Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Microstory 778: Pothook

There are several moves in boxing, most of which were created during the invention of the sport itself, for they were really just formalizations of moves that already existed for real hand-to-hand combat. Traditionally, boxing has been a male sport, with women generally gravitating towards the various forms of martial arts. One notable boxer was a woman named Siveda Gualerni. She was large and muscular, weighing into bargeweight when she was only nineteen years old. What she lacked in speed, she made up for in power, of course. She was nearly impossible to knock down. One of her most common moves was to just let the other boxer hit her as many times as they could before they were too tired to take much of a beating back. During one match, however, she discovered this tactic would not work. She was up against former military officer, Sergei ‘Deadvelvet’ Fannen, who was known for being able to hit pressure points just so. Since they were participating in a Mystery Showdown, she didn’t know they would be competing against each other until the very last minute, which meant she didn’t have enough time to strategize a plan. She tried to fight like she normally did, but this was proving unwise, so she broke formation, and observed a regular stance. Still, it was only a matter of time before Deadvelvet found the right series of pressure punches, and took her out. In a desperate move, Gualerni tried to send him a left hook, but lost her balance in the middle of it, and her right hand ended up on the other side of his head as her instincts were just trying to keep her upright. The result was a devastating blow to both of Deadvelvet’s temples and ears that had terrible repercussions for his inner ear. For the next several moments, he was unable to maintain his balance, which gave Gualerni the edge she needed to knock him down for the count. The audience and announcers were shocked, not that she had won, but that she had done so in such an unorthodox manner, using a move no one had seen before. Reporters would later refer to this as the pothook, suggestive of her holding pot on the other side of the opponent’s head. The International Boxing Council would come to refer to it as a violation after Deadvelvet was shown to have permanent hearing loss. Ashamed of what she had done, Gualerni quit boxing that week, and started pursuing a career in nursing, but she would always be remembered as the inventor of the pothook; the only move in history to be used once before being deemed foul, except for that time a boxer bit another’s ear off.

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