This is where to post any franchises from sports not listed above.
I didn't get to watch the whole fight but I did watch all of the 6th. Thought he had you honestly but you just outpunched him overall looks like. Pretty cool. Interested to see where the story goes next. Good stuff.
He almost got you near the end of the 6th, but what an interesting fight. Solid update, brother.
Abel sat awake in his bed. His eyes followed the cracks in the ceiling of the rundown shotgun house he and Miguel shared. The sound of Miguel and Beatriz having a celebratory fuck drifted through the walls. The couple were temporarily off the hook after Abel’s bar fight victory against Beto Cruz.
He swung his feet onto the floor and reached under the bed for a shoebox. Placing the beat up box on his lap, he removed the top and stared at the rolls of bills inside. Some of it was from money he’d saved over his time in Nueva Providencia, but the rest of it was what was left over after he’s given Miguel money for Beatriz’s hospital bills. $5,543 in total.
It was enough that he could leave if he wanted. But where would he even go?
The chorus of a squeaky full size bed and “ay, papi” died down from the other side of the wall. Abel sighed, slid the box back under the bed and laid down once again.
He thought he was going to be able to get a bit of rest until the house began to shake from the roar of dozens of engines rumbling down the street. Abel got up and went over to the window. Dust and light filled the sky as a convoy of trucks and SUVs approached.
They pulled to a stop outside of the house.
Rustling echoed through the house as Miguel came around the corner, adjusting a pair of boxers on his waist.
Abel pointed out of the window as men began to get out of the vehicles outside. The silk shirts, almost completely unbuttoned, and the cowboy boots made it quite clear what these guys did to make ends meet.
“Carnal, I thought Alberto said everything was cool?”
“Does everything look cool to you? It’s 1 in the morning and fucking cartel members are outside of the house.”
“I see that. But what are going to do?”
They didn’t get a chance to figure out a plan as someone began banging on the door, demanding it be opened in Spanish. It came with a threat that it would be kicked in if it wasn’t.
Abel, Miguel and Beatriz - - naked save for the blanket she wrapped around herself - - sat on the sofa as a man in a tailored suit looked at some pictures on the wall. He was young, likely in his early 30s, and clearly well connected.
“This is a fucking shit hole,” the man said in accented English. He took a picture, one of Miguel and one of his many cousins, off the wall and showed it to one of the four men who came in with him. “Parece alguien que se folló a un cerdo, no?”
The second man laughed. “Si, jefe.”
He tossed the picture onto the end table and turned around. Glancing at the recliner, his brow furrowed. He turned to Beatriz. “The blanket, please. So, I can sit down.”
“I can go grab her some clot—”
Miguel started to get up, but he was pushed back down.
“Here.” He picked up a couple magazines from the coffee table and held them out to Beatriz. “We can swap.”
After a few tense moments, Beatriz awkwardly held the magazines to her body while shedding the blanket and handing it over.
“Gracias, senorita.” The man carefully placed the blanket down and then sat on top of it. “My name is Kique Buemeros. I’m sorry for barging in like this, but you understand that it is a little harder than it used to be to cross the border.”
“Man, we didn’t mean to take any money that wasn’t ours. Abel probably still has it. We can—”
“You talk a lot,” Buemeros said. “I didn’t even say anything about money. The reason I’m here is related to the boxing match you,” he said, turning to Abel. “were in, though. You lost me a lot of money. I thought for sure Beto would kill you.”
“I didn’t know I was supposed to take a dive,” Abel said.
Buemeros laughed. “No, no. I just picked the wrong horse in that race. I need you to win my money back, though.”
“How do you expect me to do that?”
“The same way you lost me money. I set up a fight for you in Mexico. Tomorrow. I’m going to take all of the purse and you can have whatever money you’re willing to bet on yourself.”
“We split the purse.”
The man laughed again. This time he looked back at what seemed to be his guards and they laughed with him. “This isn’t a negotiation. It’s at the same bar as the one a couple days ago. You’ll be fighting a gringo who works with me.”
“Okay,” Abel said.
“Great. I’ll see you tomorrow. Don’t lose.” The warning was ominous as he stood up. “You all have a very beautiful house, by the way.”
And as quickly as the conversation had gone, Kique Buemeros and all his men had gotten back into their trucks and SUVs and had disappeared into the night.
Miguel looked at Abel and then at Beatriz, but said nothing
“What are you going to do, Abel?” Beatriz asked, reaching for the blanket to cover herself again.
“Go fight some white dude in Mexico, I guess.”
nice! glad you've brought this back!
Absolutely love that you brought this back. This and WOTR is everything I need.
His heart thumped in his chest and his palms were sitting inside of the gloves that he had to pull on himself. Buemeros didn't let Abel have a cornerman which meant that Miguel and his cousin Tito were somewhere in the crowd waiting for him to make his entrance to the dinghy gym that was doubling as a venue for the impromptu match.
He'd never fought on such short notice. He could still the bumps and bruises from his bout with Beto Cruz a couple days before and he knew he wouldn't be able to take too many punches. That would be easier said than done given how rusty he was moving around the ring.
The "Gringo" as Buemeros had referred to him was an Aryan Nation lowrider who had fallen afoul of the cartels while in prison. Once released, he'd made the mistake of going to Mexico to buy drugs to sell back in the States. They caught him and he somehow talked his way into boxing his way out of his debts. And people said race relations were soured beyond repair.
A Mexican man wearing a Cowboy hat walked into the bathroom. He glanced at Abel and spit on the floor.
"Esta listo?" he asked in a gruff voice.
Abel nodded. "Si."
"Vencomigo. El jefe quería recordarte que no pierdas."
The man turned and walked out of the bathroom. Abel had no idea what he'd said, but considering it started with "El Jefe" he assumed it was a threat from Buemeros. He stepped out of the hallway leading to the bathroom and glanced up at the ring. The white guy, tattoos covering his body, bounced around the ring shadowboxing. His form was terrible, but given his girth, he probably packed a punch.
Abel sighed and jumped into the ring.
thought big fella had you when he landed that big one in the 6th but overall you obviously outdid him, good fight
Solid fight, guy rocked your whole shit towards the end though.
Abel hissed between his teeth as he dabbed a piece of coarse paper towel against his lip. The big white guy he’d just fought wasn’t anything close to a boxer, but he packed more than a punch with the shots that he did manage. Abel was surprised that he’d somehow managed to not get knocked out – especially at the end of the fight.
He needed to get whatever money they were going to give him and head back to the border before night fell. It wouldn’t help him that he didn’t know how to catch a cab or the bus schedule and his Spanish was too bad to ask for help.
Kique Buemeros and a group of raucous men burst into the small room Abel had been upgraded to from the bathroom.
The man glared at Abel for a tense moment before a smile spread across his face. Laughing, he grabbed Abel’s face and yelled.
“El negro furioso!” he shouted. “I thought that gringo was going to drop you a few times.” Buemeros stepped back and threw a couple punches. “But not negro furioso! You box like a Mexican. Tat, tat, tat and move. Are you sure you weren’t born south of the border?”
“Yeah, I’m sure,” Abel said, putting the napkin back to his lip.
Buemeros turned to one of the men, a rather large and imposing man. He beckoned with his hand. “Oso, la feria”
The man reached into his back pocket and pulled out a tightly rolled bundle of bills and placed it in his boss’s hand.
Kique Buemeros held it up and smiled. “You made me a lot of money today, amigo. A lot of fucking money.” Grabbing Abel’s hand and turning it up, he dropped the roll. “It’s a good thing you won because I would’ve had to given you something to take back to Texas with you to get my money back.”
He laughed but Abel just gave an obligatory chuckle in return to not piss the man who was quite clearly in some cartel a reason to give him an acid bath.
“Can you guys get me a way back to the border? I can manage once I’m back on the other side.” Abel put the wad of cash in his back. He wanted to know how much it was but felt that it would be a bit of an insult to start counting money in front of them.
“Back to the border? You have to hang out with us a bit, no? I have a business proposition for you. One that will make us both a lot better off tomorrow than we are today.”
Abel shrugged and gestured to them, all dressed nicely albeit with a bit of a high incidence of cowboy boots and hats. “Well, I would look out of place with y’all. I don’t want to ruin your image or something like that wearing a ratty hoodie and some jeans.”
Buemeros pointed to his head. “You want a hat? We’ll get you a hat.” He glanced back. “Ir a conseguirle un sombrero.”
Abel wanted to say that wasn’t necessary, just a trip back to the border, but it didn’t seem like he was going to get out of hearing this business proposition without hearing it.
“Here, drink up.”
Abel looked at the glass of tequila. “I’m not old enough to drink.”
“Not old enough to drink?” Buemeros laughed. He looked at a woman sitting next to him. “Te dije que es gracioso. El dice que es demasiado joven para beber.”
The woman looked at Abel and smiled, laughter in her eyes. She was beautiful, but Abel was sticking to his tactic of not angering anyone and only glanced at her.
“This is not Donald’s America, amigo. You can drink. We’ll just keep it between us.”
Abel sighed and knocked back the shot. He cringed a little at the aftertaste. He waved off the bartender who rushed over to refill the glass of one of Señor Buemeros’ guests. The bartender persisted at Buemeros’ urging and Abel let him refill the glass, but he didn’t drink it this time.
“So, Abel,” he sipped from a tumbler in his hand. “Let’s get down to business so that we can enjoy the rest of the day.”
“Okay.” Abel tried not to show his apprehension about the whole situation, but it was hard not to when sitting in a bar full of cartel members and other hangers on.
“You clearly know how to box. Much better than these guys that I’ve seen you fight. Even that motherfucker Beto who people keep saying is the next big thing but couldn’t beat some random guy that we found in a Texas backwater. No offense.”
The man held up a finger and downed the rest of his alcohol before beckoning the bartender to refill the glass. This time he made him leave the bottle.
“You work at a casino, right? Security?”
“How much do you make? Minimum wage? A little more maybe?”
“Something like that.”
Buemeros nodded and rubbed his chin. “These little off the track matches? They are very easy to set up. Mexicans love boxing. We are good at it. We like watching it. Here’s my proposal. I set up some fights for you and you win them. I’ll give you five grand for every fight you win and…” He paused for effect. “I’ll let you bet on yourself with that money so you can double or triple that pretty easily.”
“And if I lose a fight? How much?”
“Lose?” Buemeros laughed. He said to the woman, “Cree que puede perder.”
As if she knew she was only supposed to laugh and smile and not speak, she smiled and gave a little laugh.
“So, I’m guessing the offer is only good if I win.”
“And how long does this deal run?”
The man waved his hand back and forth. “Let’s say we review it every other month. But I think you’ll be happy with the outcome.”
Abel sipped some of the tequila from the shot glass in front of him. “Then how can I say no?”
“Right?” Kique Buemeros laughed, slapping the table for emphasis.
I was gonna ask for an update
This man is going to end up in a ditch. Goddamnit.
yall aint told me about this
“Abel, we need you to come down to the floor and deal with this guy. He’s been grabbing at the dealers a little too much.”
The walkie talkie’s crackle died to silence, but Abel didn’t move to respond or do what he was asked. Because he sat asleep in his chair before the bank of CCTV monitors. His undershirt was pulled over his nose and his head hung precariously on his hand.
Gus walked out of the little bathroom that was attached to the security room. He zipped up his pants and wiped his hands on his shirt before sitting down next to Abel.
The older man smacked Abel on the back a couple times.
Abel jolted awake and threw his hands up, ready to fight but sighed when he realized he was at work and it was the only aged security guard bothering him.
“Better git your ass down to the floor and deal with that call. I don’t know what wetbacks you been up all night with but it ain’t gonna have me doin’ no extra work now,” Gus said.
“What call?” Abel rubbed at his eyes.
“Just git your ass down to the floor and you’ll find out. That’s the problem with you millennials, always sleepin’ on the job expectin’ things to be handed out to you. This is Texas, not California. You’d do well to remember we don’t do that here.”
Abel stood up, ignoring Gus’s rants about dirty libs ruining the country. He affixed the walkie talkie to his belt and headed down the stairs to the casino floor.
He moved in autopilot. Kique Buemeros had kept him Mexico until the wee hours of the morning before getting someone to bring him back stateside. It was a wonder that he was able to walk without his head exploding because he’d drank more than he’d ever done in his life.
And he’d almost forgotten that he’d come to an agreement to fight in some Mexican underground boxing circuit.
It didn’t take him long to find the issue as a man wearing a red hat, talking loudly and snatching cards from the middle of a poker table. The dealer looked exasperated as she tried to put the cards back where they were supposed to be.
“Hey, buddy. Why don’t you calm down a bit, huh?” Abel asked, putting his hand on the man’s shoulder when he was close enough.
“I’m not your buddy.” He brushed Abel’s hand away. “Why don’t you run along and leave me the hell alone?”
“Sure, if you calm down and stop grabbing at the cards.”
The man turned his head to look at Abel. “I’ll do what I want, thanks.”
He shoved Abel for emphasis.
Not in the mood for any guff, Abel drew his hand back and smacked the soul out of the man, sending the red hat flying across the aisle. The man tipped over in his stool and tried to scramble to his feet, but Abel already had a hold of his shirt.
Abel dragged the man, swinging and flailing, through the casino. He kicked open the door and tossed him on the pavement outside.
“Now, fuck off before I kick your ass,” Abel said, brushing his hands off on his pants.
The man got up and put his hands up as if he was going to fight, but a fairly sizeable Mexican man wearing sunglasses and a gun on his hip walked up behind him.
The Mexican gentleman tapped the man on the shoulder. When he shook his head when the man turned around and nodded to the gun.
The man’s eyes tripled in size and he ran off to his car.
“El jefe has been calling you,” the Mexican man said to Abel. His voice was gruff and his accent thick.
Abel nodded to the casino. “I’ve been at work.”
“Quit. You don’t need to work here anymore.”
“Y’all ain’t paying me a salary so yes, I do.”
He reached into his back pocket. Abel tried to hide the fact that he thought he was about to get shot right there on the casino’s steps. Instead, the man pulled an old iPhone out of his pocket and held it out to Abel.
“This is so el jefe has a good way to contact you.”
Abel took the phone and powered it up. Almost immediately a couple messages from WhatsApp popped up on the screen. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that they were from Buemeros.
I set up a fight for you next week.
It’s in TJ.
Abel sent back: I just fought twice in a week.
The response didn’t take very long.
You’ll be alright. The guy’s a bum. See you in a couple days.
Abel sighed and put the phone in his pocket. He raised an eyebrow when he noticed Buemeros’ man still standing before him.
“Anything else?” he asked.
“Si,” he said, reaching into his pocket. He pulled out a small roll of cash and handed it to Abel. “It’s a couple hundred dollars so you can quit and make it to next week. El jefe will take it out of your cut of the winnings.”
Rubbing his forehead with one hand, he put the money in his pocket and turned to go back into the casino.
“Where are you going?”
“To quit, obviously. You don’t expect me to just disappear and them not wonder what happened to me, do you?”
The big Mexican man didn’t respond for a moment as he seemed to be pondering what Abel said. After a few moments, he nodded in agreement and turned toward a murdered out SUV that was parked on the opposite side of the road.
Abel shook his head, wondering if there was a way out of the situation that he’d gotten himself into.
This man gonna end up in a damn ditch.
Abel awkwardly ran a damp towel over his head with a gloved hand and waited as the random guy who had been assigned as his cornerman haphazardly hacked at the tape on the other hand to free it from the glove.
His heart thundered in his chest after going six rounds with Pastor Felix. Either he was more out of fighting shape than he’d thought or the Mexican boxer reputation for being scrappy and speedy was bullshit. He’d almost been knocked out in all these back alley fights he’d been a part of, and it was only a matter of time before he did get slept.
Buemeros hadn’t told him what would happen if he fought to a draw. He hadn’t expected there to be draws in these types of bouts. Surely, someone would grease someone’s pocket to force them decide a winner. That, or grease up someone’s kid to force them decide.
It was implied that he couldn’t lose that much he knew. Well, he didn’t. Surely, any bets would be forfeit and returned. That’s how it worked in a casino or in any other form of betting. That was in the legal world, though. He had a feeling that those rules didn’t apply here.
So, he sat and waited for whatever was coming for him.
Minutes seemed to stretch for hours as he heard an argument in Spanish nearby. He didn’t dare turn his head and look to see who was involved. Best to keep a low profile when things don’t go your way. Makes it easier to slip out through a backdoor if people weren’t paying attention to you.
Once his gloves had been removed, he grabbed his shirt from the floor and started to pull it over his head – mostly hoping that he’d be able to beat a hasty retreat and escape across the border before anyone was the wiser. Sure, criminals had reach all over the world, but the United States was a huge country and it would be easy to get lost somewhere other than Nueva Providencia.
His plan was scuttered moments later as Kique Buemeros walked over to him, wiping something from his hand with a towel.
“Oye, vuelva a poner los guante,” he said to the “cornerman,” pointing at the gloves and then to Abel. He turned to Abel and held his arms out. “Good fight, mi amigo!”
Abel raised his eyebrow. “I didn’t win, though?”
“No, you didn’t. This is true. What I should’ve said was, good first six round, mi amigo! You have him on the ropes, now to go out there and finish him off.” Buemeros feigned some punches then did a poor impression of weaving side to side and throwing an uppercut.
“I thought the fight was only six rounds?”
“Now, it’s 12. What’s wrong? Do you not think you can win? I can go out there and tell them that you forfeit, and I’ll lose my money.” He pointed over his shoulder. “Is that what you want me to do?”
“Nah. I was just confused.”
“Bueno! I think I’ll go raise my bet. Double it? Triple it? No, quadruple it! And I’m going to put a kicker down on a knockout.”
Abel thought about pointing out that Felix didn’t seem like the type that would get knocked out, especially after getting a fifteen-minute rest.
“Alright,” Abel said instead.
“Good, good. Get your gloves back on and get back out there,” Buemeros started to leave but stopped. “And for both of our sake’s, don’t lose huh?”