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During the match for the middleweight boxing championship, Michael Gordon reflects on his recent past as a painter living near San Francisco: A short time earlier, in Mike's hometown, Sam, the owner of a café, sells one of Mike's paintings to a woman named Laurie Rogers. Mike is furious, believing that his painting is worth nothing, and rushes to Laurie's hotel, intending to demand that she return the painting, but her sensitive interpretation of the work convinces him to let her keep it. Mike then asks the attractive Laurie to dinner. By the end of the evening, he has fallen in love with her, but the next day, she checks out of her hotel without leaving a forwarding address. The only clue Mike has to her whereabouts is the name of New York City physician Dr. Arnold Vincent, to whom she has mailed the painting. Sam encourages Mike to go to New York and look for Laurie. There, Mike tries to contact Vincent, who continually refuses to speak to him. One day, Mike's neighbor, Chris Sherwood, invites him to accompany her to the Pelican Club. To Mike's surprise, Laurie is singing there, but when he follows her backstage after her number, she begs him to leave her alone. Later he learns that Laurie is married to Rex Durant, the crippled owner of the club, who had been a boxer before he was injured. Durant is looking for a fighter to train to win the championship, and having seen Mike knock out one of his bodyguards, offers to work with him. At first, Mike turns down the offer, but then accepts it to spite Laurie. When Mike arrives at the gym for his first day of training, he learns that Vincent is the resident doctor and Laurie's brother. Vincent performed a tricky operation on Durant's legs after an auto accident, and Durant now blames him for his inability to walk. Mike takes the name "Mike Angelo" in honor of the Renaissance painter, Michelangelo, and his interest in painting is played up for publicity. When Durant discovers Mike's portrait of Laurie in his apartment, Laurie is forced to admit that she loves Mike. Later, Vincent contemplates killing Durant because he realizes that Laurie has stayed with her husband to prevent him from charging Vincent with malpractice. When Mike learns about Durant's hold on Laurie, he refuses to fight for him, but Durant vows that he will hold Mike to his contract. A struggle breaks out between Mike and Costello, one of Durant's men, and Mike suffers a concussion. When Vincent informs Durant that another fight could mean Mike's death, Durant offers to let Laurie go if he wins the championship. Durant holds Vincent prisoner to prevent his stopping the fight. Mike is badly beaten during the fight, but succeeds in knocking out his opponent before collapsing. An escaped Vincent rushes Mike to the hospital for emergency brain surgery, then threatens to show boxing officials X-ray plates that will prove Durant sent Mike into the ring to be killed. Costello shoots Vincent, and in the ensuing confusion, Durant's wheelchair slips into traffic and he is killed. Mike recovers from his surgery and returns to California and painting. Later, Laurie joins him there, and they are reunited.