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Testimony


Fighting

By Karl C. Priest

Fighting was common where I grew up and I would fight in a flash, but I was never much of a fighter. Once my glasses were off (removed or broken by a punch) I was at a great handicap. That never stopped me from “going at it” and high school classmates will recall a melee I started during an intramural basketball game. My glasses were broken and dangled around my neck (by the safety strap) as the brawl went on. Thankfully, often cooler heads saved me from the effects of my temper.

It is not my desire to get into details, but a little research in South Charleston police records will reveal an incident that will verify the fighting facts.

When I became a Christian the (much less frequent) fights really did not reflect well on the cause of Christ. Finally, God took care of the matter.

A couple of years after I got out of the Navy I decided to enter the Golden Gloves competition. According to a Charleston Gazette (1-21-92) article, the era in which I participated “was nothing more than an amateur Toughman contest.” I was in good shape, but never touched a speed or heavy bag or trained like a boxer should.

As it turned out my first (and only) bout was with a guy named Butch who was a member of a boxing club. That sort of says it all. The Charleston Civic Center had about 5000 rowdy fans when I went in the ring. I did fairly well until we went into a clinch in the first round. The noise was so loud that I could not hear and I thought that the referee told us to “break” which would mean to separate and step back. The ref had not said that. I released Butch and stood up with my guard down. The next punch broke my nose and knocked me out cold (KO). Now, in my favor, some pretty good amateur and pro fighters have suffered the same fate, although not for such a dumb reason. Out of 32 bouts that night, 11 were KO's! The January 22, 1971 Charleston Gazette report said that Butch “felt like the king of the ring after he kayoed Karl Priest with a resounding right cross. He danced around the ring…” I like to think that he figured he had just eliminated his toughest completion. Butch went on to win the championship of our middle-weight division that year. After I regained consciousness I was unaware I had been down for the count so I went after him!

Thank God for that punch! Had it not happened, my ego would have led me out of His will.

God took the fighting out of my life (well, there was a rare near relapse over the years), but He left the fight in me.

That trait has worked well against the barrage of liberal, leftist, atheist, and evolutionist rhetorical punches thrown at me over the years.

Now, my desire is to someday say, with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”