Broughton's Rules of the Ring were still the order of the day in the fighting world when young Darcy Scott chose to contend for the crown of Champion of England and to throw away the ""books and ciphering"" decreed by his doctor father. But he had a rocky road ahead of him -- outside the ring, after he won the enmity of the unscrupulous Squire Morgan Clancy and was forced to seek out his rascally uncle, O'Rourke, as a refuge against the law. Those were exciting days in London's dark streets and Darcy had successive close calls before he had his chance almost in hand. The date was set for his bout with the slugger Rucker -- but Clancy had other plans, to take the bout by default. There's more to the story than the central theme would suggest. Darcy has a lot to learn, as country lad in the big city, and a French adventuress plays her part in the teaching. But in the end- after derringdo against an early Regency period background, Darcy wins through to success the hard way, and finds where his heart and his goals are set after all. Good yarning if the characters are somewhat pat.