Alfred prepares for his last fight, at Parkway Gardens in Brooklyn, as he did the others, but he is noticeably more nervous. The fight will be the climax of Alfred's climb, just as, structurally, it is the climax of the novel. All other activity has led to this crescendo.As they wait at Spoon's apartment, Henry tries to calm Alfred and reflects on his own budding career as a trainer. Alfred is especially important to the neophyte assistant manager because he was the first fighter entrusted to Henry by Mr. Donatelli. Henry reveals that it was he who bought the white terry-cloth robe for Alfred prior to the first fight. He feels that he has found his role in managing; he doesn't limp as much now that he has more important things to think about. After Alfred retires from the ring, Donatelli will allow Henry to train some of the newcomers.
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