powered by AFI
On the night of his biggest bout, boxer Billy Conn's coach, Pop Mallory, suddenly dies. A rival manager, Max Ellison, offers to take over Billy's contract, promising to place him immediately in several lucrative fights. Pop's daughter Patricia, however, refuses to sell Billy's contract and instead proposes that she manage his career with a slow, steady buildup. Billy is resentful of Pat's interference and only partially follows her training, choosing instead to spend time with Ellison's daughter Barbara, who hopes to lure Billy back to her father. Barbara's attentions to Billy aggravate her boyfriend, nightclub owner Joe Barton, but Pat intervenes to prevent trouble between him and Billy. Gradually, under Pat's guidance and heavy promotion by reporter Cliff Halliday, Billy's career flourishes and he comes to trust Pat's decisions, especially after he is offered a match with Ellison's world championship title holder. One evening before the bout, Barbara visits Billy, and both are suprised by the appearance of Barton and his henchman Devlin, who have been following Barbara. Barton threatens Billy and in the ensuing struggle, accidentally kills himself with a gun. Devlin and Barbara disappear, and Billy is arrested and charged with Barton's murder. With the help of Halliday and eventually Barbara, Pat tracks down Devlin, who admits the truth to the district attorney. Billy is released from jail in time for the big bout, but Pat is convinced that Billy loves Barbara and stays away from the fight. Disappointed to find Pat absent, Billy fights poorly in the opening round. Realizing the situation, Barbara rushes to find Pat to persuade her that she and Billy are not in love. Pat gets to the match in time to inspire Billy, who wins the fight.