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Ned, a vagrant addict is dying of malnutrition when he falls into the care of Mary Grace, an elderly nun, who nurses him back to health. Later she entrusts Ned into the care of another of her loves, Smokey, who runs a small boxing gym. There, Ned is slowly drawn into the world of boxing, where he comes to the attention of a local mafia boss, necessitating him to flee to Philadelphia. Eventually, Smokey’s brother Mickey, arranges for a reconciliation with Ned and his estranged parents. Finally all the remains is for Ned to confront Tony Fingers, the mafia boss, eager to exploit his boxing talents and decide between Tim, another young boxer and Smokey his mature lover.

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