While working at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena as part of the janitorial staff, Dr. Kimble helps boxer Joe Smith stop the bleeding from a bad cut on his forehead after a fight. The next day, Joe's manager Lou hires Kimble to be his new cut man. Kimble goes to training camp with Joe and his wife, Lou, and others. Joe's wife Laura tells Kimble about some memory loss that Joe had experienced. Kimble fears the onset of brain damage and Joe fears it too because Joe once attended medical school and knows the symptoms. Meanwhile, Lou is being investigated by the boxing commission and because of that, everyone around Lou is also being checked out, including Kimble.
Richard Kimble is working in a menial position at a sports arena when a boxer's manager fires the cut man and replaces him with Kimble. Actor James Edwards, as boxer Joe Smith, gives an intense performance as a man who once dreamed of being a doctor, but decided that boxing would give him a better chance at a decent life as a black man living in a white man's world.
An assistant, Dan Digby (actor Hari Rhodes) is against Kimble from the start, because he replaced his friend as cut man, and because Kimble seems to be moving into a position of confidence with Smith.
Smith's wife Laura (actress Ruby Dee) wants her husband to quit boxing and become a doctor, fearing he will be injured or killed in the ring, but this is strongly opposed by Smith's manager Bragan (actor James Dunn), and by Dan. Smith is suffering from the results of past beatings in the ring, making it unwise for him to continue boxing, something quickly picked up by Kimble. Kimble is caught between Smith, Laura, Dan, Bragan, and a policeman posing as a sports reporter, investigating everyone in Smith's camp.
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