1. all at sea

    all at sea Well-Known Member

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    Since there are a few boxing writing related threads on the go that are currently proving to be popular , I thought I would start another one.

    Please list your personal top 10 boxing related books.
     
  2. Chinny

    Chinny Well-Known Member

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    This will require some thought. I'll come back to it.

    Is yours in order [MENTION=22417]all at sea[/MENTION]?
     
  3. Trail

    Trail R.I.P. Joe Rein

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    In no order

    The Road to Nowhere - Tris Dixon
    Gods of War - Springs Toledo
    The Myth, the Mayhem, Tyson - Montieth Illingworth
    Tyson - Tyson
    The Big If - Johnny Owens book
    Hands of Stone - Christian Guidicci (sp?)
    Hagler book
    Al Bernstein book
    A Manly Art - George Kimball
    Four Kings - George Kimball
    From the Streets to the Ring - Teddy Atlas

    There's 11
     
  4. all at sea

    all at sea Well-Known Member

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    I will need to give it some thought. Top three is done plus I know most of the next seven , but still need to work out the order to rank them in.
     
  5. Chinny

    Chinny Well-Known Member

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    [video=youtube_share;KOO5S4vxi0o]http://youtu.be/KOO5S4vxi0o[/video]
     
  6. Trail

    Trail R.I.P. Joe Rein

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    Spinal Tap moment for Trail...
     
  7. JamieC

    JamieC Well-Known Member

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    I'll come back to this but Johnny Nelson's is great
     
    James Figg likes this.
  8. Chinny

    Chinny Well-Known Member

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    1. Boxing Confidential (Jim Brady).

    I love boxing, crime and investigative reporting. This has all of that in one, for me, perfect mix

    2. Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing (Donald Macrae)

    Have the first paperback, bought soon after it came out. Love the writing and the subjects are among those making me fall in love with the sport. Read it in Morocco. Not sure why I just thought of that, but the book left more of an impression on me than the trip.
    The original cover painting of Holyfield by Sandor Szenassy is wonderful.

    3. Muhammad Ali: A Thirty Year Journey (Howard Bingham)

    My first serious girlfriend bought me this. Howard is Ali's friend and a terrific photographer.

    4. Fight Town (Tim Dahlberg)

    Gorgeous coffee table book about Sin City and the fight game

    5. Crown of Thorns (Norman Giler)

    Taught me about heavyweight history. Wonderful photographs

    6. The Sweet Science (AJ Leibling)

    Perfectly indulgent, reading this you are THERE in the smoky arenas with Leibling

    7. McIlvaney on Boxing (Hugh McIlvaney)

    Peerless at beautifully evoking what its all about

    8. A flame of pure fire (Roger Khan)

    Really does bring the 20s to life

    9. The Hurt Business (edited by George Kimball)

    Compendium of great writing

    10. Muhammad Ali: His life and times (Thomas Hauser)

    Definitive and meticulous. Narrowly beats "The Fight" for being 100% focussed on the real subject matter
     
  9. all at sea

    all at sea Well-Known Member

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    I knew before I read your post, what your number 1 was going to be.
     
  10. Chinny

    Chinny Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested to learn yours. You phrased the question really well to bring out some potentially quirky choices.

    I wonder if Eubank's is in your top 10. I liked it a lot.
     
  11. all at sea

    all at sea Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed Eubanks autobiography but it doesn't get anywhere near my personal top 10.

    You will have to wait until tomorrow for my list.
     
  12. DB Cooper

    DB Cooper cigar chewing journeyman

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    Narrowing it to 10 is the hard part. Will be back.
     
  13. Lilo

    Lilo -

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    I don't think I've even read 10 boxing books (no casual) but Raging Bull and Dark Trade are top drawer.
     
  14. Boxfan

    Boxfan Well-Known Member

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    Gonna have to think about this one. Road to Nowhere has got to be near the top of the list of anybodys list who has read it. Incidentally Im half way through The Domino Diaries. But this is all personal choice,I like travelogues as well as boxing books so a combination of the 2 is always gonna be the top of my list. Plus you get the feeling with these 2 that the book is the work of the author rather than the ghost writer because they're both journalists. Anyway mate,off the top of my head thats the top 2. Domino is great so far but not sure its worth 17 quid as per our earlier discussion!! Will keep you posted mate.
     
  15. hands of stone

    hands of stone New Member

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  16. doug.ie

    doug.ie Well-Known Member

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    i'm a big fan of a.j. leibling ..its the detail..things like how tommy jackson spent his spare time shooting rats.

    tris dixons book is like living his epic journey by his side with him ..that book has to be read by any boxing fan.

    joe louis autobiography ...what a great read...it is written like joe is sat beside you on a bar stool telling you everything about his life...warts and all..and written like how he would phrase everything...from falling out of love with boxing but having to continue due to the tax bill...to shagging porn stars and picking up std's...he tells all.

    40 world champions tell their story...what a great read...one example...gunboat smith telling how his gloves were loaded and how jess willards ear was hanging off in their fight.

    and the gift that keeps on giving...the epic wonderful huge piece of work that is steve comptons book on harry greb...all factual, unlike previous greb books by fair and paxton...this has some wonderful newspaper clippings and artwork...its truly fascinating.
     
  17. doug.ie

    doug.ie Well-Known Member

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    oh..and toy bulldog..the mickey walker story by john jarrett is such a fun read...i'll give an example later.
     
  18. doug.ie

    doug.ie Well-Known Member

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    Doc Kearns (Walkers manager) claimed he had accepted an original offer for Mickey to box Pat Dillon, a Canadian journeyman fighter, in Louisville on the eve of the Kentucky Derby in 1930, but when Dillon suffered a hand injury, the promoters asked Doc if he would accept Paul Swiderski as a substitute. Kearns would refer to Swiderski as a “local boy noted as a very rough and tough customer,” but Paul was actually a light-heavyweight from Syracuse with a so-so record. They needed spending money for the big weekend, so Kearns agreed to the fight.*

    But when fight day rolled around, the promoters told Kearns that they hadn’t taken in enough money to pay Mickey’s purse. There were plenty of sporting gents in town but they had come to see the big race, not a boxing match, even if there was a world champion topping the card. Doc told them if there was no money, there was no fight. When he told Mickey, the Toy Bulldog joined in the festivities and started hitting the bars.*

    It was some hours later when Kearns was called by the promoters. They had three grand for Walker if he was still sober. He wasn’t when Teddy Hayes (his trainer at the time) found him, but he was always ready for a fight, and manager and trainer set to work to get their star attraction fit for the fray. They finally got him into the ring but were hoping Swiderski wasn’t feeling too ambitious. He was.*

    Kearns recalled, “Swiderski galloped across the ring at the opening bell and walloped Mickey on the chin with a right hand that knocked him flatter than a house detective’s arches. Through the next couple of minutes, Mickey was up and down like a pump handle, and finally Swiderski fetched him a smash on the jaw that knocked Mickey cold.”*

    The way Kearns told it, he happened to hit the timekeeper’s gong with Mickey’s water bottle, thus ending the round. Harry Lenny (Swiderski's manager) had seen Doc’s unofficial action and jumped into the ring, yelling to the timekeeper that the round was not over. Kearns and Hayes had followed Lenny into the ring, intent on hauling Mickey back to his corner for some badly needed first aid.*

    They needed a diversion and a free-for-all broke out in the middle of the ring with the local police joining in. Meanwhile Doc got Walker back to his stool, doused him with water and shoved the smelling salts under his nose. He was stirring when they cleared the ring and the bell rang for round two.*

    Kearns would recall that Swiderski cornered Mickey again and knocked him out, absolutely cold. Luckily there were only five seconds left in the round and Walker was saved by the bell. But he was still virtually out on his feet when going out for round three.*

    For Doc Kearns, desperate times called for desperate measures, and this was one of those times. He recalled on entering the arena seeing a bank of switches in the box office, which he pointed out to Hayes. If those switches were pulled by some careless person, all the arena lights would go out. So, with the dangerous Swiderski taking aim on the hapless Walker, Doc sent Hayes off to the box office.*

    Leaving the ringside, Hayes raced off to the front of the hall and found the box office. Surprising the guy in there, he yelled something about the lights, pulled on two large switches, and out went the arena lights. Then he charged back to the ring, got Walker to his corner, and worked on him. By the time the lights came on again, Mickey was shaking his head and coming out of his nightmare.*

    When all the lights went out, Kearns recalled that he was in the ring and swapping punches with Swiderski, having shoved the semi-conscious Walker into a corner. He was soon joined by Hayes, who slugged Lenny, and with the crowd going crazy and the referee looking on helplessly, the cops again charged into the ring to sort things out. It took about half an hour this time to clear everybody out of the ring except the principals, and the real fight started again.*

    The story of this fight is as mixed up as the circumstances leading up to it. In his “Sportlight” column, Grantland Rice wrote, “It was almost another Dempsey–Firpo melee.... It took a fighter to get back and tear in as Walker did. Only a fighting man could have staged such a counter attack. And here was $100,000 worth of drama and excitement on tap for a $7,000 house.”*

    By all accounts, Paul Swiderski put Mickey Walker’s lights out in that hectic first round, and by the accounts of Kearns and Hayes, they put everybody else’s lights out. They didn’t mention a double knockdown in the opening round, yet in several reports there was such a rare happening.*

    In a review for Ring magazine, Dan Daniels recorded, “The rivals connected simultaneously and both hit the canvas. Paul pulled himself up at six, Walker needed nine.... The round had gone 2:30 with the champion sprawled out on the canvas when the bell suddenly rang. Kearns had sent trainer Teddy Hayes to rap the gong in time to save Walker from being counted out.” Daniels concluded that, but for the skullduggery pulled by Hayes and Kearns, Walker would have been knocked out.

    Damon Runyon, in Louisville for the Derby, was at the Walker fight. He saw the double knockdown, recording in his column a few days later, “As Mr. Swiderski speared him on the chin with a left hook, Mr. Walker’s right landing at the same instant on Mr. Swiderski’s kisser. Down they both went. ’Twas the first double knockdown these aged eyes have viewed in many a semester.”*

    Somebody else remembered the double knockdown—Paul Swiderski. He would tell sportswriter/cartoonist “Lank” Leonard, “We both land at the same time and we both go down. Well, I’m the first to get up. Mickey finally makes it but he’s in terrible shape.” Swiderski also recalled the lights going out. “By the time they find a new fuse Walker is himself again and I’m tired out from giving him everything I’ve got. He finished strong and I was lucky to finish.”*

    A couple of months after the fight, Swiderski talked with columnist William Braucher for his “Hooks & Slides” column. “Sure, low blows hurt,” he said, “and I still carry effects of one that Mickey handed me in Louisville. Well, just as the bell rang ending the third round, Mickey let a wild one go and it took me right in the groin. I went over on my face and felt very sick to my stomach.”*

    Swiderski and manager Lenny tried to buy the pictures that were taken of the knockdowns but they were too late. Doc Kearns had already bought the plates from the only photographer who covered the fight. Recalled sportswriter Henry J. McCormick some years later, “Swiderski’s manager had placards made up showing his boy knocking down Walker eight times. In some of the pictures the fighter purporting to be Walker wore dark trunks, in others he wore white trunks; in some pictures the fight was in a ring outdoors, in others in a ring indoors.”*
     
  19. doug.ie

    doug.ie Well-Known Member

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    and...

    In one of his sober moments, Mickey Walker had made Doc Kearns promise they would take a trip to Ireland. His father’s people had come from Roscommon, his mother’s from Kerry, and his mail bag was always full of letters from people claiming to be cousins or related in some way, warm, friendly letters, and Mickey wanted to meet them. So Doc gave Walter Friedman a roll of bills and told him to book the trip to the Emerald Isle. **

    Friedman was a Broadway character labeled “Good-Time Charley” by Damon Runyon. Friedman didn’t know anybody in Ireland, but he did know a cute little French actress with whom he had been keeping company in London, and she was returning to Paris the next day. Problem solved. He bought a bunch of tickets for Paris and took them to Kearns. Doc was just as happy about the new destination. He didn’t know anybody in Ireland either. **

    Mickey had been in Paris a couple of days before he realized that he wasn’t in Ireland, and that the people were speaking French, not Gaelic. By that time he didn’t seem to care. He was having too good a time.
     
  20. Chatty

    Chatty Well-Known Member

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    1. Jake La Motta - Raging Bull: Shits all over the film and is a crazy book. La Motta is brutally honest and it has one of the best twists I've read in a book. Not sure if its all true and to what extent but the guy admits being a rapist in it so he's not exactly trying to make himself look good. Gives a good assessment of some of his fights but its more the story behind the boxing than to it.

    2. Johnny Tapia - Mi Vida Loca: Pretty much as above but Johnny is way more lovable, just charts his life and delves a lot into his career - pretty tragic from beginning to end, his mothers murder, drug addiction, jail, growing up as the runt in his grandparents. Its a mad book, you really want him to defy the odds but the guy gets himself into some off the most fucked up situations.

    3. Geoffrey Ward - Unforgivable Blackness: The Jack Johnson Story : Looks back through Johnsons career and charts the rise from nomad to champion, the fight against racism and the historical significance of Johnsons career/life. Really informative read. There's meant to be a better one out there (in two parts I think) but I aint got a chance to reading it yet.

    4. Sugar Ray Leonard - The Big Fight: Excellent take on Leonards career fromt he man himself, pulls no punches and tells a truthful bio.

    5. Christian Giudice - Hands of Stone: You don't get Durans nput but its a pretty good and interesting read on the man, very well researched.

    6. Teddy Atlas - Atlas: Another that seems like an honest take on his career (to the time) goes to town on Tyson, has interesting tales on his younger days as a troubled youth, some good tales about Moorer.

    7. Larry Holmes - Against the Odds: I really liked this book, theres nothing really mind blowing in it but its a solid read and Larry seems like a good bloke. Isn't afraid to tell it how he sees it in accordance to ALi, the Marciano drama etc. Guy has his head screwed on.

    8. Mark Kram - Ghosts of Manilla: Very interesting take on the Ali-Frazier rivalry, probably not for Ali fans:lol:

    9. Rob Steele - Sonny Liston, His Life Strife & The Phantom Punch: Its the best bio on Liston I have read to date, there is quite a few out there but this one does its best to call the story down the middle and is pretty interesting. Still come out of it feeling like Liston was a mystery mind.

    10. Tyson - Undisputed Truth: this one again comes with a no bones approach although theirs plenty out there to dispute some of his takes on the rape and criminal activities. Still though its a pretty engaging story about his childhood and how he coped with fame and ascending to the top at such a young age to where he is now.
     

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