To be a champion, you have to be a contender.

The Contender
by Robert Lipstyte

Alfred Brooks was born and grew up  in Harlem, New York. He lived there with his aunt Pearl.

Alfred in total only had three fights. He won the first two but tied to the second to a man named Hubbard who was much older and stronger than him.

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After his mother died and his father had also died years before, Alfred was left to live with his aunt Pearl and his four cousins.

After Alfred dropped out of high school at a young age,  he went to go work at the Epsteins grocery store.

Alfred was best friends with a boy named James,  James and Alfred had grown up together.  After James startes hanging out with Major, a character in the story, he attempted to rob the grocery store Alfred worked at but failed and was caught by the police. He then became addicted to heroine,  James then later robbed the store again but in the process was hurt. After Alfred learned this when the police came looking for James, he went to help James,  James then finally accepted the help of Alfred.

Not long after his second fight, Donatelli, Alfred's boxing coach suggested he retire because Alfred did not enjoy hurting others.

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