It was a different era, because I was the youngest, my mother made me wash the dishes every night with out fail. So I had beautiful,"soft", sensitive, wide receiver type hands that got mashed between helmet and ball running back a punt. I could catch that big old J5V @ 40 yards with one hand.
Hockey practise we're on the same team and the bully (a big guy) picks the fight and then doesn't want to go. So a week later, at the corner of Lisgar and Elgin, 5pm on a Friday afternoon, 4000 on hand (not an exaggeration) because the whole down town core is thrown into grid lock, the Police and the Police Station are only three blocks away and cannot get to the scene because the Laurier Bridge is jammed, it turns into a major hockey/street fight. When your hand and his face are half frozen it doesn't take much of a bare knuckle punch to close the eye and cut a guy bad, 9 maybe 10 stitches. I was accused of wearing a ring on my poor old broken right hand (I don't wear a ring on either hand.). More re-broken small bones. The big guy was never the same, turned into Mendel Meek, I often wonder how badly concussed he was? Now this incident I have to admit was the exception! But the Doctor or often just the Nurse would stitch the cut and not embarrass you by asking if your head hurt...I'd like to say those days are long over but...
Note: Breezly Bruin, that big x Mountie in Morrisburg and of course "Black Bart" ya can't win 'em all!
PS: And those guys with the little gloves on...that's not bare knuckle fighting!
PPS: Fans don't realize how violent life is at that level.