The Duel at the Fight Ring was a duel between HYDRA agent Spud and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Lance Hunter, under the name "Ritchy", in an attempt to be invited into HYDRA and be able to kill Grant Ward for what he did to Bobbi.
Spud gained a connection to HYDRA while working in the United Kingdom; during this time he worked alongside Lance Hunter, who used the pseudonym "Richy", in weapons dealings. During one road trip, Hunter had mocked Spud for crying at a song which reminded him of his ex-fiancé, something Spud always resented.
During one encounter with a rival, Spud got into a fight and bit the man's nose off, which Hunter witnessed and made him believe that Spud was a psychopath. Spud later moved to America where he continued his work with HYDRA.
Reunion with Hunter
Pitching the new HYDRA
- "Do I buy my way in?"
"No, you fight your way in. If you're the last man standing. You'll get a meeting."
- ―Lance Hunter and Spud
Years later, Lance Hunter got back into contact with Spud to arrange a meeting with HYDRA. Hunter met with Spud in a bar where he introduced him to a woman named Gina, whom Spud noted was too beautiful for him. The pair began drinking and discussed their time working together. When Gina got the conversation onto work, they revealed they had weapons they wished to sell to HYDRA; Spud explained that the new leader had trust issues and would only meet with Hunter if he proved himself in a fight club
- "What the hell are you doing?"
"Shutting your stupid face up once and for all."
- ―Lance Hunter and Spud
Spud attended a HYDRA organized fight club where he watched as two fighters battled until one was beaten to death. When Spud noticed Lance Hunter had arrived, he informed the Referee and invited him into the ring. While Hunter questioned whom he was fighting, Spud removed his shirt and revealed he was the one to challenge him, as he wanted revenge for all the years of mockery he had endured from Hunter.
As the fight went underway, Spud proved himself to be the superior fighter with more strength and endurance than Hunter. While he was getting beaten to near death, Hunter questioned why it was happening as he had always believed that he and Spud were just joking around, but Spud made it clear that he was never joking. He then proceeded to throw Hunter across the ring while mercilessly beating him, even picking him up and slamming his body through a wooden table with such force it smashed into pieces while the audience cheered.
Spud's victory was almost unquestionable as Hunter fell to his knees and was repeatedly kicked in the face. Believing himself to have won, Spud turned to the crowd and let out a loud roar as he prepared to kill his former friend. However, much to his shock, Hunter launched up, now wearing knuckle dusters, and punched him straight in the jaw three times with such force that Spud fell to the ground dead, allowing Hunter to be named as the winner of the fight and being invited into HYDRA.
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