Why I Chose a Boxer as a Romantic Hero
By Vina Arno
The commercial success of the recent fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao attests to the enduring popularity of boxing. The welterweight bout, which Mayweather won, generated $400 million in pay-per-view sales and more than $72 million in live-gate ticket sales. It broke all records of revenues for a boxing match.
My debut romance book, In His Corner, happens to be about an Olympic gold-medalist boxer who gets knocked out at first sight by the ER doctor who treats his cut. I’ve been asked more than once whether Manny Pacquiao has anything to do with the subject of my book. Yes and no.
Pacquiao, a champion in eight different weight divisions and one of the world’s best fighters today, is Filipino. I’m Filipino-American, so naturally, people wonder if Pacquiao is the reason I chose a boxing hero.
In my book, Tommy “the Juggernaut” Raines is three months away from turning pro when he falls hard for the beautiful Dr. Siena Carr. The immediate inspiration for the Juggernaut is not Pacquiao, but the British actor, Tom Hardy, whose extraordinary performance as a cage fighter in “Warrior” blew me away. Hardy was so convincing as a mixed martial arts fighter in the 2011 movie that former heavy weight champ David Haye challenged Hardy to get in the ring with him.
The character’s intensity and physical prowess inspired the romantic hero in my book, but I made him an Olympic boxer instead. I was a child when “Thrilla in Manila”—the famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier—was held with great fanfare in the Philippines. The event left a tremendous impression on me, especially the larger-than-life Ali.
Then there’s my compatriot, Pacquiao, whose career I’ve been following. Indeed I was more familiar with boxing than mixed martial arts, thanks to the Pac-Man. So, why did I choose a boxing hero? It was all of the above. That’s how inspiration works sometimes.
In His Corner, Book Excerpt
Dr. Siena Carr went straight to the sink, her back to the patient. She dropped the clipboard on the counter and washed her hands. When she turned around, she gasped. “What are you doing?”
The Juggernaut was undressing. Before she could say another word, he was naked. A glorious sight that sent her heart racing and her face burning. Did he know that he looked like a sculpture by Michelangelo? Except for the tattoo on his right shoulder, this man was David incarnate.
She looked away abruptly, grabbing the clipboard. She didn’t even know his name! She looked at his paperwork. Tommy Raines. “Mr. Raines, please put on your clothes.”
She continued scanning his form. Occupation: boxer. Age: twenty-two. Weight: 160 pounds. Height: six feet. Blood type: O positive. No pre-existing health conditions. His temperature and blood pressure were normal. Reason for ER visit: a cut sustained from sparring.
She faced him. Thank God, he was clothed again.
“Sorry about that,” he said. “I thought you’re supposed to check me out.”
Did he just saycheck him out? “Mr. Raines, this is an ER, not a bar. I don’t check out patients. Do you mean to say check up?”
He smiled. “Yeah, check up.”
“I’m going to take care of your cut, but I’m not doing a checkup. If you need one, you should go to your primary care doctor.”
“I don’t like doctors. I avoid hospitals and clinics as much as possible, but my cut kept bleeding even after I showered. So here I am.”
In His Corner by Vina Arno, published by Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing (April 2015), is available at:
Vina Arno is a pen name used by Cindy Fazzi, a Philippine-born American writer who has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. Her short stories have been published in the Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.
Learn more about the author:
Web site: www.cindyfazzi.com