Alfred's first fight is nothing glamorous. He doesn't even know who his opponent will be until a few minutes before the contest. As Bud says, "[It] ain't Madison Square Garden." In the Donatelli code, however, every fight is important. An ex-Marine named Elston Hubbard opens the card impressively, knocking out his opponent in one minute, twenty seconds and foreshadowing a key event later in the novel. He is mature, strong, and confident. Even Bud is impressed. The ritual for Alfred is the same as it is for Donatelli's professional fighters. He even receives an impressive white robe with his name on the back in red letters. The lessons Alfred is learning are as important as any match: If he listens to Donatelli, he does well; if he does not, he is on the canvas. Henry's role expands in this chapter. He is responsible for Alfred's welfare throughout the hours
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