Winding the tapes between his fingers was the ritual that took him out of the world and placed him mind and body into the bubble of the bout. From this point onwards nothing else would matter until his opponent was out, or he was.
On the edge of his awareness he could hear Frank checking his bag; best cut man in the business, and the oldest, but he still checked the bag three times before any match. The noise finished and he felt Frank’s hand on his shoulder; a silent encouragement, a notice that Frank would be by his side.
The tapes were wound, and without fanfare Jerry was holding out the first glove, always the left first.
Gloves on, quick warm-up, hood up and start for the ring.
He stepped out into the gaze of the arena and the crowd went wild. His heart skipped a beat, just as it always did, and then he raised his right hand and started to jog down to the ring, hood falling back just as planned.
Into the ring, gently hopping from foot to foot, adrenaline now at full effect.
In the other corner; smiling.