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Rages are red
My opponents black n' blue
The sound of the bell
Means it's time to be fed
And as you know
I never bite off
More than I can chew
In Memory of Evander Holyfield's ear (1962-1997)

Thomas W. Case's Historical Figure Poetry Challenge, Mike Tyson.
Cassie Lane Gray, ever so slight of frame
Hit harder than a train, playing her martial games
Cassie ran eight miles a day, and she never strayed
Her routine was tough as iron, her boxing gloves were frayed

Her momma put her in ballet, but later on, she disobeyed
Strapping wraps to wrists, uppercut finisher each day
And when she said she wanted to box, her momma turned away
But she was gonna fight, with no one in her way

Cassie Lane Gray grew up poor in San Jose
Never had much to say, just wanted in the fray
Her ballet, in a way, made her opponents pay
As she moved with dancer's sway, they later would convey

Cassie's family prayed that she would portray
The sweet and simpering visage of a classy dame
But it wasn't in the cards, for Cassie Lane Gray
The "Bantam Weight Ballerina"
A strong young fighting woman
Was in the ring to stay
This poem was inspired by a filthy ragtag tomboy friend that I spent a lot of my youth with.  She was tough as nails and loved to box.  Her parents had tried to put her on the pageant circuit every year, and every year they would find her in a ripped and muddy dress, fighting with the boys.  She was such a wonderful person and despite several state boxing championships, her parents never loved or appreciated her work and accomplishments.  Follow your dreams and don't let anyone try fit you into their mold.
Ali's Song
by Michael R. Burch

They say that gold don't tarnish. It ain't so.
They say it has a wild, unearthly glow.
A man can be more beautiful, more wild.
I flung their medal to the river, child.
I flung their medal to the river, child.

They hung their coin around my neck; they made
my name a bridle, "called a ***** a *****."
They say their gold is pure. I say defiled.
I flung their slave's name to the river, child.
I flung their slave's name to the river, child.

Ain't got no quarrel with no Viet Cong
that never called me ******, did me wrong.
A man can't be lukewarm, 'cause God hates mild.
I flung their notice to the river, child.
I flung their notice to the river, child.

They said, "Now here's your bullet and your gun,
and there's your cell: we're waiting, you choose one."
At first I groaned aloud, but then I smiled.
I gave their "future" to the river, child.
I gave their "future" to the river, child.

My face reflected up, dark bronze like gold,
a coin God stamped in His own image—BOLD.
My blood boiled like that river—strange and wild.
I died to hate in that dark river, child,
Come, be reborn in this bright river, child.

The poem above has been set to music in a YouTube video by Lillian Y. Wong.

You are free to copy the poem for noncommercial use, such as a school project, essay or report, or just because you like it and want to share, but please credit Michael R. Burch as the author.

NOTES: (1) Muhammad Ali said that he threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River after experiencing racism in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Confirming his account, the medal was recovered by Robert Bradbury and his wife Pattie in 2014 during the Annual Ohio River Sweep. The Ali family paid $200,000 to regain possession of the medal. Ali later made a joke about the incident that caused him to toss his medal into the river. He said that he took his medal into a white downtown restaurant and ordered a cheeseburger. The waitress told him, "We don't serve negroes." Ali replied, "I don't eat them either. Just bring me a cheeseburger!" (2) When drafted during the Vietnam War, Ali refused induction, reputedly saying: "I ain't got no quarrel with those Viet Cong; no Vietnamese ever called me a ******." (3) The notice mentioned in my poem is Ali's draft notice, which metaphorically gets tossed into the river along with his slave name. (4) The poem was originally published by the literary journal Black Medina. It has since been published by Other Voices International, Thanal Online, Freshet, Poems About and Poem List.
I lay on the ground ****** and bruised.
Momentarily dazed and confused.
Looking up at my opponent, that which we call Life.
Standing over me, filled with heartache and strife.
Trying to hold me down, foot upon my chest.
Taunting me to stand again, to manifest.
To reassess my situation, the choices that have to lead to this moment.
I lay battered and broken, silently moaning things left unspoken, wistfully hoping for another opportunity.
The possibility to show my determination and ability to overcome such adversity.
My opponent steps away smiling, encouraging me to get to my feet.
Yelling that my time is not over; telling me I have much to complete.
I look up to see Hope in my corner, that which fills me with light.
To stand again determined and continue to fight.
Knowing good and well I will fall again in this brawl.
That I will have to crawl, struggle, and give it my all.
For this opponent, Life, he ain't easy.
Though he smiles, he is crazy, quite unfair, at times ******.
I must remember the things I am fighting for.
Love, friendship, happiness, the things I adore.
Hindsight is 20/20, regret is meaningless, time cannot be reversed.
I look forward, smile back and yell ,"I am right here. do your worst!"
My best regarding always getting up and attacking life
Brandon Conway Oct 2018
My countenance
made love with the harsh earth
she left me
and bloodied
with a couple days
plucked out of my memory
thank whoever is above
for the few buddies
that pulled me to the
corner with a flashlight
bag of cold ice
shoulder rubs
and words of advice
I got back in the ring
ready for to resume the fight
I learned that night that
you can't beat Gaia
but that you could endure
a few rounds.

Just kidding,
I was knocked out
during the first round.
Brandon Amberger Feb 2018
Well I'm glad you asked.
I'm your next monumental task.
Call me Rufus because I'm about to make your empire crumble.
From my earthquaking hook, it will make the crowds rumble.
Float like a butterfly, hit like Tyson.
I got the strength of the All American Bison.
That left they say is “the kiss of death” please,
you haven't seen a real American breed.
A combo of the world's greatest.
My team is the smartest and latest.
What could you have to possibly show?
I’ll hit you with the jab high and low.
You’re skills of movement and power are ****.
****, I can’t wait to make you cry and quit
Nandish Malhotra Jan 2018
As he stepped into the ring,
Everyone his name did sing.
They wanted him to win
The title, for the commoners.
The title in his last fight.

He was out of practice,
His reflexes had slacked.
Gloves, boxers, guard, did him justice
There was something which he lacked.
Lacked in his last fight.

Before he could hear his favorite song,
Followed by the nerve-racking gong.
He had a look around
To catch a familiar sight,
Have a look at her before his last fight.

He checked the stands,
Then glanced around the ropes
And before he had given all hopes
He heard a familiar sound
Right before the first round.
Go hubby go! Punch him left and right!
She screamed with all her might.
Putting a smile on his face,
And then he boxed like an ace.
Winning the title, just for her.
The title in his last fight.
In this poem I have tried to capture the role of a boxer's wife to lift his spirits before the boxing match.
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