I'm a boxer by trade -- or I should say, I was. Someone retired me who wasn't exactly sportin' leather gloves but English Leather musk. In fact, he usually chomped a cigar, was half my size and wore bifocals.
In the ring, they called me Eddie "Eagle Eye" Rockport because I saw those haymakers coming from the next round. That skill was learned compliments of Uncle Sam who trained me as an Army marksman.
How good was I in the ring? I never bled, always beat the count and never kissed the canvas.
So why wasn't I studying 'The Sweet Science' anymore? Like I said, 'I never bled, always beat the count and never kissed the canvas.' You see, there's no drama in a guy who always wins. Sure, at first it's fun to see some palooka lead with his chin and eat some leather, but tell that to the gate. So I was prematurely retired.
Some of the luckier boxers would start their second life by coaching or maybe settling down with whatever wits they had left. Me? I did what came natural. Turned to the gun.
* * *
The main event was starting in about an hour and I wanted to get locked and loaded. The rifle, not me. That would come later. With her.
Shelly, tonight's featured ring girl, asked me if I was as good a shooter as a pugilist? I smiled and winked. "Sweetheart, on a moonlit night I could spot the wet glare of a rat's fanny as he trolled through the damp gutter."
"That good?" she toyed, as she took a drag of her Chesterfield.
I nodded and paid her for the information I needed. I told her that if all went well, I'd meet her after the fight. I knew it would go well, I just wasn't sure if wanted to see her again. A guy can only take so much Elizabeth Arden.
At the arena, I thought about Bifocals and the tomato can who's currently wearing those belts. He couldn't see a teddy bear coming. Even if I was punchdrunk, the bum's eye would look like a plum inside 30 seconds flat. It was time to focus.
I reminded myself that while I may have hung up the gloves, I'm still very much in the Fight Game -- just in a different capacity. I'm cleaning it. I'm famous now in a different way. Some newspapers call me a crusader.
Eddie 'Eagle Eye' Rockport now kills gangsters from the rafters. They never know I'm coming. The press say I strike fear into the heart of crooked boxing promoters nationwide. I know I will again tonight. Right through his bifocals.
MUSIC: Miles Davis, 'I Fall in Love Too Easily,' courtesy of the Internet Archive.
ART: Mort Kunstler, 'Nine to Go,' - Men's Adventure, magazine cover, 1968