PAYBACK TIME ( Part 3)

Ross turned round slowly. He kept the whisky glass in his hand in case it was needed. As he turned he made a mental note of who was where, if it all kicked off he’d need to know where to start throwing the punches.
In front of him was a short but stocky middle aged man, cropped hair, big smile, mad eyes and a large scar that went from mouth to ear. It was Terry Murphy. Ross was six foot five and towered over the man in front of him.
“I thought there was a smell of shit in here. Well, well, well, Terry Murphy, I thought you were still banged up sucking some screws cock.”
“You thought wrong old son, I’m out and having a little drink with some old friends. You still taking it up the arse from Paul Fletcher?”
Ross was used to this kind of banter. It didn’t faze him, in fact he quite enjoyed it. It was a game and eventually he would win. He leaned across and whispered to Terry.
“Better than taking a few bullets from him Terry, like you did.”
Terry Murphy went to move forward but was held back by his brother and two other guys that Ross didn’t know.
“Touch a nerve did I Terry, that’s if you’ve got any left after they took all the shrapnel out.”
Once again Terry Murphy wanted to get at him. His brother stepped in and stood between them.
“Not now Terry, not here. Another day.”
Ross was in control, he knew Terry couldn’t do anything, not today, not in this pub. He drank down his large scotch and very slowly put his empty glass on the bar.
“Come on Dave, let’s go, don’t want to spoil the gay boy’s party. Bye Terry, speak soon yeh?”
Terry Murphy composed himself and shook off his brother.
“Look forward to it Ross, give my regards to Paul won’t you, tell him I’ll be in touch.”
Once again Ross couldn’t wait to get a final dig at Terry.
“What. Just like you touched all the boy’s in prison, not sure Paul would like that, he’s straight didn’t you know?”
Ross heard the commotion as he left the pub. He could imagine the scene. Murphy was now foaming at the mouth, he wanted to get to Ross but couldn’t. Ross smiled, round one to him.
He told Dave to wait, then follow Terry Murphy once he left, keep his distance and don’t do anything silly. Ross drove off to see Paul.
It was about forty five minutes to Paul’s house out in Essex. Paul lived in Emerson Park, the poshest area in the county. It was where millionaires lived, each house was detached and different from the others, you couldn’t buy anything here for under £1.5m. Ross always dreamed of a house here, he lived in Upminster a few miles away, still very nice, but not on the same scale as Paul.
He saw Tony and John parked outside in the Range Rover; he flashed his lights in sequence to let them know it was him and everything was okay. They had a signal, three flashes were okay, anymore and there was something wrong. The more flashes the bigger the threat.
Paul’s electronic gates opened slowly and Ross pulled into the large sweeping drive way.
There was no sign of Paul, but he knew that Tony would have rung and told him that he was here. Paul would be looking at his CCTV, paranoid bastard that he was.
Ross walked round to the back of the house, the diggers had stopped and the garden was empty, the large patio doors were open and Ross made his way in and through the hallway into the snooker room. Paul was there exactly as Ross had thought, staring at his CCTV screens. Without turning round Paul spoke.
“Well, what’s the story?”
Ross smiled and picked up one of the snooker cues and started to chalk the tip.
“Just made Mister Murphy almost have a heart attack.”
Now Paul was interested, he turned round on his swivel chair with a grin as big as a house.
“Go on, tell me, what the fuck happened?”
Ross told him everything, word for word, from the time he and Dave walked into the Oporto till the time they left. Paul’s face was full of excitement.
“That, my old son is why I fucking employ you, good with the brain you are, quick witted, I’d have just smashed the glass in his face and kept on digging till I hit bone. But you, you did something better, you embarrassed him, in front of his family, that’s fucking mustard that is.”
Ross potted two balls then stood up.
“He’s coming after you Paul, no doubt about it, he’s definitely coming, I could see it in his eyes, we’ve gotta be careful. There were two guys with him that I didn’t know, new faces, not from round here and then there’s his brother.”
“His brother’s a fucking lightweight, he’s got no bottle. If he was gonna do something he would have done it in by now. No, it’s the other two we have to worry about, we need to know who they are and where they come from. We could buy them, can’t be too expensive, Murphy won’t have too much dosh stashed away, everyone can be bought.”
Ross knew exactly what was coming next.
“Tell you what, you find out who they are and offer them a deal, we’ll beat any offer that Murphy has given them, they can work for me.”
Ross smiled at Paul.
“Okay, you’re the guvnor, I’ll make some enquiries and see what I can find out, in the meantime, make sure John and Tony are on their game, they’re your boys not mine I just do the gear!”
“Yeh yeh yeh, now fuck off and get this sorted. Let me know what’s happening, update every four hours Okay?”
“Okay.”
Ross left Paul in a better mood than he had found him, which was rare these days.
As soon as Ross left, Paul called Tom Marks. Tom answered after just one ring.
“Hi Paul, any news?”
“Yeh we found him, he’s in the Oporto in Limehouse getting pissed.”
“Okay that’s good. The pub will be full of Police so best keep clear, while he’s there he can’t do any harm can he. I’ve spoken to his Solicitor and he thinks we can broker a deal, best for both parties.”
“Too late for that Tom, Ross has just been in the Oporto and caused havoc, made Murphy look silly in front of all his family, deal my arse, no deal Mister Edmonds, no fucking deal”
“Paul, listen to me, everything is going fine at the moment, all the businesses are earning money, everyone is happy. Let’s do a deal with Murphy, give him something, something small, maybe one of the launderettes or something as a gesture of goodwill, we don’t want a war, not now.”
“I pay you for advice you cunt, I do not pay you to tell me to give away my business for free!”
Paul was now screaming down the phone. Tom let him have his rant then spoke quietly but precisely.
“Paul, I’m not saying that, think about it, if you give him something, he’ll end up working for you, what better way of keeping an eye on him.”
There was a silence. Paul was thinking about it, it did make sense.
“Phone his brief, set up a meet, just the two of you, see if you can work out a deal, then get back to me.”
Paul hung up. He would tackle Terry Murphy from two angles, the sensible way through Tom and the other way through Ross.

MAYWEATHER v PACQUIAO

Pac

In just over twelve hours’ time, we’ll know who’s the world’s best boxer at welterweight and more importantly who’s the best pound for pound boxer alive today.
Floyd Mayweather Jnr is a 38 year old black American. His mother was a drug addict. His father was a good welterweight who once fought Sugar Ray Leonard, but also a drug dealer who spent 5 years in prison. Last year he earnt in excess of $100m and was the highest paid athlete on the planet. He has an ego the size of Europe. He’s been arrested for beating up his girlfriend and knocking a bouncer senseless, yet he’s appeared on the USA equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing. His net worth is estimated at around $400m. He’s had 47 professional fights and never lost. He’s the undisputed master of his craft. He’s Floyd (The Money) Mayweather.
Manny Pacquiao is 36 and from the Philippines. He was born into poverty. He left home at 14 because his mother couldn’t afford to feed him and his five brothers and sisters. Now he’s a Politician, a singer, an actor and a professional basketball player. He’s accused of not paying over $50m in income tax in the Philippines, yet he’s been elected to the Philippines House Of Representatives for the Province of Sarangani. He is the head coach of Kia Sorento basketball team. He’s made seven albums. He’s graced the cover of Times magazine. He holds the Guinness World Record for most World Titles in different weight divisions. He was voted Fighter of the decade in 2010. He’s Manny (Pac-Man) Pacquiao.
That’s the introduction over with. Now let’s look at the fight itself.
It’s the fight that should have happened 5 years ago. Some would say when both men were at their peak.
In 2009, the American Sports Channel ESPN announced that contracts had been signed and the fight would take place on March 13, 2010. They’d jumped the gun. Contracts had been sent from one camp to another but not signed. Things had to be sorted.
These two fighters each believed that they were the best on the planet. They were both World Champions. So how the fight would be billed. Would it be Mayweather v Pacquiao, or Pacquiao v Mayweather? It’s important because it’s usually the better fighter (The Champ) whose name comes first. Who would be first to enter the ring? The Champion is usually last to enter the ring meaning the challenger has to wait for him. Who would be the first to step on the scales at the weigh in? Who would have the better locker room? Two men with big egos. No one wanted to be seen as the challenger. Most importantly how would the purse be split? The Champ usually gets more than the challenger.
It was rumoured that these things were sorted out amicably with some compromise. It would be Mayweather v Pacquiao. Mayweather would be first in the ring and wait for Pacquiao. The purse would be split 50-50. But the real obstacle was blood testing. The Mayweather camp asked for “Olympic Style” drug testing. Team Pacquiao agreed.
Then it all became silly.
“Would the tests be Urine or blood, or a combination of the two? Would there be set days for the tests to take place or would they be random? Who would do the tests? What organisation? Who would oversee it?
Pacquiao agreed to Urine tests at any time and 3 blood tests. One in January, another 30 days before the fight and another immediately after the fight. It seemed fair.

But Mayweather wanted something different. He wanted random blood tests (anytime) during the build up to the fight. Pacquiao’s team refused. The fight was off.
Mayweather accused Pacquiao of running scarred. Pacquiao said that he hated giving blood as he felt it weakened him (Religious beliefs). Also random blood testing would mess up his training schedule. Pacquiao said that Mayweather knew all this and knew that Pacquiao would never agree to it and therefore it was Mayweather that was running scared.
Various counter offers were made by both teams but an agreement couldn’t be made. The fight was off.
For the past five years the fight has been on and off more times than a whores knickers.

So why now?

The contracts were signed just a few days ago (23rd April) which meant that tickets could finally go on sale. The venue (MGM Grand) holds just under 17000. Yet only 500 tickets went on sale to the public. They sold out in minutes. Priced between $1500 and $10,000. The other 16000 tickets were allocated to VIP’s, Relatives of the fighters, Sponsors, Sports Teams and associations.
It would seem that Mayweather got what he wanted as far as the contract is concerned.
The fight is billed as Mayweather v Pacquiao. Mayweather will be last to enter the ring. He also has the choice of ring corner and locker room. He will take 60% of the purse.
Pacquiao wanted Texas (Dallas Cowboys Stadium) for the fight. Mayweather had no interest in fighting in Texas and demanded Las Vegas. So the fight was set up for the MGM Grand.
The drug testing that was the stumbling block last time has been resolved. Mayweather won. Pacquiao has agreed to United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Olympic-style drug testing. This drug-testing program consists of both random blood and urine testing, with the fighters agreeing to let their whereabouts be known at all times during training so that random pre-fight testing can be administered. Both fighters will also be tested directly after the fight.
Mayweather Promotions will be the lead promoter over Top Rank (Pacquiao) Promotions. Mayweather will have the final say in event planning, from the press conferences to the in-arena entertainment.
So why would Pacquiao agree to ALL of Mayweather’s demands? Quite simple really. Money.
Win lose or draw he’ll earn more money from this fight than he could from facing ten other opponents. He’s 36 and this maybe his last fight.
Mayweather is the favourite. He’s unbeaten in 47 fights. Pacquiao has had 64 fights but has lost on five occasions.
This will give you an example of the difference between the two men.
Mayweather will be wearing a $25,000 mouthguard for the fight, incorporated with diamond dust, gold flakes, and a $100 bill cut-out. The mouthguard is designed and created by Dr. Lee Gause of New York.
Pacquiao’s mouthguard is given to him as a gift from his Filipino dentist. It will incorporate the Filipino flag’s colours: red, blue, yellow, and white.
It’s being billed at Good Guy v Bad Guy. Floyd Money Mayweather the multi-million dollar, cocky, arrogant, bully boy American against little Manny Pacquiao the quiet well- mannered Filipino.
Not quite the truth. That’s what the promoters want us to believe because it all adds to the hype. When Mayweather takes over a restaurant and buys dinner for 200 of his entourage it’s seen as brash and cocky. When Pacquiao does the same thing everyone says what a nice kind hearted person he is. Pacquiao spent somewhere between $3m and $4m on 900 tickets for his family and hangers on but the headline was “Generous Pacqiao treats his friends”.
Mayweather is telling everyone that this fight is only worth the $400m revenue because of him. Not true. He needed Pacquiao. No other fighter could have given him the purse that he’s expected to get (win, lose or draw).
So who will win?
Smart money is on Mayweather to win on points. He’s without doubt the bookies favourite because he is so hard to hit. His defence is unequalled. He can “spoil” a fight by using his ring craft so well that a fighter can only seem to land blows on his shoulders and upper arms. Fighters get frustrated and begin to take chances. Mayweather then picks them off in the second half of the fight with hard hitting combinations that soon take their toll. That’s the way he wins most of his fights.
Pacquiao hits hard. He’s also got lightening quick hands. Shane Mosley who has fought both fighters said about Pacquiao “I looked at this little guy and thought no way is he going to beat me. The next thing I knew I was getting up off the floor and feeling dizzy.” Ricky Hatton, who Pacquiao beat in two rounds, said “Even when he punched me on the arms, it hurt!”
It’s simple physics. Speed and velocity equal power. That’s what Pacquiao has. Not only does he hit hard, he hits with speed. If and it’s a big if, he can catch Mayweather then it could be all over. But 47 other fighters have tried to find the answer and have failed. Mayweather wins every time. He’s NEVER been beaten as a professional.
So…it’s easy. If Pacquiao can get in quick, land punches and then move away before Mayweather has a chance to counter punch, he wins. If, like every other fighter he can’t hit Mayweather due to his fantastic defensive skills then Mayweather wins on points.
Me? I’m on Pacquiao.
The one thing that I want more than anything, is that it’s a great fight. I’ll be watching it in a boozer in London with about 30 mates. Can’t wait….

PAYBACK TIME ( Part 2)

Tom Marks was thirty six and had been Paul Fletchers solicitor for eight years. He’d been repaid handsomely. A substantial monthly retainer and of course there were the “extras”.
There were lots of “extras”.
Paul paid for both of Tom’s kids to go to private school, each costing four thousand pounds a term. Two holidays a year wherever he and the family wanted to go and, of course, always a bit of spending money on the side.
Oh yes, Paul was a good client. But he was also a fucking psychopath. Tom knew that, but it was too late to pull out now, Tom was in far too deep, he was, as Paul would say, “on the firm.”
They’d met through a mutual friend. Paul said he was looking for a good Solicitor to take care of all his business interests and Tom gave him his card. They clicked straightaway, they were both around the same age with similar backgrounds. Tom was brought up in the heart of Docklands, working class parents, council estate, secondary modern school, in fact the same one as Paul, but a year’s difference. But that’s where the similarity ended. Tom went on to college, then evening classes, until eventually he qualified as a Solicitor.
Paul was from the heart of the East End, Bethnal Green. The school bully. He liked to punch people for no reason. By the time he was fourteen even the teachers were scared of Paul Fletcher. He left at sixteen and went to work at his dads scrap metal yard. Two years later his dad died and Paul inherited everything. It was a good, solid, reliable cash business. In fact so much cash that he didn’t know what to do with it. It wasn’t long before he was spending the cash on cocaine. Importing in large quantities and selling onto the street. If you didn’t buy from Paul Fletcher then he or one of his men would pay you a visit. There was never a second visit.
The money started to come in so fast that Paul needed Tom’s advice. “ Buy other businesses” was what Tom told him. If you don’t, people will wonder where all the money is coming from. So Paul did. He quickly had a Scaffolding Business, several Cleaning Companies, three launderettes, a Building and Maintenance Company. All with the name Fletcher in the title. Everyone thought that Paul Fletcher was a successful business man.
From then on it was one big party, lots of wining and dining, lots of women, lots of booze and drugs and Tom went along for the ride.
The first time he saw Paul “lose it” was when the two of them had been on a boys night out at Park Lane Casino. It was four in the morning and they were waiting outside for a cab. The concierge called one over and he and Paul went to get in. Just as the door opened, two other men decided to jump the queue and barged past Paul and got into the cab, both laughing as they did so. That’s when Tom saw the real Paul Fletcher for the first time. He dragged one of the guys out of the cab by his hair. He then proceeded to smash his face on the pavement several times until the guy was unconscious and covered in blood. Then quite calmly got into the cab and told the cabbie to drive away. The cabbie was too scared to refuse.
Then Terry Murphy happened.
Paul told him he was about to make an “acquisition”, a local scrap company owned by Terry Murphy, who also dealt heavily in drugs. It turned out to be a “hostile” takeover and Terry Murphy was shot holding a bag containing 12 kilos of cocaine.
The Police never arrested Paul, but he was always the prime suspect. They just didn’t have enough evidence. They also knew that Paul would have the best legal team that money could buy, so they didn’t want the embarrassment of having the case thrown out of court. They were just content to see a known drug dealer taken off the streets as well as a substantial amount of cocaine. Terry Murphy was given twelve years. A year for every kilo.
Within days Paul took over everything that Terry Murphy owned. In fact, just about everyone that ever worked for Terry now worked for Paul.
Tom sat in his office wondering what the next step should be. He was worried that Paul might do something silly. He was a hot head, what he should do was nothing. Just wait to see what Terry did. But knowing Paul as he did he thought that unlikely. Paul would want to strike first. Then everyone would be in a pile of shit. He needed to be one step ahead. Have all the answers before Paul started asking questions. He called Terry Murphy’s solicitor.
“Hi Bob, I hear Terry’s out, great news, well done, everything okay?”
“Yeh, got out this morning due to the overcrowding situation. No idea where he is now though, home I would have thought, why, worried?”
“Bob, can I call you on another line, there’s a problem with this one.”
“Ok, no problem.”
Tom hung up and went to the top drawer of his desk, knowing that Bob would be doing just the same. He took out an old pay as you go mobile and rung Bob’s number.
“Bob, that’s better, so what’s the score, should we be worried or has he calmed down now after all these years?”
“That’s a toughie Tom, you know what he’s like, he never lets go, hard to call. What about your man?”
“Fucking hell Bob, he wants to rip out his throat and shit down his neck, I’m worried he’ll lose it and everything goes pear shaped.”
“Jesus, look I’ll do what I can from my end, you do the same, maybe we can broker a deal that works for both of them. If they’re sensible they’ll see it makes sense.”
“Cheers Bob.”
Tom put down the phone and just for a minute there was a look of relief on his face. Then his mobile rung. It was Paul.
“Hi Paul, I think we can work this out.”
Paul screamed down the phone.
“You cunt, of course we can’t, it’s him or me and it’s always gonna be me!”
“Why, what’s happened?”
“You know young Danny, one of my boys that works with Craig?”
“Err Yeh think so.”
“He’s just been found with a fucking knife in his neck and a kilo of powder in his pocket.”
“Fucking hell Paul.”
“It’s a message you cunt, he’s sending me a fucking message!”
Paul hung up and threw the phone across the room.
The message about Danny’s demise came from Ross. Paul’s number two.
Ross was about as close to Paul as anyone could get. He ran Pauls drug business, especially the dealers. There was a very distinct chain of command. Paul was the guvnor, of that there was no doubt, then Ross, then four main wholesalers; they in turn supplied their own areas of distribution. Each one of these wholesalers had about twenty street men that they supplied, the street men then sold direct to the public. Each one took a cut, everyone was earning.
Street men could earn anything from one hundred and fifty pounds per day to three or four hundred; depending on how well they ran their streets and how much gear they sold. The wholesalers would earn over two grand a week easily, all cash. Ross earned at least four grand a week; Paul also gave him a Range Rover. No one knew how much Paul was earning but it was bundles. And of course he had his legit businesses as well.
Ross got the call about Danny from one of the wholesalers, who in turn had got the call from one of his street men. Danny was found three miles from the Kilby Estate in Clapton on some waste ground. His throat was cut and then the knife was stuck in the back of his neck. In his pocket he had a kilo of cocaine.
The first thing that worried Ross was the amount of gear that Danny had on him. The wholesaler had told him that there was no way Danny got the powder from him and even if he had, there was no way that he would be walking the streets with that much gear on him. That was just plain fucking stupid. So where did it come from? If it was planted by Terry Murphy, where the fuck did he get it from, he’s only been out of nick for a few hours, it made no sense. Ross’s mobile rang it was Paul.
“Any news on that cunt yet?”
“No Paul, look I’ve been thinking, maybe it’s not Terry after all, I mean where the fuck would he get a kilo of powder that quickly, he’s only been out a few fucking hours”
“I don’t pay you to fucking think Ross, I pay you to sort out problems and you’re not doing it are you?”
Ross decided it wasn’t a good idea to take the conversation any further.
“Okay, so what next then?”
“Find the cunt, watch him, see where he goes then get back to me, I want to know every time that cunt takes a fucking shit, understand?”
Then true to form, Paul hung up.
Ross called his four wholesalers.
“Put the word out, I want to know where Terry Murphy is and I want to know straightaway, tell all your boys to look for him, there’s a grand for the first one that finds him.”
It took exactly sixteen minutes before Ross’s phone rang. It was Dave, one of his four boys.
“Found him, he’s in the Oporto, with his family and a few mates having a celebratory drink, apparently he’s been in there for hours”
“Okay, do yourself a favour and get over there, sit outside, let me know as soon as he leaves, don’t fuck up on this Dave, it’s for Paul.”
“Nuff said,I’m on my way”
Paul thought it wise to call Paul straightaway, he rang him.
“Found him, he’s in the Oporto with family and friends getting drunk, been there a while so they say.”
“Friends?, the cunt shouldn’t have any friends, they all work for me now. Can you believe this cunt, he has got some fucking balls I’ll give him that and he’s a crafty cunt as well, typical, the fucking Oporto!”
“Why Paul, why NOT the Oporto?, it’s near to where he used to live after all”
“Am I the only one with any brains on this firm? The Oporto is right opposite Limehouse nick, there’s bound to be loads of old bill in there. What a fucking cast iron alibi, he was in a boozer with loads of old bill.”
Paul hadn’t thought of that. Murphy will say he couldn’t have killed young Danny cos he was in the pub along with loads of coppers. The perfect alibi.
“Look I’ve got Dave on his way there now, he’ll keep an eye on him, I’ve told him to stay outside and keep us informed.”
“No, I want him there in the pub, I want Murphy to know that we’re not scared of him. I want the names of everyone he’s drinking with, thinking about it, I want YOU there as well. Terry knows you and will know why you’re there, about time you earned your fucking money!”
Paul hung up.
Ross wasn’t sure this was such a great idea, but no one argued with Paul especially when he was in this kind of mood. He called Dave.
“I’m coming over, park up by the shops and I’ll meet you in twenty minutes.”
Ross was six feet five and weighed over eighteen stone. Paul had originally taken him on as an enforcer. He had a certain way of getting money from people that owed, but he had a good brain. He was good with his hands but he was also very good with his head. Paul promoted him to his number two four years ago. This went down well with the wholesalers. Ross was feared, but also respected, he was a hard but fair bastard, unlike Paul.
Ross arrived, met Dave and told him the plan.
“Okay, we go in, get a drink and make it known that we’re there, let’s see what this cunt’s made of. You make a mental note of everyone that Murphy has a drink with, not just family, but especially friends, be nice to know who the enemies are.”
“You sure about this Ross, you know what Terry’s like, he a psycho, he could do anything, we’ve already lost one and he’s only been out a few hours.”
“Look, he’s nothing now, Paul has everything, we’ve got the advantage, he won’t do a thing, guarantee it, besides there’ll be old bill in there, even Murphy isn’t that stupid”
They walked across the road and entered the pub by a side door that led to the toilets. The large saloon bar was packed. Ross knew a few of the faces. There was Terry’s younger brother Ronny, his elder sister Louise, his Mum and Dad, some old people probably aunts and uncles and cousins, about twenty people in all. Ross pushed his way to the bar.
“Oi, barman, two large scotches, hurry up, we’re thirsty.”
The barmen recognised Ross straightaway, stopped serving two other people and poured out two large scotches.
“No charge Ross, it’s on the house………. everything Ok?”
“You’re busy today, what’s the occasion, someone died?”
Ross emphasised the “Someone died” bit very loudly.
The saloon bar fell quiet. The barmen spoke softly.
“No Ross, just a bit busier than usual today for some reason”
He was terrified, he was in a no win situation. He knew that Paul Fletcher would have the hump for letting Terry Murphy have a party in his pub, but there was also no way he could refuse Terry Murphy and his family a drink, it was a hopeless situation.
Ross heard a voice behind him.
“Fuck me, if it isn’t Paul Fletchers bitch!”