225 words. In “The Funniest Bout,” Robert E. Howard recounts a humorous and chaotic amateur boxing match he witnessed, involving two inexperienced, tall, gangling youths engaging in their first fight. From the beginning, their lack of skill is evident as one fighter throws a wildly exaggerated punch, causing his opponent to tumble through the ropes. The match continues in a comically disordered fashion, with missed haymakers, accidental referee involvement, and both fighters clumsily attempting to land punches, often resulting in them hitting anything but each other. Their attempts at footwork lead to further mishaps, including tangled legs and unintentional falls. Despite their efforts, they both end up heavily bruised, bloodied, and enraged, yet neither can effectively hit the other due to their clumsiness. After four rounds of this spectacle, the referee declares the bout a draw, unable to differentiate a winner from the chaotic display.


  • Two amateur boxers: Tall, inexperienced fighters who engage in a comically inept bout, showcasing a lack of boxing skill and coordination.
  • Referee: The official overseeing the match, who nearly becomes a casualty of the fight’s wild swings and ultimately declares the bout a draw after four rounds.

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