The TNT Punch

The TNT Punch

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The TNT Punch

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The TNT Punch is a Sailor Steve Costigan short story by Robert E. Howard. It was originally published in January 1931 issue of Action Stories. It has been reprinted under the titles The Waterfront Law and The Waterfront Wallop since Howard's death. The story was sold to Action Stories' publisher Fiction House in August 1930 for $75.

The story concerns Costigan entering into a grudge match in South Africa in order to raise bail money for another boxer. Like all of the Sailor Steve Costigan stories it is told in the first person by Costigan himself.


The story starts with Steve Costigan and his dog Mike ashore in Cape Town, South Africa, and penniless after having to pay a fine for Mike biting a policeman.He meets an old enemy, Shifty Kerren, who is the manager of rival boxer Kid Delrano. Kerren says Delrano is in jail and needs to pay the £6 ($30) fine to be released. When he plays on Costigan's sense of patriotism, he agrees to get him the money for his release.

Costigan heads to the waterfront and the South African Sports Arena. Promoter "Bulawayo" Hurley set him up in a special grudge match with the Australian sailor/boxer Bucko Brent. Bucko was the brutal mate aboard the Elinor when Costigan served on her on the way to Bristol to meet the Sea Girl. They fought a few says into the trip and Bucko ended up with several broken...
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