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**SPOILERS** Handsome, and too pretty to be a pug, Robert Taylor as boxer Tommy McCoy is quite convincing in the ring as a professional boxer as he is out of it. Where he has all the young ladies,on the screen and in the audience, going completely bananas over him including pretty Sheila Carson, Maureen O'Sullivan. The daughter of his manager Jim Cain who's really big time Wall Street honcho James W. Carson, Edward Arnold.
Matched up in a bout with his good friend and boyhood hero former light Heavyweight Champ Johnny Martin, William Gargan. Tommy tries to go easy on the over-the-hill ex-champ but catches him with a solid left-hook in the second round that not only knocks Johnny out but ends up killing him. With Johnny leaving a wife and young son behind and nobody to look after them Tommy gives her his share of the purse. Instead of paying off his irresponsible dad's Brian McCoy, Frank Morgan, debt that he owes big-time-bookie Jim Cain. Tommy outraged to find out that his father sold out his contract to Cain walks out on him and boxing.
Out on the streets for six months without any work Tommy comes back to Cain for a job and agrees, reluctantly, to fight for him, giving 10% of his purse to the later Johnny Martin's Famiy, at the same time have his dad front as his manager.
At the Carson Estate, where Cain told Tommy that he rented out, Tommy, after meeting Carson's daughter Sheila, realized that Carson is really Wall Street Banker James W. Carson. To his credit Tommy doesn't tell Sheila that not to hurt her by exposing her fathers double life. Cain uses Tommy in a scam to trick big-time gamblers like his fellow bookie "Pug" Walsh,Nat Pendleton, to bet against him. Telling them that Tommy a left-handed one punch palooka without a right hand. After a string of "lucky punch" victories by Tommy "Pug" starts to get suspicious about Cain playing him as a sucker. One day, together with members of his gang, Cain runs into Tommy's dad at a local bar.
Drunk and talking freely about the scam being pulled by both Tommy and Cain the unaware Mr. McCoy spills the beans and ends up being kidnapped by the Walsh gang. Finding out about Cain's scheme and him having a daughter who's in love with Tommy the mobsters also kidnap Sheila. Tommy's informed through a flower-gram to throw the fight he having that night at the garden if he ever want's to see them alive again.
Told to take a dive in the eight round, Pug bet $10,000.00 for that to happen, means that Tommy has to take a vicious beating for seven rounds. Tommy just about out on his feet by the time the eight round starts finds out from Sheila, who escaped from the Walsh Mob, that his dad in the end made up for all the heartbreak that he did to him and his mom through the years. In one final and unselfish act Mr. McCoy became the father to Tommy that up until then he never was; you can just guess what happened in that faithful eight round after The battered and almost beaten Tommy McCoy heard that bit of news.
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