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Saturday, June 8, 2013

The True Champion

The True Champion
With the right upper cut, Ali knocked his opponent down and won the championship bout once again. He had never been defeated in his five-year career. The world hailed him as the greatest boxer ever to wear the belt. The best-liked trait of Ali amongst his fans was his voracious ferocity. He was the worst tempered man, easily gripped by rage. His last three opponents had all gone to the hospital but his anger was never sated.
Ali had his next bout scheduled against an outspoken boxer, Fadil, whom Ali hated the most. Fadil was relatively new in the arena but had remained undefeated like Ali. The fight was of great significance to both, as it would decide the true champion. Ali was well aware of the challenge and anticipated it impatiently. He had in him the fire and the passion, coupled with his rage; he was invincible in the arena.
Ali started training day and night. He wanted to keep himself at hundred percent. After his tiring daily training ritual in the gym, he decided to take a walk to his home. The gym was built in one of the city’s poor neighborhoods. Ali was soon surrounded by beggars asking for alms to buy food. Ali, who was tired from the training was in no mood of charity and started shouting at the beggars. Everyone was aware of the boxer’s anger and ran away. One of the beggars was a middle-aged cripple who had not eaten for two days. While others ran away after angering Ali, he persisted and asked again for help. Ali was enraged. He lost his cool and hit the poor beggar in the face, knocking him down. As he walked past the beggar, he heard the poor man’s words,
“True champion is one who defeats not his opponent, but his anger”.
Ali paused for a moment, pondered carelessly on the uttering, and took a taxi to his house.
The day of the championship bout finally came. Ali and Fadil were presented to thousands of keen spectators as the champion and the contender. Ali was asked to say a few words to the fans before the fight. He arrogantly assured them of retaining the title. On his turn, Fadil came down pouncing on Ali with insults and such contempt that Ali was infuriated and started trembling with uncontrollable rage. He had vowed to teach Fadil a lesson.
The fight began and Ali started hitting Fadil with left, right combination of ferocious punches. Big talking Fadil soon realized that he was no match for the champion and in his desperation started hurling more insults at Ali. This was the boiling point for the champion, who turned red with fury. No man on earth had insulted the champion in front of thousands. Ali had decided to take revenge. He hit Fadil with a left punch that left him bleeding. Ali was about to finish the fight off with his deadly right upper cut that the beggar’s voice again rang in his ear,
“True champion is one who defeats not his opponent, but his anger”.
Ali again paused for a moment, pondered deeply, and this time realized the power of the words. The entire monstrosity that had possessed him suddenly vanished and was replaced by a pacifying smile on his face. The lapse allowed Fadil to regain his composure. He launched another onslaught of insults on Ali who replied with his content smile. Ali had now started a fight within a fight. Fadil was not his opponent anymore. It was an evil shadowy creature, his own anger. This was proving to be a tough fight. He possessed enough physical power to defeat any opponent however strong he might be, but fighting his own anger demanded spiritual power and strength of character. Fadil soon realized that he was making a fool out of himself by doing all that useless talking. He made an attempt to punch Ali. To his utter disbelief, he succeeded in punching him. This made him bolder. His insults and punches kept hitting Ali who remained calm and in his own thoughts, kept punching his anger. Fadil dealt the final blow to Ali who fell down on the ring floor, but during his fall had hit his anger the deadly upper cut.
The fight had ended with a strange outcome. Two champions had emerged from a single boxing bout, Fadil for the people and Ali for the heavens above.

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