Summary and Analysis
Although it is only his second day of training, Alfred feels loose and strong on his run the next morning. His life appears to be improving rapidly. Even a policeman yells encouragement. Alfred runs for more than an hour and does calisthenics on his way back to the apartment. At home, Aunt Pearl again questions where he has been and is relieved when Alfred now is able to tell her the truth. She would prefer that he not box, but it is better than what she had imagined he was doing.
The significance of Chapter 9 rests in Alfred's change in his response to Aunt Pearl. When she questioned him Monday morning (Chapter 5), he avoided telling her where he has been. On Tuesday morning (Chapter 9), he tells her the truth. Alfred is now proud to be on the road to becoming a boxer. Still, he does not yet grasp Mr. Donatelli's message. He thinks of himself as a would-be champion, not a contender. Alfred Brooks shows promise, but he has a long way to go.