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Saturday, March 8, 2014

FIGHTS: Preview - 'Puncher's Chance' from the 'Iron Head and Other Stories'

Bowie V. Ibarra

It was an absolute privilege to participate in this fantastic charity anthology from Fight Card called 'Iron Head and Other Stories'.  The publishing group is just the audience I've been looking to find for my 'Pit Fighters' series.
At any rate, here's a preview of the entry, 'Puncher's Chance'.  If you enjoy the excerpt below, pick up a copy today.  Proceeds go to a good cause.
Here's the excerpt from the short story, "Puncher's Chance".




Copyright Bowie Ibarra, Fight Card Books, 2013

This story is dedicated to my late father and my uncle who shared with me the enjoyment and appreciation of boxing.

To my uncle Carlos and Uncle Martin, who both participated in amateur boxing events.

To Mike ‘Night Train’ Trejo and Roman ‘Baby’ Trejo, who taught me the fundamentals of boxing.

To every boxer that ever stepped in the ring, and for every boxer who ever will.  Thank you for honoring the sweet science that is boxing.


My brother’s an idiot.

I love him, but he’s an idiot.

Now, I’m not talking about him being stupid or something like that.  He’s not stupid.  Raymond’s amazing with numbers and has this almost savant-like talent to give you the exact time some event occurred, or the length of a movie.  Like, he can tell you down to the second, or pretty close, really, the hours, minutes, and seconds a movie lasted after the credits roll.  How useful that is in real life, I couldn’t tell you.  But he can do it.

Look, what I’m trying to say here is he’s not an idiot, necessarily.  He just makes bad choices.

That’s why when he came to me on the worst of the worst of days (I’d just lost my job and had rent to pay) to tell me he was in trouble, I knew his problems had nothing to do with numbers, but that he was in a bind for being an idiot. 

Wait.  Scratch that.  Not for being an idiot, but for making bad choices.

And here I was, trying to ease the pain of my day with a few brews at The Montana Bar in San Uvalde when he rolls in.

“Rafael, I, uh, I need to talk to you,” he said to me, looking like someone had just walked over his grave. 

Unfortunately, that impression was completely and totally correct.  I knew something was up by the way he shook my hand.  We always gave a jovial hand slap/grasp kind of thing before we embraced each other like brothers do.  This time he just shook my hand and hugged me, not letting me go for a while.  It was his scared hug.  He didn’t do that very often, but I could tell when he did it that things were not right.

“No, ‘Hey, Rafael.  What’s up?  How was work?’” I replied to him.

“Man, look.  I’m in trouble.  I’m in big trouble.”

“What are you talking about, Raymond?” I asked, looking at him.  He was shaking like a little Chihuahua that had pissed itself after being yelled at.  I thought for a minute he actually had.

            “I need you to come outside with me,” he said, indicating the exit to the dingy bar.

            “Cops?” I asked.

            “Worse,” he said.

I chugged the rest of my beer and placed a fiver on the bar to pay for my brew and leave a little tip before following him to the door.  Como que worse?” I asked.

            I walked outside with him.  Yeah, it was worse alright.

            Rafael looked at me like a kid who had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  He gulped.  It reminded me exactly of how Tom of ‘Tom and Jerry’ fame gulped when he was in trouble, or about to get his head chopped off by Jerry in some cockamamie circumstance.

            Speaking of, we’ll get back to that ‘head chopped off cockamamie circumstance’ thing in a minute, because I recognized the dudes that were standing by the car Raymond had led me to.

            “Aguilar,” I growled at him.  “You’re in trouble with the members of the Aguilar cartel?”

            Rafael could do nothing else but nod at me.  He looked down at the ground.

            Entrar en el coche,” the mustachioed dude in the cowboy hat, Wranglers, and straw hat snarled, waving us to enter the long white Cadillac parked next to the entrance.  I could tell the dude held a piece under his leather vest.

            “Take it easy, amigo,” I said, raising my hands up as I entered the vehicle.  Tranquilo.  Tranquilo.”

            As I got comfortable in my seat, I was quickly followed by Raymond.  Two more dudes dressed in complete cowboy cartel chic sat in front of us.  Both of them held automatic weapons.  They smelled like cigarettes and cheap cologne.

            Raymond looked at me, and all I could do was glare right back at his dumb ass.

            “Don’t talk to me right now,” I said, turning to look out the window as the car drove off.

            Man, I got to tell you, driving down Main Street of San Uvalde never felt so depressing, so sad.  I felt like I was riding in a hearse, some kind of pall bearer that had got the word at the last minute that his brother was dead and was only moments away from putting said brother in the ground.  That’s all that I could be reminded of sitting there, watching sights pass me by that Rafael would never see again.  Hell, maybe I would never see again.  I needed more information.

            “Rafa,” I sighed.  “You got to tell me what’s going on here.  Are you in danger?”

            Rafael just nodded.

            I took a deep breath.  “Am I in danger?” I followed up.

            Rafael just nodded.

            I took another deep breath.  Como que I’m in danger?  Huh?  What do you mean?”

            Rafael shook his head.  “Aguilar wanted to explain himself.”

            “Good Lord,” I sighed.  Aguilar is going to make me watch my brother get his head cut off.  Had to be.  “I swear to Buddha, Rafael, if he doesn’t cut your head off and we get out of this little pickle you got us into, I’ll cut your head off.”

            “There’s hope,” he whispered.  “There’s always hope.”

            “Yeah.  Sure.  Tell that to the last few idiots that messed with the Aguilar cartel,” I shot back at him.  God, Raymond could be such an idiot sometimes.  Make bad choices sometimes.  That’s my brother for you, though.  Even in the darkest circumstances, he always held out hope.

What happens next?  Pick up 'Iron Head and Other Stories' to find out what happens to the brothers as they travel to the deadly drug lord to settle a debt.  Get it HERE.
And if you like outstanding fight stories, then has some picks for you.  Pick up your copy of the 'Pit Fighters' series today in paperback or kindle.  Follow the adventures of the fighters in the south Texas fight stable, San Uvalde International, in 'Baptism by Fire' and 'Double Cross'.  Get them HERE.
Check out the trailers and the book covers for both books below.


BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the acclaimed 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press.  He earned a BFA in Acting and a MA in Theatre History from Texas State University.  His latest titles explore superhero themes, including 'Codename: La Lechusa', 'Room 26 and the Army of Xulhutdul', and 'Tejano Star and the Vengeance of Chaplain Skull'. 
Network with Bowie at his official website,, the leader in Tex-Mexploitation literature.


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