During the Great Depression, Chaney (Charles Bronson) bare-knuckle boxes to survive. Speed (James Coburn), an avid gambler, recognizes his talent and becomes his manager. They hire a cut man named Poe (Strother Martin), and Speed borrows cash from some gangsters to bet on Chaney's fight. They win, but Speed gambles and loses his portion and remains in debt. In the end, a rival manager named Gandil (Michael McGuire) buys Speed's debt and forces Chaney to fight Speed against his toughest foe yet.