I was so nervous waiting backstage that I threw up. Years of training had me physically ready for this but mentally I was beginning to doubt I was ready to compete.

My debut. My first competitive match. Doubt was creeping up on me telling me to pull out. I couldn’t give in to fear. If I did I had already lost, too many people had helped me get ready for this I couldn’t let them down.

Backstage I was beginning to pull myself together while laughing at myself for calling this backstage. I stared into the mirror of the staff toilet of this run down working mans club. Next door in the function sweet an old ring had been set-up.

I could here the pubs owner announcing my opponent entering the ring the small crowd of drunk locals jeering at him.

Tomislav Hristova aka Tomi the Butcher was near the end of his career. When he was young he had done well on the Bulgarian circuit before being completely overwhelmed when he went to America. Now he was here in a Scottish pub with a tiny crowd of people watching him only to boo and cheer the local boy to victoy.

Then I heard Tomi scream out my name not letting the announcer introduce me. Tomi sounded pissed the crowd looking at him like a has-been only added to his fall from grace. He wanted the fight now.

I pushed the doubt out of my mind and I ran toward the ring.

My first match at my local pub. My idiot friends drunk cheering along with the guys that practically lived in the place.

If I didn’t win I’d never live it down.

Sorry Tomi I need this more than you.


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