“The Ferocious Ape” is an unfinished story focusing on the boxing scene, highlighting the strategic manipulation of public perception to boost a fighter’s popularity and ensure financial success.

This story explores themes of manipulation, the power of public perception, and the lengths to which individuals will go for fame and financial gain in the competitive world of boxing.


The story opens with Abe Garfinkle, the manager, contemplating the financial struggles he and his boxer face due to the boxer’s injured hand. Abe wishes to find a fighter with a more primitive, attention-grabbing appearance than his current boxer. Upon Abe’s request, the narrator seeks out Ape Mahoney, a boxer known for his ferocious and intimidating appearance. Ape, eager for a match and in need of money, agrees to meet with Abe.

Abe devises a plan to make Ape hated on the West Coast, believing that extreme emotions, whether love or hate, draw crowds. He arranges for Ape to substitute for another boxer in a fight, during which Ape is to exhibit excessively rough behavior. The plan is successful, leading to a police intervention and overnight jail time for the team, but significantly raising Ape’s profile through media coverage.

Abe continues to exploit Ape’s fearsome reputation, orchestrating fights where Ape’s brutal and rule-breaking style further alienates him from the audience, yet increases his allure as a spectacle, thereby drawing larger crowds. Despite Abe’s manipulations, Ape’s genuine kindness towards children is accidentally revealed to reporters, briefly softening his public image. However, Abe quickly redirects the narrative, instructing Ape to lose his next fight by committing a blatant foul, thereby restoring his status as a despised figure in the boxing world.


  • Abe Garfinkle: The cunning manager of the narrator and Ape Mahoney, who devises a plan to financially exploit the hate Ape generates among boxing fans.
  • The Narrator: A boxer under Abe’s management, who introduces Ape Mahoney to Abe and participates in the scheme to raise Ape’s profile.
  • Ape Mahoney: A boxer known for his intimidating and primitive appearance. He becomes the centerpiece of Abe’s plan to draw large crowds by being the fighter everyone loves to hate.
  • One-Round Handler and Other Boxers: Participants in the boxing matches, contributing to the spectacle and Ape’s portrayal as a villain.
  • The Police and the Audience: Play a role in amplifying Ape’s reputation through their reactions to his staged antics in and out of the ring.
  • Reporters: Unwittingly assist Abe’s plan by providing extensive coverage of Ape’s exploits, further increasing his notoriety and the public’s interest in his matches.

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