The film tracks the sad story of a hobbled, punch-drunk fighter too proud to call it quits in the beak busting business. Here, the pug is 111-bout veteran, Mountain Rivera, played with great lumbering pathos by Anthony Quinn. After Rivera survives a clockwork beatdown by a real life Cassius Clay, a doctor recommends retirement. Rivera's calculating manager, Maish Rennick (Gleason), however, won't hear of it, as he still has a few outstanding bills he needs to settle with the mob. As Rennick mercilessly pushes Rivera back into the ring for one final humiliating payoff, to the tune of heart-wrenching protests by his trainer (Rooney) and employment counsellor (Grace Miller), one is reminded of those haunting words by Jimmy Cannon: "Boxing is the red light district of sports."
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