The Book of Boxing
Edited by W. C. Heinz and Nathan WardThroughout its history, boxing has thrilled, outraged and elevated fans everywhere with its intoxicating combination of primal violence, gut-wrenching drama and stirring courage. Not surprisingly, that potent mix has attracted many of the world's finest writers. Here, in The Book of Boxing, we present a collection of their most powerful efforts. Among the stories are the following:
Jack London ringside in Reno in 1910 as the first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, gives a brilliant boxing lesson and a running lecture to the great Jim Jeffries; William Hazlitt in England for the 1821 Neat-Hickman bareknuckle contest; Frank Menke watching Jack Dempsey fly out of the ring and return to win against Luis Firpo in 1923; Pat Putnam on the furious 1985 bout between Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler; and Mark Kram on the epochal third battle between Ali and Frazier in Manila in 1975.
Boxing's fascinating dark side is represented as well: Paul Gallico recounts the sad, manipulated career of Primo Carnera, and David Remnick surveys the celebrity onlookers in Las Vegas, who were horrified by Mike Tyson's infamous biting of Evander Holyfield in their 1997 rematch.
In addition to memorable ringside reportage and remembrance, The Book of Boxing surveys the pugilistic literature of fight fiction and poetry by such masters as Virgil, O. Henry, James T. Farrell, Homer, Ring Lardner (now you probably never expected to see those two names back-to-back in a sentence, did you?), and Ernest Hemingway.
With 16 pages of vivid action photography, The Book of Boxing collects the greatest short works boxing has inspired, spanning worlds from that of the ancient Greek warrior Epeus to that of contemporary Angelino Oscar De La Hoya.
And, as an added bonus, the inside of the dust jacket contains the bout-by-bout record of every heavyweight championship fight from 1892 onward.