A scrum of men with outstretched mikes and smartphones huddled close to the screen to catch the fighters as they emerged for their post fight interviews. The chap they’d sent from Joe.ie was significantly shorter than the rest of the pack, and so jostled his way to the front. His fringe hadn’t been cut since Fianna Fáil were in power, and covered his face entirely. The sheen from his oversized glasses could be seen between his greasy tresses every now and then, the way Lough Owell might peak out at you from between the trees as you snake around the road towards her.
Odd looking bastard though he was, he had poll position of the pack and was closest to the victorious Irish fighter when he finally emerged to meet the rabble. Seamus ‘Shameless’ Connors, was a heavyweight MMA fighter who’d just won his second of 6 fights. He’ll tell you he was robbed in two of the losses and beaten by killer blows in the other two, but bottom line was, your Ma’d fight better. Mine probably would and all.
He squared up in front of the assembly, sucking in his paunch, resulting in him having the look of someone with acute indigestion. His shoulders were the broad and fleshy kind used to bare-knuckle boxing. In fact, that’s where he cut his teeth in the fighting game, and since being named King of the Travellers back a few years ago, ‘Shameless’ moved into the cage and has cut more than teeth along the way. Today he’s sporting a brand new slit to his right eye. Handy if you’re looking to ventilate the eye socket, though an altogether awful spot to heal. With every blink he was sending dark red fluids gunge down his chubby cheek.
Fringey Boy was first with a question as per usual. Small men are notorious at making up for lack of height in verbal dexterity.
“Seamus, that wasn’t an easy fight, how do you think you did?” he asked, pushing a gold iPhone 8+ in front of the sweaty fighter.
“I won, didn’t I?”
A chorus of laughter from the hacks.
“I mean, it went he distance, did you find it tough in there?” Fringe tried again.
“It’s not bleedin’ ballet. Of course it was tough like. He’s a strong opponent, but I was ready like, I prepared for it like, d’ya know?”
“But did you think he’d go the distance?”
Seamus, looked around, as if someone had just called his name, then before anyone could blink, he’d buried his left fist into Fringe Boy’s face. He now lay splayed on the ground, arms and legs akimbo, gold iPhone on his chest.
Nobody moved to see was he alright. In fact, nobody moved at all.
One of the hacks continued to question Seamus – “So who’s next for you Seamus? There’s been talk of the Russian Canon Ball – is it likely you’ll fight him?”
“That ape Brendan Grace. Never liked the fool. He made a joke on the Late Late Show about lads who support Rushden and Diamonds back in 1998 and I haven’t forgotten. That’s my team like. Your team’s your team like. I’ll take him on,” then he leaned over and spoke into someone’s recording Samsung Galaxy, “Brendan, I’m here, take the fight. I’ll fucking show you, you fat fool of a thing.”
Silence from the hacks.
“Did ya get that did ya?” said Seamus, turning to step over Fringe Boy and walk back towards the dressing rooms.
One of the older hacks rushed forward to catch up with him before he disappeared, “Seamus, do you mean Brendan Grace… as in the comedian Brendan Grace?” He stuttered slightly, hesitation in his question.
“I do, yeah. I’ve been waiting for this fight like, all my life. Let’s see if he’s man enough.”
No sooner had the shameless fat frame of Connors disappeared through the dressing room door than the entire bunch of hacks, including the still unconscious Fringe Boy creased themselves laughing. The. Fucking. Neck. Of. That!!!!!!!!