Conroy's Boxing Troupe

Conroy ran a boxing troupe of dubious renown,
A melting pot of ruffians and sods,
Whose primary objective was to take a punter down,
By trickery, and stacking up the odds.

His ranks were full of cutthroats, prisoners on release,
And cheats who couldn’t ‘cut it’ in the sport,
Who’d only stay about the place long enough to fleece,
The townsfolk, or defend themselves in court.

A wizard with a megaphone he’d suck the locals in,
To fighting in an up and coming bout,
With a solitary golden tooth and sly satanic grin,
“Who’d like to fight the champion?” he’d shout.

It sometimes took a while to find a challenger in the crowd,
So he’d always plant a ‘dummy’ in the throng,
Who’d goad the mob by ‘acting up’ and taunting out aloud,
Until the next contender came along.

When it came to complex strategies he’d often utilise,
The dirtiest of tactics for the show,
Like a towel dipped in liniment to blur a fighters eyes,
Or a weighted glove to strike a knockout blow.

Occasionally, to raise the odds, his boys would take a fall,
Primarily, to get the betting started,
A strongly built disciple of that adage known to all,
about the fool and his money being parted’.

Some time ago, he’d robbed a town, appearing ‘on the square’,
The locals crying foul, as well they might,
With victorious bravado, he was eager to declare,
“Is there not a man remaining who can fight?”

“Oh come now boys, I’ll offer you a chance to end the fuss,
I’m as fair a man as any that you’ve met,
If a bloke can go the distance with anyone of us,
I’ll happily return the money bet.”

Secure in the ability of henchmen by his side,
He fails to read the writing on the wall,
And just when he’s about to leave he sees the crowd divide,
As a new contender steps into the hall.

Standing like a mountain, ‘Lofty’ dwarfs him like an elf,
And Conroy’s forced to try and play an ace,
So he mutters to his boys, “I’ll have to fight this bloke myself”,
“Just be ready with the towel to wipe his face”.

Declaring with some opulence, “Forget about the rules,
The last man standing up will win the bout,
I never was the type to suffer politics or fools”,
As he dons his loaded gloves for extra clout.

They met a little later, Conroy feigns to shake his hand,
Then swings a raking left towards his head,
But lofty is his equal in matters under-hand,
Punching him below the belt instead.

Gripping both his kneecaps and sinking to the ground,
While his villains seek amendment to ‘the rule’,
Conroy painfully emits an incoherent type of sound,
While groping in the corner for his stool.

It was very nearly over, before it had begun,
As Lofty’s dancing round like Fred Astaire,
Conroy’s on his feet again, and far from being done,
Sneaks up behind and whacks him with the chair.

They dodge each other’s punches, Conroy kicks him in the shin,
Then tries to bite his nose off in a clinch,
And lofty lands an elbow aimed directly at his chin,
Neither of the pair would give an inch.

The golden tooth is souvenired, while lying in the ring,
A vicious head butt evens up the game,
Lofty throws a ‘kidney punch’ as all the locals sing,
Parochially, while chanting out his name.

It was difficult, at times, to tell who had the upper hand,
Conroy, in the end, was holding sway,
“Lofty’s nearly done” he said, then whispers to his band,
“Now’s the time to send the towel his way”.

Lofty had sustained a savage beating round the eye,
And from his left he couldn’t see a thing,
So when they tossed the towel to him it clearly whistled bye,
And lobbed into the centre of the ring!

Conroy sat there motionless, rooted to the spot,
He’d clearly snatched defeat from victory’s jaws,
By throwing in the towel he’d have to give back all he’d got,
While Lofty’s chaired away to warm applause.

Conroy ran a boxing troupe of dubious renown,
A melting pot of ruffians and sods,
Whose primary objective was getting out of town,
Without handing back a cent from stacking odds.

© Steven Smith 12/7/2000.