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"If he does good, it gives us another ray of hope," says Clickkeyword[Adonis+Frazier]" >Adonis Frazier, a coach at the Circle of Discipline Gym in Minneapolis. "If he does bad, it doesn't necessarily make Minnesota look bad. But it's going to be an, 'I told you so.' It was a fluke."

"We were the stud state back then," he boasts. "Long before 'Pa' Ingalls was wiping Laura's tears, we were already a hot spot of celebrity pugilism."

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Truax is a specialist, not a bull an introvert who turns an opponent's aggression against himself. Rather than impose his will, he makes you look stupid for trying to impose yours.

There's no room for error. Although this burden has been unbearable for previous fighters, Truax shows no signs of slowing. With one month to go before his next fight, he doubles his workouts and quintuples the number of sparring partners.

"Sometimes it's hard to watch you be that patient," he says. "Fuckin' punch him, man! Seriously. I don't need to tell you what to do, but Jesus."

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The period between the 1920s and 1950s has been referred to in Minnesota boxing circles as the "power decades" because of the wealth of world contenders notable among them another pair of brothers, the Flanagans. But by the 1980s, as the sport's popularity declined, it became harder to make a buck. There were payoffs and pseudonyms, palookas and pimps. Promoters would ask their relatives to take a dive or bring in a club fighter with 100 losses to his name. The octogenarian was once a matchmaker himself and alerted the state's boxing commission to suspicious bouts."You hear those things, but proving them is something else," he says.

Truax dodges a flurry of fists and counters. A jab forces his opponent back. Then comes another, driving both of them to the ropes. A third and it's all over. Caleb hits the boy square Air Max Shoes Pics in the mouth, mashing flesh into broken bone.

"It was basically hit and not get hit the moving around, the fast feet," says Clickkeyword[Jake+Wegner]" >Jake Wegner, a historian and the founder of the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame. "It wasn't the Clickkeyword[Mike+Tyson]" >Mike Tyson stand and trade style. It was, 'I'm gonna box your ears off, hopefully knock you out, but Air Max Versions

Truax peels off a Air Max Classic

With his tongue, the boy fishes for the chipped remains of a lower tooth. He proudly spits it on the mat for all to see.

years, Truax climbed the ladder of the professional boxing world to earn a USBA belt and the undivided respect of the boxing scene in Minnesota.

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Air Max Shoes Pics

Caleb Truax faces his toughest opponent yet

But their lasting legacy is the smart, crafty style of boxing they helped create in the early 20th century one that Truax himself employs and likens to "chess, not checkers."

piece of smoked salmon while one of his cousins reaches into the water, barehanded, to remove the ice chunks blocking his view. He marvels at the way Truax keeps his calm in the ring, waiting for the best moment to strike.

I'm not gonna take a shit ton of punishment in the process to prove I'm a man.'"

Yet the pundits on the coasts remain skeptical. Once a mecca of competition, Minnesota is now written off as a fly over zone on the way to Clickkeyword[Las+Vegas]" >Las Vegas.

Truax gazes through a pair of glistening Clickkeyword[Ray+Ban]" >Ray Ban glasses at a frozen, freshly powdered lake in Clickkeyword[Monticello]" >Monticello. It's a cloudless Sunday morning, the only time this week that he can truly rest his feet. Inside a tiny shack, he brushes the snow from his puffy jacket and sits on a bucket, surrounded by two family members and two friends with their fishing gear.

When asked about the pressure, Truax repeats the line he tells himself every morning and night: "I can handle it."By the end of their careers, Mike and Tommy had combined to rack up more than 200 wins in the middleweight and heavyweight divisions. They were later inducted into the Clickkeyword[International+Boxing+Hall+of+Fame]" >International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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Blair insists that fake fights took place all over the country. "In boxing, you can kind of dictate victory. There's a difference between sporting boxing and going to a show and, unfortunately, a lot in Minnesota is just going to a show.""When you're fighting on the Midwest level you're fine, but when you step up outside that, quite often you come up short," Atlas says.

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He credits Truax's handlers for having raised a smart fighter. He notes that Truax has been tested the right way, against progressively tougher opponents, but stops short of declaring the Minnesotan above the lot. The next couple of fights will prove whether Truax is "thought of as a player not just in the Midwest," Atlas says, "but a real player. Period. In this business."

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Air Max Shoes Pics

It was a departure from the brutality of earlier days. During the 1880s and '90s, the Twin Cities was considered one of the baddest places on the planet for boxers. At some events, the rounds would continue indefinitely until a man hit the floor. Contenders came from all over and took pride in being here. If a reporter made the mistake of referring to a boxer's out of state hometown, an angry letter to the editor was sure to follow, Wegner says.

The room warms with laughter, as Truax smiles and leans closer to the propane furnace. Such complaints, though not always made in jest, are common in a blood sport like boxing. Even greats such as Clickkeyword[Floyd+Mayweather]" >Floyd Mayweather and Clickkeyword[Bernard+Hopkins]" >Bernard Hopkins have been accused of putting on boring shows.

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