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Boxer Bud "Iron Man" Mason is a great physical, if not mental, specimen. His manager, George Regan, worries that Bud will never reach his full potential and become middleweight champion. Judy Williams, George's assistant, not only believes in Bud, but loves him so completely she is willing to dedicate her life to him. Bud's climb up the boxing ladder is swift, probably too swift for his quickly swelling ego. He resists the tough training regime that George and Judy plan for him, believing instead that he is so good that he does not need to train. Vaulting to the top of the middleweight ranks, Bud comes under the spell of gold-digging actress Rose Whitney. While she is infatuated with theatrical producer Paul Lewis, Rose see Bud's boxing success as her own stepping ladder to a theatrical career. While under Rose's spell, Bud completely ignores the advise of his trainer and former love. His fight with another top-ranked boxer, Prince Peal, seems doomed due to his lack of preparation, but he wins on sheer anger when gambler Hymie Mandle tries to bribe him into "taking a dive." Bud signs to fight middleweight champion Mike Shay, but instead of training, marries Rose and goes on an extended honeymoon with her. Despite this, Bud's sheer courage and stamina are enough to win him the middleweight crown. Bud, his ego now completely out of control, goes on an European vacation with Rose for a year. Returning to the States, Bud is a changed man, both mentally and physically. George, enraged by Bud's treatment of himself and those around him, quits the "Iron Man" and begins training another promising middleweight, Battler O'Keefe. Rose, in the meantime, has resumed her affair with producer Lewis, who is starring her in a Broadway show. Bud signs to defend his title against Battler and, once again, refuses to train. Just before the fight, Bud learns of Rose's affair with Lewis. He beats up the producer and demands a divorce. When he enters the ring against Battler, his old powers are all but gone and he suffers a defeat by knockout. With Bud now a mere shell of his former self, George's old friendship is rekindled. George convinces Judy to forgive the pass and return to Bud, as she is his only chance at self-redemption. Judy returns to Bud, promising her love and support as he begins his long climb back up the ladders of success, both in boxing and in life.