Anatomy of a fight

"Oh yeah, I'm scared," Clune said. "But it's not like a fear of death. It's not like the fear of death or the fear of cancer or some sort of disease as a human you see it all happening around you and you're like, '[Expletive], I hope that doesn't happen to me.' But it's a healthy fear, you're like, 'I could get the s--- kicked out of me. And 20,000 people are going to watch, meanwhile the thousands of people on TV are going to see it, the reruns on the Internet that people are going to run.' Plus, your health, right? You take a blow and it could hurt you. But it's like a healthy fear.

"One guy who told me, a scared fighter is the best kind of fighter. Because if you're not scared, there's something wrong with you.

"It worries me that I could get hurt, but I push through that. For lack of a better term, I try and fight a certain way where I limit blows to my head and try not to let the other guy hit me."

But the bottom line is it hurts to get punched in the face, right? And there must still be a certain amount of shock value when someone delivers a whopper?

"I've had that. I've had that where you think you're doing good and you're kind of waiting for the other guy to do something and out of nowhere you take one and you go, [expletive], that hurt," Clune said. "Basically it really shuts you down. That's happened for sure. Then there's ones where you get hit and it's almost like it wakes you up. It hits you and it doesn't hurt but you know you just got hit.

"About a month ago in Winnipeg, me and this guy [ Adam Pardy] came out of the penalty box and we knew we were coming out to fight. We got roughing penalties. We tried to fight the shift before. We were in the box and I'm like, let's go, this is B.S. He was crosschecking me all the time and I'm like, let's just fight and get this over with. He was like, OK.

"So we come out of the box. Now I'm not a big fan of the big square off and the shadow boxing. I think that's kind of stupid too. So we went at it. He was a bigger guy, 6-4, and he threw a punch. He hit me in the eye. And it cut me. So I knew I was bleeding right away, but the punch didn't hurt, so I was awake. It was like an adrenaline rush and it woke me up and I came back and kind of took it to him in the fight, and I was bleeding everywhere after and the whole rink was yelling at me. I didn't lose control, but I was on some sort of high, I don't know what you'd call it. My adrenaline was just through the roof. When you see your own blood it's hard to explain, you're definitely not in the same mode as you are when you're walking down the street chewing bubble gum, that's for sure. You're a different person."

Although most fans might assume that winning a fight means knocking out an opponent or beating him senseless, Clune insisted that's not something that he's interested in. In fact, he hopes that will be taken out of the game -- even if it does seem like an awfully fine line.

"I'm not trying to knock anybody out cold in a fight. I've never knocked a guy out cold in a fight. I'm not saying I could go out there and knock any person I fight out cold, I just don't want to do it. I have no interest in seeing another guy lying there asleep on the ice. I've never done it and I hope I never do it," Clune said.

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