Animation by Plague of Gripes
Fatalities during WVBA matches were not uncommon, nor considered undesirable. Fighters were often former criminals, midgets or thrill-seeking celebrities, eager to seek fortune or infamy in boxing’s darkest corner. Blood, injury or outright dismemberment were the primary commodity of the WVBA, with the actual outcome of the matches being largely irrelevant. The title itself was less of a symbol of achievement and more of a grisly cenotaph of fallen wastrels. So common were fatalities that often title exchanges were held between fighters who had never held it, due to perpetuated vacancies.
Some more clever fighters were able to survive this gauntlet of superhuman dwarves and rose-eating national stereotypes by “throwing” every match. These boxers bordered upon the showmanship of professional wrestling, more than the bloodsport mockeries of the WVBA. Rather than risking death, or handing it out, a well-played dive for the crowd sufficed to earn them a tin can of heated beans and a fresh pair of fingerless gloves for the road. A win for these professional jobbers was a dark stain upon their careers. Pitting two jobbers against one another in a match made for a poor show, but would sometimes result in some of the WVBA’s most memorable matches. One such opening bout would begin with both boxers spontaneously being TKOed upon hearing the round one bell, and would ultimately end in a judge-ruled decision to release a lion into the ring to finish one of them off. The lion was unfortunately killed in both fighters’ haste to force their heads past one another into the animal’s maw, resulting in the death of all three by suffocation.
Little is understood about the WVBA, especially by those that run it. It is said the organization was begun in the 19th century when a farmer was gored to death by a bull wearing a boxing glove on one horn. Today it is run primarily out of a closet in an elementary school in Than Hao by a complicated system of gerbil wheels and cogs that no one can actually remember constructing nor maintaining. Payments are issued by check, all found blowing in the wind into their recipients’ faces, from an unknown origin; all signed with a single, illegible red scrawl.