Just out of the Army, and broke, Walter Gulick (Elvis Presley) hitch-hikes to Cream Valley, and drops in on Grogan's Gaelic Gardens, a training camp for fighters owned by Willy Grogan (Gig Young), who operates the place with his girlfriend, Dolly Fletcher (Lola Albright).

Walter, a mechanic in the Army, is looking for work but the only job Willy can offer is that of sparring partner to Joie Shakes (Michael Dante). Despite Dolly's warning that he will be slaughtered, Walter accepts.

Just at that moment, Lew Nyack (Charles Bronson), the camp's fight trainer, tells Willy that Otto Danzig (David Lewis), a New York under-world figure has planted two hoods to watch him, and make sure he doesn't inform the police about a beating up that he witnessed.

Legend: Elvis, on his role of Walter Gulick.

Willy returns to the camp as Walter and Joie climb into the ring. For the first two minutes, Walter absorbs a brutal beating as Joie hits him with a barrage of punches. Then, all at once, Walter spots an opening and lets fly with a right. Joie goes down - and out.

Willy, who is in debt to a platoon of bookies, is ecstatic for he sees in Walter a chance to pick up some fast money. Lew is opposed to the idea of making a fighter out of Walter.

Suddenly, the kitchen door is ripped free of its hinges as Ralphie (Jeffrey Morris) - one of the hoods - comes flying into the room, propelled by a savage right hand shot from Walter who caught him making a pass at Dolly. She nicknames him Galahad for this deed.

Rose Grogan (Joan Blackman), Willy's sister, unexpectedly arrives at the camp the following morning. Willy, who doesn't like her associating with fighters, is distressed to see her, but Rose insists on staying to look out for her 50 per cent interest in the place. A moment later Walter enters and sees her for the first time. Both are stirred by the sight of each other.

A few days go by. Walter, fighting under the name of "Kid Galahad", makes his professional bow against Ezzard "Bobo" Bailey, who he k.o.'s in the first round with a single right hand blow to the jaw.

Weeks later, following a series of sensational knockout victories, Walter proposes to Rose after a picnic. He tells her he is buying a half-interest in an auto-repair shop in Cream Valley and plans to stop fighting after his next bout, to be sponsored by the people of Cream Valley. Rose, delighted to learn he has no real interest in fighting, accepts his proposal. Willy is opposed to the news and he and Walter almost come to blows but Dolly intervenes.

The following morning, Willy receives another jolt when he learns that Walter's final opponent will be the more experienced Sugar-Boy Romero, one of Otto Danzig's fighters. Otto, who is pulling strings behind the scenes, figures to make a killing on the fight because the people of Cream Valley are sure to bet heavily on Walter.

Dolly is furious when she hears about Romero and accuses Willy of deliberately over-matching Walter to get even with him for winning Rose's affections - against Willy's orders. After a bitter quarrel, Dolly moves out and returns to her old singing job at Lieberman's, a family resort hotel nearby, where she met Willy.

On the eve of the big fight, Otto visits the camp and offers Lew 500 dollars not to work in Walter's corner but Lew refuses.

Moments later, Willy returns and discovers that Marvin (Richard Devon) and Ralphie have broken both of Lew's hands. A real brawl erupts as Willy, insane with fury, leaps on both hoods. He is spared a savage beating by the sudden appearance of Walter, who appears and knocks both men unconcious.

The next night, Walter with Willy and the total population of Cream Valley cheering him on, k.o.'s Romero in the sixth round. Walter's dressing room is a scene of happy confusion as his supporters pour in to congratulate him. Suddenly Willy spies Dolly standing outside in the corridor. He hurries out and takes her in his arms. At the same time, the others file out of the room, leaving Walter and Rose together, gazing at each other lovingly.