Published in Fight Stories, June 1930. Howard’s IRON MEN has about 10.000 words more than the magazine version THE IRON MAN. Howard got $200.00 for this story.

“Iron Men” unfolds the gripping tale of Mike Brennon, a heavyweight contender known for his indomitable spirit, exceptional resilience, and the sheer force of his punches. Presented in a captivating narrative that delves into themes of sacrifice, love, and the relentless pursuit of dreams against all odds, this story captures the essence of human struggle and redemption through the lens of the boxing world.

Through the ups and downs of Mike Brennon’s tumultuous career, “Iron Men” explores the themes of love, sacrifice, and the pursuit of dreams, culminating in a powerful narrative of redemption and the realization of what truly matters in life.

Alternate titles:

FALL GUY and IRON MEN. See also IRON MEN (first draft).


Chapter 1 [Untitled]: We’re introduced to Mike Brennon, a formidable figure in the boxing ring with a reputation for his “cannon-ball” left, “thunderbolt” right, and an unmatched fighting heart. His journey begins in a small Nevada town, where, amidst a carnival, he volunteers to fight “Young Firpo,” revealing his exceptional resilience and fighting spirit.

Chapter 2 – Scenting The Kill: Mike’s relentless ambition and raw talent catch the eye of Steve Amber, who sees potential in Mike despite his lack of finesse and technical skill. Despite initial reluctance, Mike agrees to be managed by Steve, driven by a mysterious, urgent need for money.

Chapter 3 – White-Hot Fighting Fury: Mike’s career, fueled by his incredible stamina and power, begins to take off. However, his lack of boxing technique and reliance on sheer force are highlighted as potential flaws. Despite this, Mike’s determination to fight and win for the sake of a mysterious personal goal remains undeterred.

Chapter 4 – Iron Mike’s Dread: The narrative delves deeper into Mike’s personal life, revealing his love for Marjory Walshire and his motivation to fight: to provide for her and lift her out of poverty. This chapter exposes the emotional depth and complexity of Mike’s character, showcasing his vulnerability and the sacrifices he’s willing to make for love.

Chapter 5 – The Roll Of The Iron Men: Mike’s fights become more brutal and his fame grows, yet so does the toll on his body. His relationship with Marjory becomes strained as his physical condition worsens, and his resolve to continue fighting for financial security begins to impact his health and future prospects.

Chapter 6 – A Cinch To Win!: Despite warnings from those closest to him, Mike’s obsession with fighting and winning for Marjory’s sake leads him to a pivotal match against Iron Mike Costigan. His unwavering commitment to his cause and the lure of the ring push him to risk everything.

Chapter 7 – Framed: In a shocking turn of events, Mike is drugged before his fight with Costigan, leading to his first and only knockout. It’s revealed that Marjory, desperate to save Mike from further harm, was behind the act. The story concludes with Mike acknowledging the true cost of his ambitions and choosing love and life with Marjory over the destructive path of his boxing career.


  • Mike Brennon: The protagonist, a heavyweight boxer with unmatched resilience and power, driven by a deep love for Marjory and a desperate need to secure financial stability for their future.
  • Steve Amber: Mike’s manager, who sees potential in him and becomes a key figure in his boxing career, offering guidance and support.
  • Marjory Walshire: Mike’s love interest, the motivation behind his relentless pursuit of success in the boxing ring. Her actions to save Mike from himself highlight the depth of her love and the sacrifices she’s willing to make.
  • Spike Ganlon: A close associate and friend of Mike, offering insight into Mike’s character and the boxing world. His observations provide a critical perspective on Mike’s journey and the challenges he faces.
  • Young Firpo: Mike’s opponent in his early boxing days, setting the stage for Mike’s rise in the boxing world.
  • Iron Mike Costigan: Mike’s rival in the ring, representing the pinnacle of Mike’s boxing challenges and the ultimate test of his resilience and spirit.

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