Written by Old Bluffer 7th Dec 2006
Roper has already been approached by Han as a possible ally, after Williams has been killed. During this encounter, Han establishes that "there is a point that Roper will not go beyond", but he is unsure quite where that is on the scale of Evil Baddies.
So, when (Bruce) Lee totally flips out and massacres dozens of Han's guards, it provides the perfect opportunity to test Roper's loyalty.
Never one to miss out on a cool line, Han first enquires of Roper: "Would you be good enough to participate in this morning's edification?"
Lee is accordingly brought out, hands bound, by Bolo - Han's #1 muscle bound henchman since O'Hara was slain by Lee.
Roper is very much a decent fellow though, and was only humouring Han before to try and avoid ending up like Williams. He has no intention of fighting Lee, even though he realises that to refuse invites certain death.
Han doesn't seem in any way surprised at Roper's "weakness", and sarcastically declaims: "I was right about you... We shall strive to be worthy of your sense of grandeur... I will find someone with whom you can fight... ...Bolo!"
Now Bolo is something of a powerhouse - a rarity on Han's island of half-starved, inept guards.
He is also a brutal killer, and indeed was Han's executioner previously, when four guards needed punishing.
So, it is probably fair to say that Roper doesn't relish the prospect of facing him.
Lee has no such concerns though, and saunters casually forwards to fight Bolo himself, but Roper is too proud for this and motions him back.
With all the epic bouts that the spectators in white have seen during this film, you'd think they'd know some decent moves during the final battle...
The fight begins with a flurry of kicks, strikes and blocks, and Roper is the first to go down. Unusually, Bolo follows him to the ground and slides into a crossover arm bar. Roper needs to escape quickly or his arm will be snapped at the elbow. Luckily for him, Bolo's leg is in entirely the wrong position and Roper has no qualms about clamping his teeth down onto the beefy calf. The body building Chinese fighter resists this for several seconds before the pain become unbearable, and he staggers away, clutching his leg.
Defence from crossover armbar: the Roper Chomp
Roper again demonstrates that he is quite comfortable at street fighting and kicks him while he is bent over, and Bolo, in desperation, ducks low and lifts Roper up for a power slam.
Bolo has the most powerful nipples in the New Territories.
Roper finally realises that in a grappling contest he is going to lose, so he changes his tactics to circle around his opponent, and keeps his distance. This allows him to pepper poor old Bolo with some weakeners, and then finish him with the nastiest blow known to kung fu.
Yes, he forcefully throws a kick up into Bolo's bollocks, smashing them up through his body and into his mouth by the look of his expression.
For a terrible moment of time he remains doubled up, tenderly holding his pulverised scrotum, and then, mercifully, neurogenic shock kicks in and he slumps over, defeated at last.
Let this be a lesson to any budding martial artists - always wear a box!
Referee! Low blow!