The Last Bar
There is something else that attracts me. A full-size boxing ring sitting somewhat at odds amongst the dining tables and chairs. Specifically, it’s set up for kick-boxing 'Muay Thai' style and every other night, the venue plays host to a bout. Two young teenagers, brought in from surrounding towns, go toe-to-toe for three short rounds.
Slight of build and will-o-the-wisp, their stature belies the ferocity of the contest. Raw power and energy explode with agility and flexibility - the sound of the body contact is intense and immediate, combinations of high kicks and punches landing, together with wild swings into the night.
Tonight, against the ropes just metres away, sweat flies as a punch follows a kick to the thigh, finding it’s mark on the side of a head. The boy in the blue shorts is sent falling to the canvas again, legs at once failing and flailing, eyes now not so wide. The referee kneels low to check he is ok, but he can’t go on.