The event was held at a nightclub out by the beach, which, when the occasion arose, doubled for sporting events. It was a huge room with a high ceiling. The boxing ring was in the middle of the room, rimmed with row after row of seats. When they got there, the place was packed.
Music played so loud, it successfully drowned out the roar of the crowd. The ring looked busy with staff preparing for the fight. There were photographers lining the front row, already snapping shots, though it wasn’t clear what they found newsworthy. Maybe they needed some pre-fight atmosphere for their stories.
Abby managed to find their seats, and Gisele followed her. They’d paid extra for good seats. There was no point in going to a fight unless the fighters were visible. That was the real show. It had been a while since Gisele had been to a fight. It was really Abby’s thing. The raucous crowd and thirst for blood weren’t her favorite form of entertainment. And if she wanted to see sexy guys, there were plenty of shows at home in Vegas.
But Gisele couldn’t ignore the thrill. There was something about two guys with bronzed bodies, duking it out, that sent adrenaline shooting through her veins. The noise level, as well as the music volume, rose before the fighters entered.
Abby bounced up and down in her chair, then reach over and hugged Gisele. “It’s about ready to start.”
With all the noise, it wasn’t easy to hear the announcer. Plus, when the fighters strutted into the ring, the crowd roared. Gisele had forgotten how out of control a fight crowd could get. It wasn’t like other sports where the audience followed the game, only enlivened when a player did something notable. Fights were different, and the audience was composed of avid fans that looked ready to rip apart the boxing ring if the main event didn’t get going.
Without much delay, the fights started, and Gisele watched the muscled men pound on each other. There was a certain skill involved, deft footwork, and tactics. Lots of testosterone in that ring, with each contender doing his best to knock his opponent to the mat, or at least get in some good punches that the judges would count appropriately.
Gisele was caught up in the enthusiasm, and leaned forward in her seat to get a better view. She missed the introduction of the next fighter, but his hand was still pumping the air when she looked up. The announcer turned to another fighter standing on the other side of the ring, calling out his name, height, weight, and where he was from.
The information fell on deaf ears, but not due to the hoots and hollers of the rowdy crowd. Gisele stared at the man in the ring, letting the scene around her blur into the background. It was as though time had stopped, all had gone still, except for the fighter before her.
The announcer screamed, “Micah Thu-u-under Pu-u-unch Rinaldi!” and the stud nodded to the crowd while pumping his fists in the air. He had dark, spiky hair, just enough scruff on his jaw to be sexy, and captivating eyes. Even from a distance, his presence affected her. He owned the stage, his opponent, and the crowd.
Micah turned to face the other way, showing off to his fans. The back of his royal-blue robe said THUNDER PUNCH in bold gold letters that glittered under the lights. He turned back, letting the robe slip off his shoulders then tossing it away. Shedding the covering revealed his striated abs that appeared to be carved from steel. The boxer shorts he wore drew her gaze downward, as she drank in the sight of his muscular legs.
His shoulders were like granite and his biceps were pumped, though he’d yet to deliver a punch. Gisele’s mouth was dry and she licked her lips just as Abby turned to her. “Oh my God, do you see that guy?”
Without waiting for an answer, her friend turned back toward the ring. Gisele’s eyes remained glued to Micah. The referee performed the ritual of starting the fight, then backed out of the away. When the bell rang, Micah moved agilely, bouncing on his feet and stepping forward. His demeanor was confident, his stance threatening.
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