lionel looks straight into Crabbie’s eyes.

LIONEL

OK.

FREDDIE

C’mon, champ!

Round 2 begins: Snatch starts to fair better. Landing some solid counters. Then he backs off and lets Bonecrusher come after him. Snatch is up against the ropes and Bonecrusher’s teeing off.

INT. AC BAR–CONTINUOUS

The place is wild.

MITCH

Whoop, ‘im!

(CONTINUED)

INT. RINGSIDE MIDDLE OF ROUND 2–CONTINUOUS

Snatch goes sideways on the ropes turning his opponent. In pursuit, Bonecrusher gets somewhat tangled. Lionel turns him and delivers a series of blows. BonecrusheR looks confused. Lionel taunts him, spits on him through the mouth guard.

INT. RINGSIDE ROUND 5–CONTINUOUS

1st ANNOUNCER (OS)

Jim ,nobody thought it go this far, it’s a battle.

2nd ANNOUNCER (OS)

Well, Merlin, it will be interesting to see if Snatch is capable of stepping up to fight stiffer competition!

Both fighters employ their tools and energy. Looks as if the way it’s unfolding it will be a miracle if either can go the distance with the punishment being doled out.

Radd looks hard. Crabbie’s concerned. Johnnie B. is shadow boxing in his seat. Donald ignores the blonde next to him who’s hiding her eyes. Don King’s sits in amazement. Freddie’s saying Hail Marys.

With 30 seconds left, Snatch connects with a devastating upper cut, then a solid shot to the kidneys, one to the chest, and then two-consecutive, left hooks to Bonecrusher’s jaw. Bonecrusher staggers, and is up against the ropes. Snatch hits him again and again! Seeing enough, the referee gets between the two and stops the fight!

Boos break out. Smith can’t believe it. Bonecrusher’s corner is besides themselves.

Bonecrusher appears befuddled. Can’t believe the bout’s over. Lionel looks to Crabbie. Crabbie has the look of disgust. Freddie’s going berserk, high-fiving with fans just behind the corner. Johnnie B. Goode’s holding his heart. Don and Donald sit back and finally relax.

INT. AC BAR–CONTINUOUS

The bar crowd cheers for the local talent. Mitch just shakes his head.

MITCH

See! I told ya. It’s a farce, a motherfucking farce.

INT. BOOM BOOM CLUB AC–EARLY A.M.

Champagne pops as white-gloved waiter delivers the bottles to the main table. Johnnie B.’s with two girls. Toothless Freddie’s with a fat-black girl and he’s kissing her. She’s kissing him back. Lotta’s smiling and looking elegant in a sheer, black-silk, see-through ensemble. She’s wearing a pill-box hat with black-silk veil. Lionel sits silent, he doesn’t look too beat up.

JOHNNIE B.

To the baddest boxer this side of the motherfucking, Mississippi. Check that, to the baddest boxer on either side of the motherfucking, Mississippi.

Freddie breaks from his prolonged kiss and says, ‘I’ll second that.’ Lionel snaps out of it and is more-or-less amused by the skinny-white guy kissing an over-weight black woman, a woman well over two-hundred pounds with the front of her all hanging out

LIONEL

How can anybody ever get around to French kiss the stinky-breath snake-jawed motherfucker?

LOTTA

Lionel!

LIONEL

Don’t tell me you’re going to start sticking up for that sorry assed…

Radd Swink makes his way through the crowd. Lotta spots him first. Her eyes follows as he’s shaking hands and he steps to the bar.

BARTENDER

Radd, ya son-of-a-bitch. Where ya been?.

RADD

Mostly Philly, been working with Michael Spinks.

BARTENDER

I hear he’s getting a title shot. Were you there tonight?

RADD

Yeah.(CONTINUED)

BARTENDER

How’d he look? I couldn’t watch. We were too busy.

RADD

OK. He won, didn’t he?

BARTENDER

Yeah, but people been saying it shouldn’ta been stopped. I guess uncles Don and Donnie want Lionel around awhile.

RADD

Who knows?

Radd small talks with a couple of homies. Lotta gets up and excuses herself. Lionel’s eyes follow her all the way to the ladies salon.

Radd’s up at the bar when the bartender whispers in his ear. Radd points to the end of the bar. The bartender motions yes.

INT. BOOM-BOOM CLUB’S MATRE D’ PODIUM–CONTINUOUS

Radd picks up the phone.

INTERCUT PHONE CONVERSATION

RADD

Hello?

It’s her.

RADD

This is an unusual call.

INT. LADIES SALON–CONTINUOUS

LOTTA

Would you have preferred it be from Paris, perhaps if some Frenchy was calling?

INT. PODIUM PHONE–CONTINUOUS

RADD

There might be future from such.

LOTTA (VO)

Were you at the fight? (CONTINUED) 1 RADD

Of course.

LOTTA (VO)

I saw you cruising the bar and I only wanted to say, hi.

RADD

That’s very thoughtful of you, considering.

LOTTA (VO)

Considering, what?

RADD

Considering, if your husband, SUSPECTED, what you were up to he’d be on both of our asses.

INT LADIES SALON-CONTINUOUS

LOTTA

We all have to take risks now and then. I’m taking mine, now.

RADD (VO)

And you’re putting me in the middle. How ‘bout if I don’t wanna take any risks around here?

LOTTA

Yes you do. You’re a risk taker aren’t you, mousier?

RADD (VO)

Aye-yai-yai. Look, Lotta, what’s up?

LOTTA

Ya can relax. I’m very much in love with my husband. But, Radd, you know I have soft spot in my heart for you and I’d rather say, hi or bye like normal human beings, it’s just…  (CONTINUED)

RADD (VO)

It’s just your husband is a possessive crazy animal. Who corrupts you, and so ya think that gives you a license to tease.

LOTTA

Yeah, that’s it Radd, I have a license to tease all I want, and to anybody I desire.

RADD

What else you got, Lotta, besides a pretty face and a brute for a mate and some blood money. Ya lost the baby didn’t ya?

LOTTA

What concern is that of yours?

RADD

You wouldn’t have lost my baby. I don’t push pregnant women around.

LOTTA

Adios Radd!

INT–TAJ MAHAL SUITE–HOURS LATER

There’s a night light coming from the bathroom. The room’s littered with empty, champagne bottles, flowers and congratulatory telegrams. Lotta’s black ensemble’s on the floor.

Lotta’s crashed. Lionel stands alone out on the lanai, 36 stories above the sidewalk. He’s peering out at the bright lights. Tears stream down his cheeks. He glances back at Lotta for 3 beats. He walks and stands over her. He bends down, gives her a light kiss to the lips, then mouths “I love you, so much!” She hardly stirs.

There’s a light rap on the door. Lionel looks at his watch it’s almost 6am. He looks through the peep hole and opens the door.

It’s Crabbie. Both men motion their heads, as not to talk until they’re in the bathroom.

INT. BATHROOM SUITE–CONTINUOUS

CRABBIE

What the fuck happened to you last night? I couldn’t sleep for Christ sakes.

Lionel holds his head down and breathes hard like a scolded school boy.

CRABBIE

You fuck up like that again it could be the end of your career, or worse. I didn’t like what went on with the referee either. You and your fuckin’ hoodlum manager are getting pretty chummy with, Mr. King, aren’t ya? I’m telling ya, man to man, and eye to eye; we’re either in this thing straight or I’m riding out on the fucking horse I rode in on.

Lionel nods his head up and down but remains mum.

CRABBIE

OK. Get yourself some rest. Call me.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE TAJ MAHAL–NOONTIME NEXT DAY

Lionel and Lotta are checking out. Johnnie B.’s taking care of everything.

JOHNNIE B.

I’ll get the limo.

LIONEL

Limo? We live a block away. We’ll just walk.

EXT. AC STREET–CONTINUOUS

Lionel and Lotta walk towards home. Kids and casino goers stop to give praise. Johnnie B.’s riding along side, inside the limo.

Suddenly, out of an alley way pops, Mitch Blue. He hasn’t changed clothes or slept. It doesn’t seem as if he stopped drinking either.

(CONTINUED)

MITCH

You’re a motherfucking fraud, a fake, a piece of black shit! Fight me. Why don’t you fight me, or are you like the rest of them honky faggots who won’t give me a bout?

Like that! Johnnie B. is out of the limo and getting between Mitch and Lionel. Lotta’s frozen.

MITCH

Now you’re a top dog, mingling with the jive-assed Trumps, and a nigger puppet King. Fuck you Lionel. You’re a farce. I’m a real deal.

Two AC. squad cars are on the scene. Two of the cops are those who once busted Johnnie, years before. Johnnie talks to them and slips them some money. Mitch continues to spout. Lionel’s livid but has the sense to keep his hands to his sides.

JOHNNIE B.

(to Lionel)

Let me handle this bitch.

Three more cop cars screech to a halt.

1st COP

C’mon, Blue, settle down or we’ll run you in.

MITCH

Oh, yeah, now you’re sell-out motherfuckers too. Member? You wuz locking his ass up not too long ago. And fuck you, Lionel, ya tussy motherfucker!

The cops heard enough. Five or six jump Mitch, throw him against the car, handcuff him. Mitch rants until the car pulls away.

JOHNNIE B.

Damn! Just what we need after last night. He’s always been trouble. The brother who don’t know how to play the game.

INT.SNATCH’S APARTMENT–HOURS LATER

Johnnie B sits in a chartreuse, double-breasted suit on Lionel’s sofa with his leg crossed and with a drink. Lionel cloaked in a sweat suit.

JOHNNIE B.

Where’s Lotta?

LIONEL

She’s down with the spics. They want to talk about the outfit she wore last night. Cost me $700.

JOHNNIE B.

What the fuck happened to your ass last night?

Lionel looks pissed but restrains himself.

LIONEL

What the fuck, you mean, ‘what happened to me last night? I won the god-damned fight. I’m still undefeated; 19-0.

JOHNNIE

King’s pissed! Had to do some explaining. Said he was embarrassed with Trump and all. Said it was gonna cost him 5-figures large.

LIONEL

Fuck King. We don’t need him.

JOHNNIE

Bullshit! Fuck with King, your title hopes wash away like Mmotherfuckin’ sand castles on the beach.

LIONEL

Last night was different, more motherfucking different than any time before. I just wasn’t mad. You know me, I’m pissed-off all the time, but last night it just wasn’t there?

JOHNNIE

Well, then, let’s get pissed off!

LIONEL

Easy enough for your motherfucking ass to say. Know what I’m saying? You’re the man who’s kissing ass, being nice to all the fuckin’ trash. Be in my shoes.

JOHNNIE

Well then, we’re scheduled to fight Buster Douglas in two months. How pissed you gonna get that night?

JOHNNIE

Now tell me something, Lionel, what really makes you pissed?

INT. THE SNATCHES BEDROOM–A FEW NIGHTS LATER

Lionel and Lotta are doing it!

LOTTA

Oh, baby, Oh, baby, fuck me, baby, fuck me with that black magic!

Lionel ejaculates and right away ceases any additional tnederness. Lotta still breathes heavy and holds onto his hand. He’s laying on his back staring straight up at the ceiling. She leans over and gives him a tender embrace and kisses his neck gently.

LIONEL

How come you haven’t asked me about the fight?

LOTTA

What about it, baby?

LIONEL

I didn’t look good. Everybody know it. Everybody talking about it.

LOTTA

Let ‘em talk.

LIONEL

I need to talk to, you.

LOTTA

Go ahead, baby, hablas to, mama.

LIONEL

I told ya, don’t talk that spic shit!

LOTTA

Do I hafta hear this all the time?

LIONEL

I’ll tell ya what your Puerto Rican ass has to hear!

LOTTA

OK! OK! Let’s hear it.

LIONEL

You love, me?

LOTTA

C’mon, knock it off.

LIONEL

I asked you, bitch, do you love me?

LOTTA

Of course I love you, you’re my world.

LIONEL

OK, then, from now on, when I’m fighting up in the ring, I want you fucking, Johnnie, down in the dressing room,

LOTTA

Have you gone out of your black mind!

LIONEL

I ain’t going outta shit!… Me and Johnnie talked it over. I need to be pissed when I fight. The thought of another’s motherfucking hand on you drives me crazy…. We figure that way I’ll get it over fast.

LOTTA

You’re insane. What happens if I like it?

LIONEL

That’s simple, then I’ll kill your, ass.

LOTTA

So, you want me fucking that scum bag, Johnnie B. Goode, fucking a thug, an ex-con on your behalf?

LIONEL

That’s, right, and if you don’t like it, get the fuck out!

LOTTA

You want me to get out! Then what will you do?

LIONEL

I’ll find me another bitch who sucks my dick better, and have her fuck Johnnie while I’m making millions.

Lotta buries her head into her hands and sobs. Lionel stares at the ceiling, places his hands behind his head, as if planing further.

INT. RINGSIDE TREVOR BERBICKS CAMP–WEEKS LATER

We see Radd Swink and Trevor Berbick during down time. They’re leaning on the ropes talking. Both have smiles on their faces. CUPPY HAYES, Berbick’s manager comes towards them.

BERBICK

Cuppy! Cuppy! Mercy me. This dude’s supposed to be a sparring partner. Ya didn’t tell me I’d have to listen to all this Cervantes stuff. Ooh, wee! Mercy, Cuppy! Come here. Listen! He’s beating my ears about this dude from La Mancha, Portugal

RADD

Spain!

BERBICK

OK, Spain. He’s telling me how this fool attacks windmills thinking they’re evil knights and shit like that…. and what you say his sidekick’s name was, Cisco, Honcho?.. I can’t remember!

(CONTINUED)

RADD

Sancho Panza!

BERBICK

Yeah, ole, Pancho, takes a daily whooping ‘cause his boss is always fucking up. Hey, that sounds like you and me Cuppy!… I do declare!

Cuppy walks over smiling.

 

BERBICK

Yeah, be careful when ya hire white boys. Don’t know what kinda off-the-wall stuff they gonna wind up talking about.

CUPPY

That’s OK, you just keep taking a pounding from Trevor here and don’t hit back too hard and everybody’s gonna be OK… got to get ready for Alan Pinkton… wanna steal a championship from Mr, King’s boy… it’s a disgrace how he dropped Tim Witherspoon and touted Pinkton… let his own man down.

1

INT-1986 MIAMI BERBICK VS PINKTON–PRIME TIME

Round 12 begins. It’s been a long night for both performers. When the round ends both men wobble to their respective corners.

Radd’s in the corner helping Cuppy with Trevor. They’re tense, thinking for-sure the decision will be stolen from them.

They’re flabbergasted. Trevor is declared the new WBC Heavy-Weight Champion of the World.

INT. NIGHT CLUB IN MIAMI–HOURS LATER

The Berbick entourage celebrates. Radd sits between Cuppy and Trevor. Both men have good-looking women on either side of them. Both all but ignore the women and have their free arms around Radd.

There’s additional audience around the table.  (CONTINUED)

BERBICK

This is the, man! Mercy, me! This is, the man! This man prepared me. Oh, he took a beating like that Cisco character.

RADD

(smiling from champagne)

Sancho!

BERBICK

Sorry, broh, sorry! Cuppy he’s always correcting me.

Trevor pulls Radd tight to him.

BERBICK

I love ya, baby. Of course you’ll love your bonus.

CUPPY

(to Radd)

You’re the smartest thing I’ve done in 30 years.

RADD

How’s that?

CUPPY

The Hagler camp and the Tubbs camp said it too. Said they never had a sparring partner who added so much to a campaign. Now I see why… boy, you hung in there, ya can mirror anybody, ya copy catted Pinkton like you wuz he himself.

BERBICK

That’s right, boss. After going two hundred rounds with old Radd here, I could have fought Pinkton with my eyes closed. Only thing,, I had to go the distance… and Radd’s responsible for getting me ready to do just that.

INT AC BAR 1988–LATE NIGHT

Radd Swink’s back in his home town. He’s out on the town.

INT AC BAR MEN’S ROOM –CONTINUOUS

Radd’s in the rest room. Leaning against the urinal is Mitch Blue.

MITCH

Well, lookie here. What have we here? If it ain’t the mo’fuckin quintessential sparring partner!

Radd smiles and extends his hand.

MITCH

Ho broh! Don’t wanna touch my hand after it’s been holding a hard roll of tar paper. And I don’t your hand after its been squeezing your dick.

Mitch zips up, and embraces Radd. A couple of patrons look somewhat startled seeing the men embracingn ear the urinals.

MITCH

That’s right! That’s right! We queer motherfuckers. Guess, who’s fuckin’ who?

INT. AC BAR-CONTINUOUS

Both men come out of the rest room. Mitch lights smoke.

RADD

Smoking!… I’m telling, Crabbie!

MITCH

How is that ole white man? Shit, remember when we wuz kids? We wuz crazy, man. That ole man took us in. Must have seen something in our motherfucking asses. Look at us now. That prick Lionel’s up in the rankings. You sparring with the best… yeah, I hear… I hear everything…. and me, they won’t let me fight nobody. Want me to piss in a bottle…. Bullshit, I wasn’t born to piss in bottle for nobody. (CONTINUED)

RADD

So, what you been doing?

MITCH

Selling, dope, taking, book and fighting on the side. Mostly back-room stuff. Sort of a sideshow for the gamblers. Remember, Sonny Hobson, missed the Olympics in 80? He got me on an underground circuit. Not one motherfucker has put me down. What about you, you ready to turn?

RADD

Remember, no knock-out power. They all say I’m fast, can score, and can take a beating, only thing, you mounyons have thick sculls and I can’t put ya down.

MITCH

Somebody says you was writing shit.

RADD

Yeah, it’s kinda become a hobby of mine.

MITCH

How ‘bout the bitches?

RADD

Had a couple of girlfriends. Nothing serious. (CONTINUED)1

MITCH

How ‘bout that, Lotta bitch? When we wuz kids, I thought she was sweet on you. Hmm, that bitch got a sweet ass. That shit still looks real good. I see her on the avenue. She’s uptown now, boy.

RADD

She’s a beautiful woman.

MITCH

Shush, big daddy! That crazy motherfucker might hear what you’re thinking and come down here, and then we’d hafta kill his ass… that fucking punk… he and that other white punk, Johnnie B. (CONTINUED)

RADD

They’re big-time now.

MITCH

So, what’s doing?

RADD

Just stopped to visit the old folks, shit like that, I’ll see Crabbie tomorrow. I even got an agent now. Imagine that. I work about 20 weeks a year. Last year I knocked down 80 grand.

MITCH

Alright! My man is styling.

INT. TONY’S BALTIMORE BAR AND GRILL–NEXT DAY

Crabbie and Radd sit together.

CRABBIE

I’m hearing great stuff about you, Radd.

RADD

Yeah, thanks for turning me on. Of course, I owe you. I mean, who else has a purple body more than half the time? I can’t even go to the beach.

CRABBIE

How’s the writing coming?

RADD

Good. (CONTINUED) 1

CRABBIE

We’re going to Vegas to fight for Arum.

RADD

Thought you guys were chummy with King?

CRABBIE

It’s the kid’s idea, wants to make King jealous. It’s dicey, but King’s foaming, despite the debacle against Bonecrusher. (CONTINUED)

RADD

What happened there? I don’t know if I ever saw him like that.

CRABBIE

I’ll tell ya, his last three fights… why he’s been like a god-damned animal.

RADD

Yeah! I hear. All first-round knock-outs.

CRABBIE

I never seen three back-to-back-to back knockouts come so fast in 30 years. We’re going to camp out there. Arum’s signed him for five fights. We expect big purses. Don’t know who we’re going to fight though. A lot of guys are ducking him

RADD

That’s what happens when you’re 22-0 and ranked 5th in the world… Which reminds me, I don’t want you to get mad or anything, Michael Spink’s camp’s hired me to come out to Vegas. They figure I know Snatch as well as anybody. So, my stock’s going up.

CRABBIE

Don’t worry about it. Do your best, help your man, Ya know, it’s still considered a sport.

RADD

Thanks… You realize I won’t be able to stop by and say hi.

INT. SNATCH’S SUITE AT THE MGM IN VEGAS–DAYTIME

Lionel sits around with Toothless Freddie and a few of his own sparring partners. He employs two body guards. It’s a day off. Lionel left Lotta back in AC. Johnnie B. Goode’s wearing some hounds-tooth knickers outfit. (CONTINUED)

LIONEL

God-damnm Johnnie, ya look like some English faggot. Whatchu been doing, punking some boys in the ass out here.

JOHNNIE B.

Just you never mind. Got some bitches coming up, gonna take us all on. Except for ole goofy Freddie.

FREDDIE

Hey, whatsamadder with me?

JOHNNIE B.

One of them bitches already got a load of your ass, said no way.

FREDDIE

Well, what about getting one to just suck my prick?

LIONEL

That little piece of shit. The motherfuckers dick is so small he should get a motherfucking eye operation and turn Japanese…

JOHNNIE

What you motherfuckers wanna talk about dicks or ya wanna talk about pussy?…

LIONEL

Pussy! I’ll tell you why! Let me ask all you dudes something. Why you think us brothers want trim action so much? . . . What’s the first thing any of us touch?… Pussy!… And where’d we come from?… That’s right, a sweet, warm, safe pussy. And from that moment on, we’re trying to touch it for the rest of our motherfuckin’ nigger lives. Except for you, Freddie.

 

JOHNNIE B.

Now I gotta tellya, I met a brother in the joint. He had that pussy shit wired. I mean, he had it down pat. He owned a delivery service, ya know, delivering motherfucking TVs and ranges, shit like that. Now this motherfucker had a rap. First thing, the dude was married, but that didn’t stop him, he had a system, says he strictly takes ‘em to lunch.’

LIONEL

Lunch! Cheap motherfucker.

JOHNNIE B.

Listen, it make good sense. The dude’s rap. ‘To take out pussy, ya gotta get a haircut, wash the dirty-ass car, Take a shower, pay for parking, tip the valet, the hat-check girl and the matre’d. Plus, before all that, ya gotta lie to that bitch that’s back home  who’s humming in the kitchen. Then, ya gotta order the wine, order $60 worth of greasy shit, worse, listen to the bitch talk and talk and talk over the meal.

BODYGUARD

Right on, brother! I’ve heard this shit before.

JOHNNIE

Then, ya gotta have drugs, the bitches insist on getting high. Ya gotta pay for a motel room. You’re out late, ya come sneaking home and the next day ya feel like shit. Plus, you’re out $400, 500, 800 large. Now, this broh says, he takes ‘em to lunch! . . .  Well, that’s what he’d say to them during the invitation,

LIONEL

So what happens at lunch?  (CONTINUED)

JOHNNIE

The motherfucker don’t even go to lunch. Instead, he takes them to one of them appliance stores, gets a discount, he asks, ‘ya mama need a TV, how ‘bout a microwave?..’ Loads that shit in the truck, takes the bitch down by the bay, and has her suck his dick. Great, he’d say with the bitches all proud and happy with their new motherfucking appliance. The best part, ya come home for dinner, sit down with the family. Everybody’s fuckin’ happy, 60 bucks tops.

INT. SNATCHES SUITE–LATER

Six great looking women lounge around the suite. Lionel’s talking real-low-like towards one of them. Johnnie’s dapper and witty. The other guys are thrilled. Freddie’s becoming a pain in the ass.

INT. MGM VEGAS FIGHT NIGHT–PRIME TIME

Lionel has a match with an Australian, an import brought in by Arum. Nobody’s heard of the big-blonde surfer type who looks as if he should be a wrestler.

Lionel has trouble with him.The Aussie has an awkward style. He squirms and bends and holds. Lionel give him rabbit punches, kidney shots and in his frustration he tries to grab the big blonde.

The fight seems to be taking forever. Crabbie’s frustrated. His face shows that hates bouts such as these.

CRABBIE

Where the fuck’s that Johnnie? I wanna give him a piece of my mind for scheduling a bum such as this. He’s making Lionel look bad.

FREDDIE

I never saw him come out of the dressing room. Said he had a headache, and that he’d watch it with Lotta on TV.

Mercifully, after 12 rounds the bout comes to an end. It’s a foregone conclusion that Snatch has won the fight. The instant the end of round-12 sounded, Lionel doesn’t wait for the decision and storms out of the ring towards the dressing room.

INT. MGM DRESSING ROOM–CONTINUOUS

When Lionel rushes into and arrives, Lotta and Johnnie B. eat pizza.

LIONEL

What the fuck ya two doing?

JOHNNIE B.

Eating pizza! What the fuck does it look like?

LIONEL

You ain’t supposed to be eating fucking pizza, you’re supposed to be fucking.

JOHNNIE

How long you think this old man can fuck? We finished fucking an hour ago. You the one who’s late.

LIONEL

I don’t want your ass eating pizza with my bitch. You’re supposed to be fucking, that’s it.

Lotta stares at Lionel like he’s gone crazy. They cool it ‘cause Crabbie and the rest come barreling in.

CRABBIE

Jesus, fucking, Christ, Johnnie, where’d ya get that guy?

JOHNNIE

Arum said he was seasoned, said there would be a big pay-per view from down under. We’d pick up fans. It’s fuckin’ money. We’re 24-0. Everything is beautiful. King’s ready to eat out of our hands.

LIONEL

(softly)

Johnnie’s right. Let’s get ready for Spinks. Then lets get home.

INT. MICHAEL SPINKS’ CAMP–DAYTIME

MICHAEL SPINKS AND BUTCH LEWIS, Spink’s manager pay close attention to Radd as he explains part of Snatch’s arsenal.

RADD

Ya gotta keep your arms moving. He likes to hit guys on the arms. Soon enough, their arms start hurting and become heavy. Lot’s of tough guys aren’t used to getting hit on the arms. If your arms drop, you’re out! I say we go arm slamming an hour a day.

SPINKS

I was checking the film, he likes to hit out of the clinch.

RADD

Done that ever since golden gloves. Ya gotta watch it.

BUTCH

Radd, how do ya think we should handle the opening-shot Lionel gives?

RADD

Ya want the truth? I wouldn’t give into him. Giving him that shot only plays into his hand. Maybe, Michael’s more like me… Mike, no offense, you don’t have the punch. Save your energy. If we’re gonna beat Lionel, we’re going to hafta out-point him.

Butch and Michael nod their heads in agreement, they shake Radd’s hand and go off.

INT. INSIDE SNATCH’S CAMP–A COUPLE DAYS LATER

Lionel is livid.

LIONEL

The motherfucker is selling me out! I knew he was a cunt, faggot, chasing-after-somebody-else’s-pussy motherfucker. I never figured him for some back-stabbing traitor. I want his fuckin’ ass, fuck him up! Ain’t gonna throw the first punch.

JOHNNIE B.

Don’t let that shit bother ya none. Spinks’ is scared. We’ll paint him as a coward in the press. We’ll bait the fool!

FREDDIE

Yeah, I always hated that fuckin’ faggot and his brother too; ole just call me Leon.

LIONEL

Don’t go and sound on Leon. He beat the man. Leon’s cool. A lot cooler than you, you fucking twerp. Get the fuck under the ring and clean that shit up. This ain’t no mo’fuckin pig sty! Ya little, white tussy… (3 beats) as Freddie picks up a broom) For you West Coast motherfuckers; tussy is worse than being a pussy, ya wanna fuck a pussy, play with it, lick it, a tussy’s, a pussy that’s no fun.

1

INT. MGM RINGSIDE JUNE 1989–PRIME TIME

Michael Spinks enters the ring. His expression tells the story. Despite Radd’s help, Lionel KO’s him in 30 seconds, and gives Radd mean stares every chance he gets. He won’t shake Michael’s hand. Instead he points to and taunts Radd. The national TV picks it up.

(CONTINUED)

1ST ANNOUNCER

That’s Radd Swink he’s taunting; he’s in the Spinks’ camp

2ND ANNOUNCER

That’s right, Merlin, they’re supposed to be boyhood chums, off the streets of Atlantic City. They started out together, went to the Olympic trials together, under Crabbie. They say there’s bad blood.

INT. SNATCH’S DRESSING ROOM–AFTER THE FIGHT.

LIONEL

Johnnie! I want a motherfucking fight every month until Boom-Boom Cummings accepts a challenge. Tell King we’re ready. I don’t give a fuck. I’ll show ‘em all! Fuck with me!

INT. NY PRESS CLUB–SEPT.1990

A horde of press is on hand. Both fighters sign for the big fight.

Boom-Boom’s 32, 46-3. He’s held the belt for 16 months. Lionel’s 38-0, the number one contender in the world.

Lotta and Johnnie’s garb are toned down. Lionel’s in a suit and tie. Boom-Boom wears a sweat shirt.

INT. JUST OUTSIDE IN A COFFEE SHOP–CONTINUOUS

Crabbie and Lotta share lunch.

LOTTA

So, what Crabbie, is this going to be the end of the rainbow? Lionel thinks you might quit him once he takes the crown.

CRABBIE

Lionel thinks too much sometime, he should concentrate on his technique. And he should discuss them things with me.(CONTINUED)

LOTTA

You know how he goes off all the time.

CRABBIE

Tell me about it. I’ve been with him since he was 12.

LOTTA

I’ve been around almost that long.

CRABBIE

So, we’ll share medals

LOTTA

But you know how he is and how he gets, like the way he was about Radd.

CRABBIE

That’s a God-damned shame. The kid was only doing his job. He didn’t tell Spinks anything he couldn’t figure out for himself. I admire the advice about not throwing the first punch. You know it wigged Radd out so much, being thrust into the limelight. Ya know the Cummings’ camp offered Radd 5 grand a week for the upcoming fight? He turned them down.

EXT, OUTSIDE THE N.Y. PRESS CLUB–AN HOUR LATER

The Snatch entourage exits the press club. They gaze up at the electronic news ticker flashing headlines in the middle of Times Square. Lionel’s and Boom-Boom’s names light up the digital screen. Even Lionel smiles, while seeing his named flashed across Time Square.

JOHNNIE B.

Weez big time!

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

The screen is spinning and it begins to slow down and we see an image of Lionel’s face and we’re back to the scene where Lotta kissed Lionel just after he won the crown.

INT. INNER SANCTUM DRESSING ROOM CAESARS-1990

Johnnie’s on his cellular

JOHNNIE B.

Get it right Bruno, I want big-time exposure, all at once. Have ‘m on Carson and on that morning shit all the same week. Tell Sport’s Illustrated, I don’t give a fuck if Elvis suddenly appears and wins the motherfuckin’ PGA, Lionel’s on the front cover or there’s no interview. Got it whitebread?

Johnnie hangs up and dials another number.

LIONEL

(to Lotta)

Split!  Go get something to eat, don’t go far. I wanna rap with Johnnie.

Lotta as leaving touchs his cheek, so it’s the last touch.

Johnnie’s off the phone. Lionel sits up on the massage table.

LIONEL

Dig it. Set up a meeting with King. I want an 11-fight deal with HBO, 2 a year. I want 100-million up front. 65-million a fight, plus a percentage. When I break Marciano’s record I’m retiring. This shit is getting old.

INT. A PIT SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE SEEDY SIDE OF AC–EARLY MORNING

We’re at another back-room fight, one of those unsanctioned ultimate bouts. 500 people squeeze into 5000 sq.ft. There’s a pit situated in the middle.

Johnnie B. enters with a mink coat’s draped over his arm. Lionel’s in a gray pin-stripped suit. They’re accompanied by two stunning women. They make their way to second-row seats. People gawk and point. Some holler words of encouragement to the champ who’s there strictly as a spectator. A small sweaty fat man strolls to the center of the pit. (CONTINUED)

SMALL MAN

Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the ultimate. No time limit, no rules, for $25,000 dollars cash.

He holds up a mitt full of hundred dollar bills.

SMALL MAN

First, please give a warm welcome to the the undisputed heavy-weight champion of the World; Atlantic City’s own Lionel Snatch.

The crowd erupts. Lionel half smiles—half smirks. Johnnie B. applauds.

We hear some cat calls.

FIGHT FAN

What about Blue-Snatch fighting?

There are a few other comments such as that.

SMALL MAN

From the island of Taiwan, undefeated in the ultimate-fight game, 6’2”, 205 lbs, Lee Dong Chang.

Tall for being Oriental with a crew cut China man jumps into the pit wearing a yellow and red silky jump suit. He does some jabbing and kicks and has a scowl on his face,

SMALL MAN

And from the city by the sea, undefeated in the ultimate-fight game, 6’4″, 215 lbs., a product of Atlantic City High School, our own, Mitch Blue.

Mitch has a blue bandanna a matching blue ribbon hangs from the back of his pony-tail still sporting all the gold. A shapely blonde, wearing only a blue thong and high heels disrobes him.

Johnnie and Lionel smile as the blonde pulls off the robe. She removes five rings and kisses each finger.(CONTINUED)

Radd Swink is present in the back row with some local guys. He watches, as Lionel toys with one of the woman. Radd sees Lionel presenting her with a friendship ring.

Both move to the center for final instructions. Mitch turns to the crowd.

MITCH

This chink fucker is good as dead!

Mitch and the man begin the contest. There won’t be any breaks. The contest is brutal but most sense Mitch with the upper hand.

Mitch beats the man to a pulp, nobody seems to be around to stop the fight. Radd enters the ring and pulls Mitch off.

Lee Chang drops to the pit, blood spurts from a broken nose and a ripped lip. Mitch strolls the pit arms held high in jubilation. The crowd chants: Blue! Blue! Blue!…

Mitch eyeballs Lionel. He gestures with his gloved hand and points.

MITCH

I want, you! I want, you motherfucker! Step in the ring ya motherfucking tussy! Ain’t got no Don King to fix ‘em for you here.

The crowd begins to chant: BLUE-SNATCH, BLUE-SNATCH, BLUE- SNATCH….

Both the champ and Johnnie look uncomfortable. Lionel motions his head with a ‘let’s get outta here.’

The crowd continues to chant while Mitch continues his glorious victory dance. He goes into a some-what choreographed-dance routine, and when he’s almost finished, he winds up French-kissing the blonde in the middle of the pit.

The crowd’s whooping it up.

Radd stands on the sidelines.

EXT. AC–CONTINUOUS

We see the limo leaving the curb. Lionel’s pissed.

 

MONTAGUE:

INT. RINGSIDE SOMEPLACE–MONTHS LATER

We see Lionel facing an unknown in the ring. We see the man go down, and see Lionel quickly leaving ringside, way ahead of his entourage, way before the official announcement of the knock out. Crabbie and Freddie gather towels buckets and squirt bottles.

We see the headlines Snatch 43-0, Out To Break Marciano’s Record!

1INT. FANCY RESTAURANT–DAYS LATER

We see Johnnie, Lionel, Don King, and three woman, having a meal. They’re laughing.

INT AC GYM–DAY LATER

We see Freddie and Crabbie working in the gym with Lionel.

INT. INSIDE A MANSION SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE ATLANTIC CITY–WEEKS LATER

We see Lotta surrounded by splendor. She looks lonely.

INT. INSIDE MASTER BEDROOM IN STATELY MANSION–HOURS LATER

We see Lotta. The clock says 4:30. She’s alone. She’s cries.

INT. A TRAINING CAMP–WEEKS LATER

We see Radd,sparring and instructing. We see him taking a beating, then we see him giving it back. We see Radd in the middle of the ring, he’s still wearing his head gear, he and the same man that he was earlier fighting are discussing strategy. Both nod their heads in agreement, then they pick it up again.

INT. RADD’S ROOM–NIGHT

Radd places on glasses, he’s over a typewriter, and he’s proof reading a piece of paper.

INT. JOHNNIE B.’S OFFICE 1995–DAYTIME

Lionel and Johnnie sit at Johnnie’s desk.

LIONEL

So what’s King say?

JOHNNIE

He says tie the record in Vegas, then fight Rocio in Spain, and break Marciano’s record there, so it be a world-wide event.

LIONEL

Bullshit. I wanna break the record here in Atlantic City. I’ll call the shots. I’m the one who’s 48-0. Lookie here, tell that electric-haired motherfucker I’ll go to Spain to fight that spic next month. Then we break the record in AC. that’s as fucking final as vinyl

EXT. OUTSIDE RING IN SUNNY SEVILLE SPAIN 1995–TWILIGHT

The arena filling up and it promises to be jammed packed, world-wide press covers the fight. The placard says, “Ole, SNATCH 48-0 VS ROCIO 30-0.

EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE SEVILLE–TWILIGHT

Lotta Snatch sits with some Spanish women. She looks happy. A small boy comes up to her table and hands her a rose, she smells it and smiles and gives the little boy a sweet kiss.

LOTTA

Gracias chico, tu guapo!

The other women are touched and they begin to get up at once, enabling Lotta can go to the arena. Somebody comes over and presents her with a bouquet of long-stem roses.

LOTTA

Muchas gracias, moy bonita.viva Espana.

SPANISH WOMAN

de nada.

The other women clasp their hands, and each give Lotta two kisses, one on each cheek. Lotta walks to a waiting limo waving goodbye.

EXT. ROUND 5 SEVILLE–CONTINUOUS

Both fighters slug it out.

1ST ANNOUNCER

Well, we’re sitting here, Jim, watching what might be an historical event. How do you see it going so far?

2ND ANNOUNCER

Merlin, it looks pretty even so far. The champ Snatch has been doling it out, but he’s been taking some whacks. Rocio’s no slouch.

1st ANNOUNCER

As the world waits, if Snatch wins he’ll tie the long-standing record belonging to the late, great Rocky Marciano, who retired with a perfect 49-0 record.

2nd ANNOUNCER

And we’ve received word before the fight, in a press release issued by Johnnie B. Goode, Snatch’s manager, that if Snatch wins, he’ll face the undefeated South African, Kid Capetown, that bout will take place in two months.

1st ANNOUNCER

It’s amazing, Jim, the man has remained relentless his entire career, takes opening shots, doesn’t wear head gear in camp. Kept his diet, has a beautiful wife, but more than anything, he’s been able to maintain his competitive spirit.

2nd ANNOUNCER

What you’re saying, Merlin is that he’s stayed mean?

1st ANNOUNCER

You’re the one that said it, Jim.

With 30 seconds remaining in round: 5. Lionel puts together a vicious combination, Rocio goes down and Snatch has tied the record. And with what has become the usual, Lionel rushes out of the ring towards his dressing room.

INT. JOHNNIE B.’S OFFICE–TWO WEEKS LATER.

Crabbie, Johnnie B. and Lionel sit. Freddie’s vacuuming the floor.

JOHNNIE

I’ve reserved Deer Lake, Ali’s old training camp up in the Poconos for 6 weeks.

He has to speak loud over the sound of the vacuum. Lionel’s annoyed.

LIONEL

Shut that motherfucking thing off, and get your sorry ass the fuck outta here. Can’t ya see we’re trying to talk business

FREDDIE

Sorry, champ.

LIONEL

Yeah, sorry… Sorry is what you is!

JOHNNIE

I’ve got Clown Cooper and Roundhouse Carpenter signed for sparring partners.

CRABBIE

I’m surprised they’re back, after the torture Lionel put them through getting ready for the Rocio fight. Who else ya got?

JOHNNIE

Well, that’s what I wanted to talk to the champ about. We need one more, somebody’s who style matches up with Kid Capetown’s. Any suggestions…

Lionel says nothing and neither does Crabbie.(CONTINUED)

JOHNNIE

Well, I’ve been thinking hard, real motherfucking hard. This Kid Capetown, has a basic style, and I’ll tell ya, he can take a hit. Lionel, I don’t want you to get sore, but I got somebody perfect in mind.

LIONEL

Who?

JOHNNIE

Radd!

CRABBIE

You said it. I didn’t.

LIONEL

I don’t want that motherfucker around.

CRABBIE

Well, let me say my piece.

CRABBIE

He’s the best mimic in the business. He’s tough as hell, clean, and what might be the most flattering aspect of his profession, is he doesn’t hit hard enough to hurt his employer. If You got Swink in your camp, ya got a top-notch asset.

JOHNNIE

Yeah, and ya bang his ass around everyday for 6 weeks. You’d like that wouldn’t ya?

LIONEL

I don’t know, I’ve hated that punk since we been kids. He ain’t nobody, never will be nobody. I can’t ignore it, they fucking love him everywhere else. Shit, I’ll be out of this game forever come two months. I just might dig giving him an everyday whooping. Yeah, bring his ass in.

Johnnie clears his throat. (CONTINUED)

JOHNNIE

He’s expensive, I suggest Crabbie have a talk with him.

LIONEL

Promise the motherfucker $50,000, but give him only a G-note a week. he gets the other $45,000 when we break camp.

Crabbie has a smile on his face.

CRABBIE

I’ll get right on it. I know he’s in town.

Crabbie leaves.

LIONEL

Yeah, I’ll kick his fucking ass for everything I hate him for. Then I’ll stiff the bitch in the end. Not give him shit. Let him sue.

INT. TONY’S BALTIMORE BAR AND GRILL–DAYTIME

Crabbie and Radd sit in a booth.

CRABBIE

Kid Capetown has a stand up style. He fires straight ahead. Christ, I studied some film. He’s you all over, only he’s black.

RADD

How’s Lionel taking all this?

CRABBIE

Well, ya can imagine. On one hand he wants nothing to do with you. On the other hand, he wants the record. Even Johnnie agrees that you’re the man. He’s the one who brought your name up. Plus, I think Lionel’s savoring the idea of bouncing you around a bit. Scared?…

RADD

Fuck, what do I have to be afraid of him for? How much?

CRABBIE

The champ’s willing to give you top dollar, $50,000. A thousand a week, then $45,000 when we break camp. He’s afraid ya might quit on him, wants to kick your ass for 5 weeks.

Radd breathes hard.

RADD

Ya know, I’ve been writing a lot, I’ve even adapted a play. A piece originally written by; Bruce Jay Freeman, a piece called Steambath. I’m thinking of getting out of the game myself, and going for it full time.

CRABBIE

I’m proud of ya kid. I don’t know if I’m so proud, because I taught you how to use your hands, or the fact that I got you into reading.

RADD

Tell you what. Tell Lionel I’m in. See you at Deer Lake.

CRABBIE

The champ is throwing a dinner and has invited everyone out with him before we leave for Deer Lake. Believe it or not you’re even invited.

INT. KNIFE AND FORK RESTAURANT IN AC–NIGHT

It’s an all male affair. Johnnie B. and Lionel sit together. Radd and Crabbie sit at the far end of the table. Toothless Freddie, the two other sparring partners and a couple of other go-fors’ sit, eat and talk.

Lionel hasn’t spoken to Radd and more or less ignores him.

INT. LATE NIGHT CLUB AC–EARLY A.M.

Lionel’s been drinking. Women have joined the party. Lionel’s got one on each knee. (CONTINUED)

LIONEL

Whatchu going to be doing to me and her latter?

He leans further in, so the object of his question can whisper in his ear. She’s teasing and grinning, moving her head up and down. Lionel points towards the other woman. She too is grinning, and she too is affirming. Then Lionel points toward Johnnie B. with a ‘how ‘bout him.’ Yes, they nod! Lionel crosses his index fingers like naughty, naughty. Then he motions towards Crabbie. There’s a delay and then in unison they affirm that Crabbie is eligible. Lionel laughs. Then Lionel points to Freddie. Right away both woman shake their heads NO!… Lionel laughs and laughs.

LIONEL

(laughing for Johnnie to hear)

The bitches are willing to lick each other’s ass for me and you, lick my ass, lick your ass, and even lick old-man Crabbie’s ass, but when I pointed towards Freddie, the bitches almost went into a motherfucking seizure.

Lionel turns his attention to the bitches.

LIONEL

I’ll tell you-two bitches what I think. You’ll lick the shit off that toothless sombitches ass for me, and he’ll lick both your asses for us, and you’ll fucking love it. And both of you bitches are going to do it at the next stop.

The woman put On their faces a look of disappointment, but at the same time, they’re in for the duration.

He looks to Johnnie

LIONEL

(to Johnnie)

Think that snake-fanged motherfucker wipes his ass?

He laughs further at the thought.

EXT. OUTSIDE LATE-NIGHT CLUB–CONTINUOUS

Two limos wait for the entourage outside the late-night club.

Everything’s all smiles, Crabbie and Radd still engrossed in conversation are the last out. Crabbie looks at his watch.

CRABBIE

Holy shit! It’s well past my bedtime.

Radd laughs and puts his hand on Crabbie’s shoulder.

From across the street there’s a shout.

VOICE

SNATCH! I want your ass. I want your ass!

Mitch Blue with a couple of chumps strolls across the street. He has his arms out, like he’s offering out the champ. He shadow boxes.

MITCH

How ‘bout, right now. Ya can try to break the record on me. You scared? You and that white-motherfucking manager of yours have kept me out of the game, ‘cause you scared. you know I’m the man, always been the man. Even when weez was kids. hey, there’s Radd. Tell him Radd, tell ‘em all, Freddie yous know too.

Johnnie tries to hustle Lionel in the limo.

JOHNNIE

C’mon, champ, lets get outta here. We don’t need this shit.

Everybody else is frozen in their tracks. Lionel looks around. Mitch is still spitting out the insults, still making the challenge.

MITCH

You’ve had all the motherfucking paydays. Where’s mine? No, you and King!

Lionel makes a move and is out in the middle of the street. The crowd is quickly behind him. In the middle of the street the two men are chest to chest. Mitch is taller than Lionel, and Lionel looks up into his face defiantly. Johnnie’s at his side holding on to his arm imploring him to get outta a there.

LIONEL

OK., motherfucker! You want a payday? You wanna take on the world champ? You feel left out, ‘cause ya could never go by any rules. Fuck you, chump! We gonna do it! We gonna do it tonight. Call the creep who owns that back room. You be there in an hour. But on my terms. Johnny write this prick a check for $50,000, right now! We go 15 rounds, no referee, no time outs. You gotta go the distance. And ‘cause you haven’t gone by the rules, you get no 1st shot. One hour, nigger, be there…

Lionel turns and leaves a speechless Mitch. Johnnie’s running along next to him talking sense. Lionel shakes his head no. He looks at Crabbie, and just waves his hand as if to say, ‘don’t even bother.’

INT. LIMO AC–CONTINUOUS

Lionel has a determined look on his face. Johnnie says nothing.

LIONEL

I’m tying up all loose ends with these Atlantic City motherfuckers, moving to Vegas. I’m gonna teach this motherfucker a lesson he’ll never forget.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE PIT–45 MINUTES LATER

The limo pulls up. Lionel, Johnnie, Freddie and the two woman get out. Lionel’s in a sweat suit.

Radd and some others get out of the other limo. Crabbie went home.

INT. THE PIT–CONTINUOUS

Mitch is waiting, he’s warming up perhaps not so sure. Johnnie B. walks over and presents him a check. He stares down at it, smirks and looks back towards Lionel. Lionel stares back and mouths, but no sound comes out: “You’re dead.”

A clock is set to last 45 minutes. The count is on 3, counted off by the small man, then it’s no bells, no breaks.

The two men bounce around a little. Mitch takes a couple of swings and hits nothing. Lionel comes in and lands four punches in a row, sending Mitch to the side. Mitch escapes and does some hit and run with a lot of retreating.

Lionel’s taking his time smiling, with a dash of sweat on his forehead. The clock says 15 minutes has lapsed off the clock.

Mitch becomes somewhat more daring and launches an assault. He connects twice. But Lionel comes in and with a swing of the glove, and he cuts Mitch’s ear, it becomes partially torn. Then he goes to the body and Mitch twinges in pain as each punch lands.

Lionel has him up against the ropes. The women turn their heads away, Radd makes a face, and Freddie looks anxious. Johnnie B. just stares. Lionel’s laughing.

LIONEL

Punk! Punk! Fucking tussy! C’mon, big mouth, show me what you’ve learned on the streets all these years, cause that’s where you going, back to the motherfucking streets.

The clock says 30 painful minutes have been spent. Mitch looks awful. His nose broken, ear looks worse, eyes are swollen. He’s fatigued. Lionel looks great.

Less then two minutes left in the 45-minute time period. Lionel has been carrying him the last five minutes.

Lionel goes for the collar bone, breaks it. Then he breaks his shoulder with another shot. Mitch screams! Lionel spits in his face, and delivers a debilitating knee to the groin. He hits Mitch with six hay makers. The first one knocked him cold, the other five did the rest of the damage. Mitch lies senseless in the pit. The sand is sucking up the blood.

Lionel pulls down the front of his sweat pants. We see only is perspiring face over Mitch and we here the sound of him urinating.

LIONEL

…And stop the payment on this motherfucker’s check. He didn’t go the distance

Nobody says anything. Lionel makes his way out. Johnnie and the two women follow. Freddie thinks about staying to check on Mitch, but knows better. A few of Mitch’s buddies go to his aid once Lionel has left, Radd’s there too.

INT. AC HOSPITAL-THREE HOURS LATER

Radd’s in the waiting room with Mitch’s two friends.

A surgeon makes his way to the waiting men. It doesn’t look good.

SURGEON

Your friend’s in a coma. We’ve done a CAT scan. There’s definitely brain damage. Can’t say if he’s going to make it.

EXT. DEER LAKE–A WEEK LATER

We see the peace, quiet and tranquility of the upstate Pennsylvania place chosen to prepare Lionel Snatch to maintain his title, break Marciano’s record, and then retire.

Lotta looks relaxed dressed in blue-jeaned shorts and a plaid shirt with the tails hanging out. She smiles to all as she makes her way to a shower that’s located in the campgrounds. She has a gym bag in her hand.

CUT TO:

INT. RINGSIDE-SIMULTANIOUSLY

Radd’s adjusting his headgear, placing his mouth piece in his mouth. His hands are on the ropes, and by wiping his foot on the canvas he’s smoothing out his footing. he’s waiting for the clap from Crabbie.

Lionel has a grin a mile wide on his face. He’s getting the kinks out of his neck.

Johnnie B. looks curious. Crabbie looks worried. The rest meander up to the ropes knowing that this is more than the first-sparring workout at the camp.

Both men walk to the center of the ring, and Crabbie claps his hand.

At first Lionel puts down his hand and just laughs.

LIONEL

(shouting)

This is going to be some motherfucking fun. Freddie, get some ice tea in here… (no answer).. Freddie, get some tea in here… where is that toothless motherfucker?

Like that—he sucker punches Radd. Radd’s stunned. Lionel, still smiling, cautions like he had better watch out, it could get tricky. Radd tries to stay focused. He mimics the style of Kid Capetown.

CUT TO:

INT. LADIES SHOWER–SIMULTANEOUSLY

We see Lotta disrobing. We see her breasts then all of her. She steps into the shower. She lathers up and hums a Spanish tune.

Above her, unbeknown to her, peeks a grinning Toothless Freddie. He’s taking it all in. We see him from the waist up. His right hand is somewhere and it’s moving fast. He closes his eyes then snaps out of it so to continue to glare down at Lotta.

Finishing Lotta walks to the bench where her clothes are. She puts a towel around her head, then continues to dry herself. Freddie’s glares as she bends over giving him the ultimate view

CUT TO:

Lionel is delivering all kinds of punishment to Radd’s mid-section. Radd grunts despite the protection. Even with the protection he’s taking terrible wallops. Radd fights off the ropes, and has yet gone towards Lionel’s head, which is a no-no unless Crabbie says so. (CONTINUED)

LIONEL

C’mon, you can head hunt, if you can. C’mon, white motherfucker.

Radd sticks with the game plan. He turns to Crabbie and spits through his mouth guard.

RADD

I know what this motherfucker is trying to do. Don’t worry Crabbie I got this guy wired

LIONEL

Oh, still a smart-ass motherfucker. Hola senorita, ya tussy fuck!

Lionel goes in but Radd counters with a hook to the right side of Lionel’s head. Radd’s eyes light up, and they kid with Lionel that he’d better watch it too.

RADD

I bet Kid Capetown already has that move wired on you, champ.

Radd then fakes to the body and hits Lionel twice in the mouth.

LIONEL

Some things don’t change, still hits like a tussy. Let me have a little fun here.

Lionel goes to work and starts to bang Radd around real bad. He needs every it of padding, as not to get hurt. Radd’s getting pissed and for a brief moment abandons his role and loses his composure, and goes for Lionel. He gets off an unbelievable four punch combination, smack off the world champion’s jaw. They have little effect.

Crabbie has seen enough and claps his hands.

Lionel gives Radd two up-right body punches for good measure and then relents, walking back to his corner, shaking his head with affirmation.

Johnnie B.’s up in the ring.

JOHNNIE B..

Excellent! Excellent! You OK Radd?

Radd removing his head gear, shakes out the rattling, blinks somewhat and smiles.

RADD

That’s what I get paid to do boss.

LIONEL

Get him, little Mr. Goodie White shoes. (high pitched) ‘that’s what I get paid to do…’ ya sound like that faggot Tyson.

EXT. NEXT DAY–AFTERNOON

Radd’s sitting down by the lake, reading Bridges of Madison County.

 

Lotta comes into view, she has a fishing rod. Radd doesn’t see her,

LOTTA

Some book for a boxer.

RADD

That’s not all I do.         (CONTINUED)

1

LOTTA

Done for the day?

RADD

Yeah, I got my ass kicked this morning. I guess he’s banging around the other two for now.

CUT TO

INT. RINGSIDE–SIMULTANEOUSLY

Freddie’s just outside the training room. Nobody’s in the gym yet for the afternoon, sparring session. A kid comes in who works at the camp, a kid who Freddie has befriended. The kid has a joint and Freddie motions for him to go and meet him outside.

EXT. JUST OUTSIDE THE WINDOW OF THE TRAINING ROOM–CONTINUOUS

Both men stoop below the window and share the reefer. Freddie’s takes on a look, after a few inhales, says he has to get it off his chest.

FREDDIE

Man, I saw Lotta yesterday! Man that bitch is hot. I snuck up on the roof and was a peeking Johnnie. Ah, you should see her tits, God, I bet Lionel sucks the shit out of them mothers.

INT. TRAINING ROOM–CONTINUOUS

Lionel’s taking nap just inside the window. The smell of wafting marijuana wakes him. Freddie has no idea he’s there. Lionel’s ears perk up.

EXT. JUST OUTSIDE THE WINDOW–CONTINUOUS

FREDDIE

Yeah, and when she bent down to dry herself, it was like looking into God’s motherfucken face. You should see the sweet lips of her shaved pussy. I had to beat off right there. I’d eat her shit.

CUT TO;

EXT. BACK TO THE LAKE–SIMULTANEOUSLY

Lotta and Radd are sitting together.

LOTTA

Crabbie tells me you write. You know, I’ve been reading a lot since in Europe.

RADD

You talk to Crabbie about me?

LOTTA

He loves you, Radd. Keeps me up to date.             (CONTINUED)

RADD

I have a special place in my heart for that man too.

LOTTA

How much room is left in that heart of your’s.

RADD

There’s more room.

LOTTA

Is there any room for me?

RADD

I don’t know. All I know there’s been a reservation sign inside there with your name on it since we’ve been kids.

LOTTA

You know what you’re saying?

RADD

Fucking-A-right, I do.

LOTTA

You understand the risks?

RADD

Fucken A-right, I do.

LOTTA

Don’t get me thinking, Radd, it could be dangerous.

RADD

Whatevers.

LOTTA

Kiss me, you asshole. (CONTINUED)

Radd grabs Lotta and kisses her passionately.

CUT TO:

INT RINGSIDE–SIMULTANEOUSLY

Everybody’s in the training room who’s supposed to be there. Crabbie and Freddie are in the corner. Johnnie’s reading the sports page and the two other sparring partners and a few others wait for the champ.

Lionel comes out of the training room. he heads for Crabbie and Freddie. Crabbie sees him coming and gets out of his stoop to talk with the champ. Lionel walks right past him, and grabs Freddie by the shirt.

LIONEL

Eat her shit, huh!… Eat her shit, huh!… Well, now, you’re gonna eat her shit! I’m her shit!

Lionel slaps and slaps Freddie. He slaps him all around the room. No one, except the other camp kid have any idea what’s going on. Freddie’s screaming and crying. The champ is relentless. Freddie’s down on his knees begging for mercy. The champ kicks him out the door.

LIONEL

Now, get the fuck out. I never want to see your toothless face again. (to Johnnie)…he don’t get paid nothing, sell out his pension plan! Not one fucking penny!

Lionel then walks quickly over to the camp worker, and does the same.

CUT TO:

EXT LAKE-SIMULTANIOUSLY

Lotta has her head on Radd’s shoulder.

LOTTA

This is nuts.

RADD

You’re, right.

LOTTA

We better be careful. (CONTINUED)

RADD

There’s nothing to be careful for. You’re his wife. We have feelings, that stuff is enough to make the world go ‘round.

LOTTA

I want to do some thinking. Will you let me think? You know, I’m Lotta Snatch

RADD

I bet you are. You can do anything you like.

FADE OUT:

INT. RINGSIDE–LATER

Radd walks into the gym, he can tell there’s a foul mood. Nobody’s saying anything. Lionel and Johnnie are in the training room. Radd moves to Crabbie’s side.

RADD

How’s the afternoon workout going?

CRABBIE

Hasn’t started yet.

RADD

How come? Champ got himself a headache from the action I gave him this morning?

CRABBIE

I wish. Seems,, Mr. Freddie was doing a little peek see in the ladies shower at the Mrs. yesterday, and the dufus was bragging to one of the stable boys and Lionel got wind of it.

RADD

Holy, shit!

CRABBIE

You know how she’s taboo for everybody. I mean if I wasn’t washed up, and a shell of a man, he wouldn’t even let me talk with her.

RADD

Yeah, I know she tells me you talk. (CONTINUED)

1

CRABBIE

You been talking to her?

RADD

Yeah.

CRABBIE

You better watch your ass.

MONTAGUE:

INT. RINGSIDE-DAYS LATER

We see Lionel sparing with Radd and the other two partners.

INT-CAMP CABIN–CONTINUOUS

We see Lotta reading Bridges of Madison County. She closes the novel and puts it under the mattress and lays back and daydreams.

INT.RINGSIDE–CONTINUOUS

We see Crabbie reading as Lionel, Radd and the other two men do calisthenics up in the ring.

We see Johnnie on the phone, shaking his head. Johnnie comes to ringside, and calls Lionel over and whispers in his ear. Lionel just shrugs his shoulder. Crabbie overheard.

During the lull, Radd walks over to Crabbie.

RADD

What’s up?

CRABBIE

Mitch Blue just passed away.

Johnnie’s walking out of the gym,looking back to Lionel.

JOHNNIE

Minors, it’s cool, everything’s covered.

INT. RINGSIDE–WEEKS LATER

We see Lionel over turning buckets. Screaming even at Johnnie.

LIONEL

We got the motherfucking fight of the century coming up in one week and all you motherfuckers are letting me down. Those two other tussies quit and I’m tired of banging around this punk (referring to Radd) now listen up, no more bullshit…everything is hustle.

Johnny looks disgusted. He’s heard it all before.

JOHNNIE

(sarcastically)

So, what do you want to do about the press tomorrow? King promised them access for the last work out?

LIONEL

Fuck the press. I’m the story. Go ahead, tell the cocksuckers to come, maybe they can witness the fury I’m still capable of dishing out, have ‘em here at high noon. You be ready motherfucker. You’re gonna make me look great. I’m going to do it to you, just what I’m going to do to that South African motherfucker.

INT. RINGSIDE THE NEXT DAY–11:00 a.m.

Some press have already arrived. Johnnie’s politicking. Lionel’s in the training room getting ready to be taped. Radd arrives carrying his gym bag. He looks relaxed enough. He goes to Crabbie.

(CONTINUED)

CRABBIE

Hello, son. Isn’t it a beautiful day? Tomorrow we break camp. You put 45Gs in your pocket. Next week that asshole goes down into boxing history, maybe forever, and after that… guess what?… I’m off to Paris. Got the tickets right here. I’m coming out with a cool million, win or lose, Johnnie just told me, imagine that, an old man in Paris, whose cock no longer gets hard. I guess I’m going to have to do a lot of licking.

Lionel comes storming out of the gym. he’s pissed, even in front of the press.

LIONEL

CRABBIE! What the fucks with the K-Mart shit? You know I only tape up with Johnson & Johnson.

CRABBIE

That’s all they had in the whole friggin’  town. I went myself… went to about six places.

LIONEL

Is that an excuse? Ya could have rented a helicopter. You dumb, old, white motherfucker. I outta slap your ass like I slapped Freddie’s.

CRABBIE

You better watch your fuckin’ mouth. Don’t get fresh with me, I’m not going to take your shit for nothing. you don’t fuckin’ own me.

LIONEL

I own your ass. Hear that? You ain’t shit, but an old washed-up pug, who kissed Olympic ass til I got you out of that tussy shit.

Lionel raises his hands.

CRABBIE

You better learn how to eat with those hands first.

LIONEL

What’s a madder? C’mon let’s see what you got, probably more than these other faggots around here.

Crabbie goes for Lionel, but before he can do anything he reaches and grabs his chest, he’s down. Radd rushes to his side. Crabbie don’t look good. Radd screams for an ambulance. Lionel walks away.

INT.RINGSIDE-45 MINUTES LATER

Crabbie’s being taken away on a stretcher, it doesn’t look good. Lotta’s there and she’s crying. Johnnie looks disgusted, but tries to put on airs for the press, that it’s just a family squabble.

Johnnie walks up to Radd.

JOHNNIE

You be ready to go in 5 minutes. No bullshit, there’s nothing to do for Crabbie. If you want your check tomorrow, you’ll give the champ a good workout.

Lionel comes out of the training room. There’s a lot of cameras. Sixty or so members of the press are on hand.

Radd waits in the ring. Johnnie enters the ring.

JOHNNIE

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, we are going to have two rounds of action. Afterwards we’ll have a Q & A period. Enjoy the exhibition.

With that the he exits the ring. Lionel steps up. Looks towards Radd.

LIONEL

Ready to get your assed whipped, tussy?.

Both men enter the ring touch gloves and go for it. Lionel begins whacking Radd. He’s on. Radd absorbs combination after combination and is only able to get off a few counter shots.

The crowd oohs and ahs seeing the champ in all his glory. The bell rings. Radd goes to his corner. Radd looks down at Lotta.

From the screen we can begin to feel his inner rage. He stares at Lionel. He stares hard. He looks as if he senses something, as if there’s a certain weakness coming from Lionel’s demeanor. Lionel won’t look back and has a far away bewildered look on his face.

Radd’s first out. They circle. Radd nails him with a sweeping hook. Lionel steps back. Radd comes in with a combination to the gut. Lionel hits him with a step-away upper cut, it rattles Radd, yet it means nothing to him and he shakes it off and like never ever before he delivers five-straight shots, there’s little if nothing coming back from the champ. Then Radd moves in hits him again and again.

The crowd is into it and Radd begins to give Lionel the whooping of his his life. The champ looks bewildered and seems to be only going through the motions.

 

ONE REPORTER

Christ! He looks like Foreman in Zaire.

We see the fury of the shots landing. Radd’s now the relentless one, and unbelievable as it might seem the man with the patty-cake punch is focused while involved in a rumble; fighting with heart and determination, determination that he has never mustered up before and amazingly and only the way it can happen in movies, he watches 49-0 Lionel Snatch tumble beneath him. Cameras flash.

Johnnie’s trying to stop the shooting of the cameras but there are too many. Some reporters are already on their cellular and portable fax machines.

Radd quickly goes through the ropes, reporters surround him, asking questions, he drafts a couple to help him off with the gloves, he’s trying to get out of there. he’s mostly ignoring them and if anything he’s giving one-word answers.

The glove are off and he’s heading out the door. We see Lotta, she looks at Radd, her eyes dart back at Lionel who’s groggy, and whose arms are draped across the shoulders of two handlers as they help him to the training room.

EXT. JUST OUTSIDE THE GYM–CONTINUOUS

Radd heads for the Jeep he owns. He hops in and starts the engine. He backs half-way out and is changing gears, as to go forward. Lotta storms out of the gym, and runs to the Jeep. They look at each other.

LOTTA

Where you going?

RADD

Fuck it, Paris, who knows?

LOTTA

What are you going to do?

RADD

Don’t know.

LOTTA

What about us?

RADD

It’s your call.

LOTTA

Do you love me, and want me, and promise to love me forever?

RADD

You’re the one who talks about risks, Lotta. You’ll have to jump in to find out. This is all too nuts for me!

Lotta bites her lip, she looks back to the gym, she looks at Radd. She takes a step backwards, then reverses her direction, throws caution to the wind, smiles. She jumps in. They drive away.

INT. TAJ MAHAL CENTER RING– ONE WEEK LATER–PRIME TIME.

We see Kid Capetown in his corner, ready, confident, ready for action.

We see Lionel’s corner, no Crabbie, no Freddie, two strange guys are working with Lionel. Lionel wears no expression. Johnnie B’s sitting with Don King, they look concerned.

1st ANNOUNCER

Well, Jim, who knows how Snatch will handle this. His camp said he was taking medication for a sinus ailment and a stable sparring partner named Radd Swink, That’s spelled S-W-I-N-K, KO’d the champ during his final tune-up for this bout.

2nd ANNOUNCER

Well, you know the same as me Merlin, its been the talk of the town and the boxing world. And you might remember, Snatch taunted Swink after the Spinks fight, cause Swink was inside the Spinks camp. That was all supposed to be forgotten. Then we notice Crabbie Whitcomb, Snatch’s life-time mentor, he’s in the hospital recovering from a heart attack, and even Freddie Simpson, long-time hanger on from boyhood days, he too is noticeably missing.

CUT TO:

EXT. MIDDLE OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN– MOONLIT NIGHT

We see the ship’s rail and the moon is setting in the horizon. Coming onto the screen are Radd and Lotta, arm and arm. She’s wearing a white-cashmere sweater, he’s casual, doesn’t look like a jock. They lean up against the ship’s rail.

RADD

So, how do you think you’ll like Paris?

LOTTA

I liked Spain, Europe doesn’t seem to place everybody under a magnifying glass.

RADD

We’ll get a little place on the Left Bank. I’ll write, you’ll… well you’ll… ah shit you’ll just look beautiful.

They cuddle.

CUT TO:

INT. CENTER RING TAJ MAHAL–PRIME-TIME, SIMULTANIOUS

When Kid Capetown goes for his free-bee, Lionel beats him to the punch and suckers him! It’s a hell of a wallop, but Kid Capetown, smiles and his expression says Lionel’s a beat man.

We see Lionel getting hit and hit, we see him being bounced off the ropes. The Kid Capetown corner looks confident and the Snatch corner looks bewildered.

We see double exposure: One of the quite tender scene on the boat

on a moon-lit night in the middle of the Atlantic, a picture of

promise. Then we see the other exposure, one of the brutality

taking place back in Atlantic City.

THE END

Writings, commentaries, scripts from Journalist, Essayist, Novelist, Screenwriter, Playwriter Lou Christine, Philadelphia & Hawaii, Brah, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico!