A hook, a swing, a heavy straight - Im cracking like a nut... My vis-a-vis, a welterweight, Hits hard an upper-cut. He corners me, he hits me more, I hardly hold on... Another hook - Im on the floor, And I am almost gone. My rival was thinking while mincing my face: Boy, life is so cool and I am the ace! The ref yells Nine! - Im half alive, But I get up again... I dodge, I leap, I block, I dive And even points I gain! Its not that for the final phase My vigor I reserve. Ive never hit somebodys face - Just havent got the nerve! My rival was thinking while mincing my face: Boy, life is so cool and I am the ace! The crowd roars: Dont yield an inch! Knock out this timid dope! My rival gets into a clinch And I cling to a rope! He works non-stop, hes real tough, He saves no jabs, no whacks; I whispered then: Youve toiled enough, Youre tired, man, relax! But he went on thinking still mincing my face: Boy, life is so cool and I am the ace! He keeps on punching with a snort, The curtain soon must fall... Dont call this murder - its the sport Of manliness and all... He tried too hard and in the end, Exhausted, down he broke... The referee raised up my hand Which had produced no stroke! He was now lying and thought: Life is cool, But one is quite smart and another - a fool!
George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton