"This is one of those fairy tale stories you don't hear too often, folks."

"Here we have a young, spirited scrapper from the Bronx who, until a couple of years ago, was an unknown in the WVBA world. Since then, he has climbed the ranks to claim the minor and major circuit belts and win the hearts of thousands across America. There's no doubt about it, it's been a long road, every bit of it arduous."

Before the start of his boxing career, sources tell me he was eking out a living juggling jobs as a paper boy and pizza delivery boy. Isn't that something? While others kids hang around arcades and watch movies, he was busy working to pay the rent. Poor kid. Somehow, he found the time to train at former heavyweight champ Jerome Louis's gym every evening, and found his calling in the ring, fighting in small establishments for cash. He approached two hundred – you heard that right – two hundred managers, and was turned down by each and every one. Then at last, he lucked out when Louis gave the boy a chance. He must have seen the sparkle in this kid's eyes and the fierceness of his determination - - and the rest, as they say, is history."

"At the age of seventeen, he has accomplished things the likes of which most people only dream of. He may be small, but he has great heart."

Cameras flashed erratically, microphones thrusting at him from all directions.

"Mac – Super Macho Man allegedly has said that your up and coming match with him is a joke. What are your thoughts?"

"After the World Circuit, what's next?"

The young man blinked, somewhat overwhelmed by all the reporters vying for his attention; He then looked to Doc, hesitant, searching.

Doc sat back, his manner friendly in an avuncular way when he gently inclined his head as if to say, 'Go ahead, son.' With everyone talking over Mac or speaking for him all evening – that latter being something which Doc knew he had been guilty of - it was time he stepped back and let the kid handle the questions himself.

Mac cracked a smile tinged with awkwardness. Though his hair was disheveled and he looked as if he hadn't gotten much sleep, his eyes were bright with enthusiasm. "I, uh..."

Leaning closer towards one of the microphones, his answer came through distinctly clear. "I'm just gonna try my hardest, y'know? I got this far… and I know that with Doc's help, I can do it."

"Jerome 'Doc' Louis has been with you every step of the way…"

"He has, yeah." Mac nodded seriously. "...Wouldn't have gotten nowhere if it weren't for Doc. I'm real lucky to have a trainer like him."

"…Mac! How does it feel to be going up against Super Macho Man for the #2 spot in the World Circuit?"

"Where are your parents, kid?"

Faltering, the boy gazed unseeingly into the crowd, into the flashing lights and expectant faces with honest eyes. His lips parted slightly, then pressed thin, and at last, his smile returned. But it wasn't quite the same. A breathless chuckle escaped him. "It… it feels pretty damn good."

Light laughter rippled through the crowd. And at ease with the response, a near-imperceptible tension lifted from Mac's shoulders.