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12 Rounds in Lo's Gym
Boxing and Manhood in Appalachia
Todd D. Snyder
West Virginia University Press, 2018
Questions of class and gender in Appalachia have, in the wake of the 2016 presidential election and the runaway success of Hillbilly Elegy, moved to the forefront of national conversations about politics and culture. From Todd Snyder, a first generation college student turned college professor, comes a passionate commentary on these themes in a family memoir set in West Virginia coal country.
 
12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym is the story of the author’s father, Mike “Lo” Snyder, a fifth generation West Virginia coal miner who opened a series of makeshift boxing gyms with the goal of providing local at-risk youth with the opportunities that eluded his adolescence. Taking these hardscrabble stories as his starting point, Snyder interweaves a history of the region, offering a smart analysis of the costs—both financial and cultural—of an economy built around extractive industries.

Part love letter to Appalachia, part rigorous social critique, readers may find 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym—and its narrative of individual and community strength in the face of globalism’s headwinds—a welcome corrective to popular narratives that blame those in the region for their troubles. 
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1968
A Pivotal Moment in American Sports
James C. Nicholson
University of Tennessee Press, 2019
 Amid anti-Vietnam war protests, political assassinations, and urban unrest, the United States had descended into an era of domestic turmoil by the summer of 1968. Americans were split along nearly every imaginable line, and discord penetrated all facets of American culture. As James Nicholson proves in this thought-provoking volume, the sports arena was no exception.
            Opening with Vince Lombardi’s last win as coach of the Packers in Super Bowl II and closing with Jo Namath’s Super Bowl III guarantee, 1968 charts a course through the turbulent waters of American sports over a single improbable year. Nicholson chronicles and scrutinizes a number of events that reflected-and fed-the acrimony of that year: the Masters golf tournament, in which enforcement of an arcane rule cost a foreign player a chance at victory; the disqualification of the Kentucky Derby winner for doping; Muhammed Ali’s appeal of a criminal conviction for draft evasion; an unorthodox rendition of the national anthem at the World Series that nearly overshadowed the game it preceded; and a silent gesture of protest at the Mexico City Olympics that shocked the nation and world.
            While 1968 was not the first year that sports converged with social and political strife in America, echoes of the past in today’s culture wars bring a heightened relevance to the events of a half century ago. In reading Nicholson’s work, scholars and sports fans alike will receive an instructive glimpse into the nature of persistent division in the United States as it reflected in our national pastimes.
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And the New . . .
An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2012
Thomas Hauser's recording of the contemporary boxing scene has become the sport's most eagerly anticipated written work. Here's what readers are saying about And the New . . . "Masterful, as always . . . Awesome writing." "On a scale of one to ten, Hauser rates one hundred." "The most accurate, honest, and insightful writing about boxing that I've ever read." "Thomas Hauser is in a league of his own." "It doesn't get any better than this. Another five-star article from Hauser." "Brilliant, enlightening, and wonderful. This is what boxing writing should be." "Another great article from a truly great writer." Booklist says that Thomas Hauser is "the most respected boxing journalist working today and perhaps the best ever." Robert Lipsyte calls him "the best boxing writer of our time." And the New . . . is the latest compilation of Hauser's classic writing. It brings readers into the dressing room with fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez in the moments before the year's biggest fights. Hauser's award-winning investigative journalism exposes the inner workings of HBO Sports and the economic realities that drive boxing today. There's a look back in time at the incomparable Henry Armstrong, and much more.
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Battling Siki
A Tale of Ring Fixes, Race, and Murder in the 1920s
Peter Benson
University of Arkansas Press, 2008
Battling Siki (1887–1925) was once one of the four or five most recognizable black men in the world, and was written about in detail by such figures as Ring Lardner and his son John, Damon Runyon, and Westbrook Pegler. One can find his legacy in the name of a popular rock group, one of Che Guevara’s lieutenants, a character on Xena, Warrior Princess, and the Battling Siki Hotel in the fighter’s homeland, Senegal. Peter Benson’s biography of the first African to win a world championshipin boxing delves into the complex world of sports, race, colonialism, and the cult of personality in the early twentieth century. Born Amadu Fall, Siki was taken from Senegal to France by an actress and assumed the name Louis M’barick Fall. After an inauspicious beginning as a boxer, he served in World War I with distinction then returned to boxing and compiled a most impressive record (forty-three wins in forty-six bouts). Then, on September 24, 1922, at Paris’s Buffalo Velodrome, before forty thousand stunned spectators (including a young Ernest Hemingway, who wrote about the fight), Battling Siki, employing his trademark “windmill” punch, fought and defeated the reigning world and European light heavyweight champion, Georges Carpentier. The colorful Siki spent a fortune partying and carousing, was arrested for firing a pistol in the air, and was frequently seen on the streets of Paris, dressed in flashy clothes, walking his pet lion cubs on a leash. But he also provoked a scandal by exposing the corruption of the fight game in France, spoke out boldly against racisim, and was arrected for deliberately defying the code of racial segregation in the American South. Siki’s flamboyant image was largely created by newsmen. In fact, the real Siki, while he did certainly like to party, was also an intelligent and socially conscious person, who detested the media’s image of him as a simple-minded drunken savage. Offers rushed in for him to fight in the United States, maybe even against Jack Dempsey. But in a move many have called one of the strangest a fighter ever made, he fought Irishman Mike McTigue in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day—and lost. After losing his European title he came to the United States and fought without much success. He continued to drink and get into street brawls. On the evening of December 15, 1925, at the age of twenty-eight, he was shot and killed in Hell’s Kitchen in what some claimed was a gangland execution. Peter Benson’s biography beautifully captures Battling Siki’s amazing boxing career and sheds new light on the scandal surrounding his marriages and public behavior, his alleged participation in ring fixes, and the mystery surrounding his death.
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A Beautiful Sickness
Reflections on the Sweet Science
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2001
This is the second collection of articles on professional boxing to be published in book form by acclaimed writer Thomas Hauser. It offers unique insights into Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Shane Mosely, Ray Jones Jr. and many more superstars, as well as an insider's critique of the sweet science today. Satirical, whimsical, and pungent, Hauser deftly maps the politics and poli-tricks of the world's only true universal sport.
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Beyond the Ring
The Role of Boxing in American Society
Jeffrey T. Sammons
University of Illinois Press, 1988

Primitive, dangerous, low-paying, crooked, exploitive--boxing, in all but a few cases, offered its athletes very little while taking everything. Why does boxing exist? What accounted for its decades-long popularity? What does its presence on the sport history landscape say about America? 

Jeffrey T. Sammons looks at how boxing reflected the society that fostered it at different points in history. In the time of John L. Sullivan, the sport provided an arena for testing law, order, and social growth. Jack Johnson's career reflected the racism, nationalism, and xenophobia of the Progressive era. At its popular peak in the 1920s, boxing expressed tensions as disparate as the tug-of-war between modernism and tradition and the women's rights movement. From there, Sammons traces how the sport intertwined with Nazi antisemitism, reflected the hopes of the New Deal, produced the seminal figure Joe Louis, and stood at the nexus of the union of organized crime with business and television. Finally, he shows how Muhammad Ali and reactions to him exposed the shifting tides of racial issues and American involvement in Vietnam.

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The Bittersweet Science
Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside
Edited by Carlo Rotella and Michael Ezra
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Weighing in with a balance of the visceral and the cerebral, boxing has attracted writers for millennia. Yet few of the writers drawn to it have truly known the sport—and most have never been in the ring. Moving beyond the typical sentimentality, romanticism, or cynicism common to writing on boxing, The Bittersweet Science is a collection of essays about boxing by contributors who are not only skilled writers but also have extensive firsthand experience at ringside and in the gym, the corner, and the ring itself.

Editors Carlo Rotella and Michael Ezra have assembled a roster of fresh voices, ones that expand our understanding of the sport’s primal appeal. The contributors to The Bittersweet Science—journalists, fiction writers, fight people, and more—explore the fight world's many aspects, considering boxing as both craft and business, art form and subculture. From manager Charles Farrell’s unsentimental defense of fixing fights to former Golden Glover Sarah Deming’s complex profile of young Olympian Claressa Shields, this collection takes us right into the ring and makes us feel the stories of the people who are drawn to—or sometimes stuck in—the boxing world. We get close-up profiles of marquee attractions like Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr., as well as portraits of rising stars and compelling cornermen, along with first-person, hands-on accounts from fighters’ points of view. We are schooled in not only how to hit and be hit, but why and when to throw in the towel. We experience the intimate immediacy of ringside as well as the dim back rooms where the essentials come together. And we learn that for every champion there’s a regiment of journeymen, dabblers, and anglers for advantage, for every aspiring fighter, a veteran in painful decline.

Collectively, the perspectives in The Bittersweet Science offer a powerful in-depth picture of boxing, bobbing and weaving through the desires, delusions, and dreams of boxers, fans, and the cast of managers, trainers, promoters, and hangers-on who make up life in and around the ring.

Contributors: Robert Anasi, Brin-Jonathan Butler, Donovan Craig, Sarah Deming, Michael Ezra, Charles Farrell, Rafael Garcia, Gordon Marino, Louis Moore, Gary Lee Moser, Hamilton Nolan, Gabe Oppenheim, Carlo Rotella, Sam Sheridan, and Carl Weingarten.
 
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The Black Lights
Inside the World of Professional Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press
Originally published in 1986 (McGraw-Hill), The Black Lights was the first book that fully explored the sport and business of professional boxing. Upon joining the training camp of superlightweight Billy Costello, Thomas Hauser was given unprecedented access to the fighter, his manager, and trainer as well as to the real heavyweights of the boxing world, promoter Don King, and World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman. The result, according to Playboy in their review of the original, is a book that "explains why fighters fight, what they go through to win, and how they feel when they lose. It is a great book." In this gracefully written, fast-paced narrative, the author slips quietly into the background and gives us a firsthand look at a business that is often cruel and exploitative and a sport that is at once violent and beautiful. As the San Francisco Chronicle points out, The Black Lights provides ammunition for both sides in the debate over boxing: "Hauser has written what is clearly the most complete and fairminded work on the subject to date." In an age when the controversy surrounding the evils and merits of boxing still rages, this classic account is more timely than ever.
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Boxing
A Cultural History
Kasia Boddy
Reaktion Books, 2019
Throughout history, potters, sculptors, painters, poets, novelists, cartoonists, song-writers, photographers, and filmmakers have recorded and tried to make sense of boxing. From Daniel Mendoza to Mike Tyson, boxers have embodied and enacted our anxieties about race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. In her encyclopedic investigation of the shifting social, political, and cultural resonances of this most visceral of sports, Kasia Boddy throws new light on an elemental struggle for dominance whose weapons are nothing more than fists.

Looking afresh at everything from neoclassical sculpture to hip-hop lyrics, Boddy explores the ways in which the history of boxing has intersected with the history of mass media. Boddy pulls no punches, looking to the work of such diverse figures as Henry Fielding and Spike Lee, Charlie Chaplin and Philip Roth, James Joyce and Mae West, Bertolt Brecht and Charles Dickens in an all-encompassing study that tells us just how and why boxing has mattered so much to so many.
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Boxing
A Cultural History
Kasia Boddy
Reaktion Books, 2008
Boxing is one of the oldest and most exciting of sports: its bruising and bloody confrontations have permeated Western culture since 3000 BC. During that period, there has hardly been a time in which young men, and sometimes women, did not raise their gloved or naked fists to one other. Throughout this history, potters, sculptors, painters, poets, novelists, cartoonists, song-writers, photographers and film-makers have been there to record and make sense of it all.
 
In her encyclopaedic investigation, Kasia Boddy sheds new light on an elemental sports and struggle for dominance whose weapons are nothing more than fists. Boddy examines the shifting social, political and cultural resonances of this most visceral of sports, and shows how from Daniel Mendoza to Mike Tyson, boxers have embodied and enacted our anxieties about race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Looking afresh at everything from neoclassical sculpture to hip-hop lyrics, Boxing explores the way in which the history of boxing has intersected with the history of mass media, from cinema to radio to pay-per-view. The book also offers an intriguing new perspective on the work of such diverse figures as Henry Fielding, Spike Lee, Charlie Chaplin, Philip Roth, James Joyce, Mae West, Bertolt Brecht, and Charles Dickens.
 
An all-encompassing study, Boxing ultimately reveals to us just how and why boxing has mattered so much to so many.
 
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The Boxing Film
A Cultural and Transmedia History
Travis Vogan
Rutgers University Press, 2021
As one of popular culture’s most popular arenas, sports are often the subject of cinematic storytelling. But boxing films are special. There are more movies about boxing, by a healthy margin, than any other sport, and boxing accompanied and aided the medium’s late nineteenth-century emergence as a popular mass entertainment. Many of cinema’s most celebrated directors—from Oscar Micheaux to Martin Scorsese—made boxing films. And while the production of other types of sports movies generally corresponds with the current popularity of their subject, boxing films continue to be made regularly even after the sport has wilted from its once-prominent position in the sports hierarchy of the United States. From Edison’s Leonard-Cushing Fight to The Joe Louis Story, Rocky, and beyond, this book explores why boxing has so consistently fascinated cinema and popular media culture by tracing how boxing movies inform the sport’s meanings and uses from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century.
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Boxing Is . . .
Reflections on the Sweet Science
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2010
Thomas Hauser has become “must reading” in the boxing community, and his latest book demonstrates why. Boxing Is . . . brings together all of Hauser’s 2009 articles. In them, Hauser illuminates the behind-the-scenes stories of the year’s most memorable personalities and events. He takes us from Manny Pacquiao’s dressing room in the tense moments before 2009’s biggest fight to an in-depth portrait of the incomparable Sugar Ray Robinson, all the while continuing to show why his annual collections, avidly anticipated by fans and critics alike, have become, according to columnist Bart Barry, “an essential part of boxing’s official record and the chronicles of this era most likely to endure.”
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The Boxing Scene
Thomas Hauser
Temple University Press, 2008

Thomas Hauser has been called “one of boxing’s greatest writers. The Boxing Scene, Hauser’s provocative new anthology, contains all of his trademark insights and candor as he peels away layers of hypocrisy to reveal the men who make up the contemporary boxing landscape.

Hauser exposes the inner workings of HBO Sports; examines the phenomenon of mixed martial arts as it relates to boxing; and records the amusing encounter between his 81-year-old mother and larger-than-life boxing impresario Don King. The Boxing Scene also updates Hauser’s personal and professional thoughts on superstars like Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, and Bernard Hopkins as well as fight promoter Bob Arum, announcer Bob Sheridan and a host of others.

The Boxing Scene recreates another year in professional boxing and adds to Hauser’s definitive record of the sport.

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Boxing the Kangaroo
A Reporter's Memoir
Robert J. Donovan
University of Missouri Press, 2000

"The host had brought out a pair of boxing gloves and asked the president if any of his friends would like to indulge in the Australian sport of boxing kangaroos. Once the president of the United States had selected me, there was almost no way out, unless I ran home to tell my mother."

In Boxing the Kangaroo: A Reporter's Memoir, Robert J. Donovan shares many exciting events that highlighted his stellar journalistic career. As an investigative reporter during five presidential administrations, Donovan has had many "insider" experiences. His memoir delightfully humanizes each of the five presidents he reported on: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

Donovan began his career working as a night copyboy for the Buffalo Courier-Express, earning seven dollars a week. In 1937, he got a job as a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune, where he worked for many years. By 1942 the Herald Tribune had assigned Donovan to cover City Hall and the lively activities of Fiorello La Guardia. After his service in World War II he returned to the Herald Tribune to cover the man from Missouri who followed FDR. Ultimately, Donovan served as chief of the New York Herald Tribune Washington bureau and the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau.

Donovan traveled across the country with Harry S. Truman during his "Give 'Em Hell, Harry" campaign. He covered Dwight D. Eisenhower's election, about which he says there was never a doubt--Ike, the war hero, mesmerized the country. He was a personal friend of John F. Kennedy, having written about the President's PT-109 heroics in World War II, and was on the scene the day Kennedy was assassinated: "The drama in the second press bus, in which I rode in the presidential motorcade in Dallas, is unforgettable. `Why has the motorcade stopped?' a reporter asked as we drew near the Texas School Book Depository. . . . `I heard a shot,' another said. A voice in the rear contradicted him. `That was a motorcycle backfiring.'" Donovan would find out shortly before the rest of the world that, in fact, it was not a motorcycle backfiring, but the firing of an assassin's bullet that killed the nation's thirty-fifth president.

Boxing the Kangaroo is one of the best "I was there" accounts of American history. This fascinating book will appeal to journalists, American history buffs, and the general reader alike.

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Broken Dreams
Another Year Inside Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2021

Each year, readers, writers, and critics alike look forward to Thomas Hauser’s newest collection of articles about the contemporary boxing scene. As Booklist has proclaimed, “Many journalists have written fine boxing pieces, but none has written as extensively or as memorably as Thomas Hauser. . . . Hauser remains the current champion of boxing. . . . Hauser is a treasure.”

Broken Dreams meets this high standard with its coverage of 2020’s most important fighters and fights, outside-the-ring controversies, regulatory missteps, and other issues that defined the year’s boxing scene. Hauser explores the heavyweight trio of Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder in depth, as well as Canelo Álvarez and historic greats like Jack Dempsey, Carlos Monzon, and Muhammad Ali.

Hauser also tackles the larger social challenges that imposed themselves so assertively in 2020, including the coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, runaway social media, the presidential election, and other forces that left a deep imprint on the sport and business of boxing.

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Cut Time
An Education at the Fights
Carlo Rotella
University of Chicago Press, 2005
"Boxing is not just fighting," writes Carlo Rotella. "It is also training and living right and preparing to go the distance in the broadest sense of the phrase, a relentless managing of self that anyone who gets truly old must learn." Rotella's Cut Time chronicles his immersion in the fight world, from the brutal classroom of the gym to the spectacle of fight night. An award-winning writer and ringside veteran, Rotella unearths the hidden wisdom in any kind of fight, from barroom brawl to HBO extravaganza.

Tracing the consequences of hurt and craft, the two central facts of boxing, Rotella reveals moving resonances between the worlds inside and outside the ropes. The brief, disastrous fistic career of one of his students pinpoints the moment when adulthood arrives; the hard-won insight of a fellow fan shows Rotella how to reckon with a car crash. Mismatches, resilience, pride, pain, and aging—Rotella's lessons from the ring extend far beyond the sport. In Cut Time, Rotella achieves the near-impossible: he makes the fight world relevant to us, whether we're fans or not.

"Cut Time should be read not just by fight aficionados but also by fans of intelligent nonfiction writing. . . . An absorbing read."—Sports Illustrated
"Just when you think it's all been written, a good writer takes a shining new look at an old subject and breathes life into it. . . . Rotella has preserved the blow-by-blow and the grandeur of another age but has somehow expanded the ring to include his own generation's proclivities and sensibility."—Los Angeles Times

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A Dangerous Journey
Inside Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2019
Each year, readers, writers, and critics alike look forward to Thomas Hauser’s newest collection of articles about the contemporary boxing scene. Reviewing his 2018 collection, Booklist proclaimed, “This is Hauser in a nutshell: compassion, character, and context. As always, an annual delight.”

A Dangerous Journey continues Hauser’s tradition of excellence, turning his award-winning investigative reporting skills on the scandal surrounding the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs and the failures of corrupt and incompetent state athletic commissions. Hauser also takes readers into Canelo Alvarez’s dressing room in the hours before and after his rematch against Gennady Golovkin, the biggest fight of the year, and offers in-depth portraits of boxing’s biggest stars—past and present—as well as reflections on fight-related curiosities ranging from Ronda Rousey to David and Goliath.

Thirty-five years ago, Hauser began writing about boxing with his superb The Black Lights, which has long been regarded as a boxing classic. He only gets better.
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Eclipse of the Sun
Boxing Poems
Red Shuttleworth
University of Nevada Press, 2023
A tribute to the improbable dreams of valiant men in a rough sport.

In this striking poetry collection, Red Shuttleworth, who holds the record as the oldest active boxer (professional or amateur), offers evocative imagery that unapologetically reveals the life of a boxer. From the inspiring hopes of an early career to agonizing defeats, the poems in Eclipse of the Sun take readers on a journey from moderate successes to the realization that a dream of a promising future has become the reality of the long haul of a journeyman. Along the way, Shuttleworth rubs elbows with greats like Muhammad Ali, Chickie Ferrara, and Ron Lyle, exposing the resolute path and difficult end of a hard-lived life.
 
This collection is an homage to boxing at its grittiest levels, and to fighters who persevere—with hope, blood, and bone—against sense and loss. Few professional boxers earn a living in the ring, and even fewer arrive in their forties with any money left from their sport. In this collection, boxers attain poverty rather than riches, end up in post-career menial jobs, and have no pension plan to fall back on. Shuttleworth’s poetry is a visceral inside look at the brutality and humanity at the heart of boxing.
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Friday Night Fighter
Gaspar "Indio" Ortega and the Golden Age of Television Boxing
Troy Rondinone
University of Illinois Press, 2013

Friday Night Fighter relives a lost moment in American postwar history, when boxing ruled as one of the nation's most widely televised sports. During the 1950s and 1960s, viewers tuned in weekly, sometimes even daily, to watch widely recognized fighters engage in primordial battle; the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports Friday Night Fights was the most popular fight show. Troy Rondinone follows the dual narratives of the Friday Night Fights show and the individual story of Gaspar "Indio" Ortega, a boxer who appeared on prime-time network television more than almost any other boxer in history. From humble beginnings growing up poor in Tijuana, Mexico, Ortega personified the phenomenon of postwar boxing at its greatest, appearing before audiences of millions to battle the biggest names of the time, such as Carmen Basilio, Tony DeMarco, Chico Vejar, Benny "Kid" Paret, Emile Griffith, Kid Gavilan, Florentino Fernández, and Luis Manuel Rodriguez.

Rondinone explores the factors contributing to the success of televised boxing, including the rise of television entertainment, the role of a "reality" blood sport, Cold War masculinity, changing attitudes toward race in America, and the influence of organized crime. At times evoking the drama and spectacle of the Friday Night Fights themselves, this volume is a lively examination of a time in history when Americans crowded around their sets to watch the main event.

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George Dixon
The Short Life of Boxing's First Black World Champion, 1870–1908
Jason Winders
University of Arkansas Press, 2021

Winner, 2022 NASSH Book Award (Monograph)

On September 6, 1892, a diminutive Black prizefighter brutally dispatched an overmatched white hope in the New Orleans Carnival of Champions boxing tournament. That victory sparked celebrations across Black communities nationwide but fostered unease among sporting fans and officials, delaying public acceptance of mixed-race fighting for half a century. This turn echoed the nation’s disintegrating relations between whites and Blacks and foreshadowed America’s embrace of racial segregation.

In this work of sporting and social history we have a biography of Canadian-born, Boston-raised boxer George Dixon (1870–1908), the first Black world champion of any sport and the first Black world boxing champion in any division. George Dixon: The Short Life of Boxing’s First Black World Champion, 1870–1908 chronicles the life of the most consequential Black athlete of the nineteenth century and details for the first time his Carnival appearance, perhaps the most significant bout involving a Black fighter until Jack Johnson began his reign in 1908. Yet despite his triumphs, Dixon has been lost to history, overshadowed by Black athletes whose activism against white supremacy far exceeded his own.

George Dixon reveals the story of a man trapped between the white world he served and the Black world that worshipped him. By ceding control to a manipulative white promoter, Dixon was steered through the white power structure of Gilded Age prizefighting, becoming world famous and one of North America’s richest Black men. Unable to hold on to his wealth, however, and battered by his vices, a depleted Dixon was abandoned by his white supporters just as the rising tide of Jim Crow limited both his prospects and the freedom of Blacks nationwide.

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The Greatest Sport of All
An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2007
Over the years, Thomas Hauser has earned recognition as one of the most respected boxing writers in America and the definitive chronicler of the contemporary boxing scene. The Greatest Sport of All is Hauser’s portrait of 2006, another remarkable year in boxing. The book includes an inside look at great fighters, great fights, and the powers behind the throne. There are revealing portraits of Oscar De La Hoya, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, and Don King; a look back at giants like Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali; and more.
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A Hard World
An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2016

In 2015, Booklist observed, “the arrival of Hauser’s annual boxing review is akin to Christmas morning for fight fans. Nobody knows a sport any better than Hauser knows boxing.”

Each year, readers, writers, and critics alike look forward to Thomas Hauser’s annual collection of articles about the contemporary boxing scene. He’s one of the last real champions of boxing and one of the very best who has ever written about the sport.

A Hard World continues this tradition of excellence with dressing-room reports from big fights like Canelo Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto, a behind-the-scenes look at Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, and a foray into the world of mixed martial arts for a compelling portrait of Ronda Rousey. Most importantly, this new collection contains Hauser’s groundbreaking two-part investigative report on the relationship between the United States Anti-Doping Agency and boxing, a report that shook the industry and raised fundamental questions regarding the integrity of USADA’s drug-testing procedures as applied to boxing.

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Heavy Justice
The Trial of Mike Tyson
J. Gregory Garrison
University of Arkansas Press
Heavy Justice is the inside story of one of the great courtroom battles of our time. Gregory Garrison, the special prosecutor in the case, and Randy Roberts, historian and eminent boxing scholar, recount the trial that put heavyweight champion Mike Tyson behind bars. With all the drama, verve, and procedural detail of a novel by John Grisham or Scott Turow, this is also a highly topical morality play touching on all the issues of sex, race, celebrity, and justice that now so perplex our society. When he first heard about the Tyson case, Greg Garrison wanted nothing to do with it. Date rape? Always tough to prove. And one of the few facts already reported was that the young woman making the accusation had been in the defendant's hotel room at two o'clock in the morning. This case was dead on arrival, except that when Desiree Washington told her story, Garrison believed her. So drawing on this simple trust, and inspired by Desiree's courage and conviction, he accepted the challenge of this "unwinnable" case, stepping into the ring against not only Mike Tyson, multimillionaire sports celebrity and hero to millions, and Don King, cheerleader, but also the Washington law firm of Williams & Connolly, perhaps the slickest and most powerful defense counsel money could buy. Originally published in 1994, Heavy Justice brings together the worlds of big-time sports, lowlife sleaze, painstaking police work, and the lofty realms of Harvard's Alan Dershowitz to offer us a thoroughly absorbing account of one of the century's most important legal cases.
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Heavyweight
Black Boxers and the Fight for Representation
Jordana Moore Saggese
Duke University Press, 2024
In Heavyweight, Jordana Moore Saggese examines images of Black heavyweight boxers to map the visual terrain of racist ideology in the United States, paying particular attention to the intersecting discourses of Blackness, masculinity, and sport. Looking closely at the “shadow archive” of portrayals across fine art, vernacular imagery, and public media at the turn of the twentieth century, shedemonstrates how the images of boxers reveal the racist stereotypes implicit in them, many of which continue to structure ideas of Black men today. With a focus on both anonymous fighters and notorious champions, including Jack Johnson, Saggese contends that popular images of these men provided white spectators a way to render themselves experts on Blackness and Black masculinity. These images became the blueprint for white conceptions of the Black male body—existing between fear and fantasy, simultaneously an object of desire and an instrument of violence. Reframing boxing as yet another way whiteness establishes the violent mythology of its supremacy, Saggese highlights the role of imagery in normalizing a culture of anti-Blackness.
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A Hurting Sport
An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2015
A Hurting Sport marks the tenth annual volume of Thomas Hauser’s boxing articles to be published by the University of Arkansas Press. Every year, readers, sportswriters, and critics alike look forward to these collections. In 2014, Booklist observed, “This annual series detailing the year in boxing should be a highlight, not only for fans of the sport but also for those who appreciate journalistic acumen and stylish prose.”

Other sportswriters have called Hauser “the dean of fightwriters” (TheSweetScience.com) and “our craft’s most celebrated practitioner” (15Rounds.com). His readers call him one of the last real champions in boxing and one of the very best who has ever written about this sport.

A Hurting Sport continues this tradition of excellence with a behind-the-scenes recounting of 2014’s biggest fights, a look at Floyd Mayweather’s conduct in and out of the ring, analysis of fight impresario Al Haymon’s burgeoning empire, and much more.
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front cover of I Fight for a Living
I Fight for a Living
Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915
Louis Moore
University of Illinois Press, 2017
The black prizefighter labored in one of the few trades where an African American man could win renown: boxing. His prowess in the ring asserted an independence and powerful masculinity rare for black men in a white-dominated society, allowing him to be a man--and thus truly free.

Louis Moore draws on the life stories of African American fighters active from 1880 to 1915 to explore working-class black manhood. As he details, boxers bought into American ideas about masculinity and free enterprise to prove their equality while using their bodies to become self-made men. The African American middle class, meanwhile, grappled with an expression of public black maleness they saw related to disreputable leisure rather than respectable labor. Moore shows how each fighter conformed to middle-class ideas of masculinity based on his own judgment of what culture would accept. Finally, he argues that African American success in the ring shattered the myth of black inferiority despite media and government efforts to defend white privilege.

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In the Inner Sanctum
Behind the Scenes at Big Fights
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2022

When Thomas Hauser was selected for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2019, his relationship with Muhammad Ali was widely cited. But Ali was just one of the many fighters who have shared momentous times with Hauser. For decades, elite fighters like Evander Holyfield, Manny Pacquiao, Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Ricky Hatton, Kelly Pavlik, Sergio Martínez, Jermain Taylor, Miguel Cotto, Gennady Golovkin, and Canelo Álvarez have welcomed him into their dressing rooms to record their journeys on fight night.

Gathering and updating more than thirty essays from Hauser’s critically acclaimed yearly collections, In the Inner Sanctum celebrates these most dramatic hours in boxers’ lives. In each account, Hauser chronicles the very moment when a fighter’s physical well-being and financial future are on the line—when the fighter is most at risk and most alive.

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John L. Sullivan and His America
Michael T. Isenberg
University of Illinois Press, 1988

The "Great John L." reigned supreme as world heavyweight champion from his victory over Paddy Ryan in 1882 until James J. Corbett knocked him out in 1892. A drunkard, a wastrel, an adulterer, a wife beater, and a bully, Sullivan still became American's first national sports hero and represented the hopes and aspirations of millions of people. 

Michael Isenberg traces Sullivan's eventful life from his humble beginnings in Boston to the height of his immense popularity. The boxer moved as easily in the world of reputable workingmen as he did in the shadowlands on the margins of the sport while his success played a major role in transforming boxing into a profitable and ultimately legitimate business. Tapping previously unexplored archival material--including the notorious National Police Gazette and the other sporting papers of the day--Isenberg tells us why presidents, princes, and turn-of-the-century Americans accepted Sullivan as a hero, even as others vilified him for his drunken and belligerent behavior.

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Lords of the Ring
The Triumph and Tragedy of College Boxing's Greatest Team
Doug Moe
University of Wisconsin Press, 2005
    Lords of the Ring revives the exciting era—now largely forgotten—when college boxing attracted huge crowds and flashy headlines, outdrawing the professional bouts. On the same night in 1940 when Joe Louis defended his heavyweight crown before 11,000 fans in New York's Madison Square Garden, collegiate boxers battled before 15,000 fans in Madison . . . Wisconsin.
    Under legendary and beloved coach John Walsh, the most successful coach in the history of American collegiate boxing, University of Wisconsin boxers won eight NCAA team championships and thirty-eight individual titles from 1933 to 1960. Badger boxers included heroes like Woody Swancutt, who later helped initiate the Strategic Air Command, and rogues like Sidney Korshak, later the most feared mob attorney in the United States. A young fighter from Louisville named Cassius Clay also boxed in the Wisconsin Field House during this dazzling era.
    But in April 1960, collegiate boxing was forever changed when Charlie Mohr— Wisconsin’s finest and most popular boxer, an Olympic team prospect—slipped into a coma after an NCAA tournament bout in Madison. Suddenly, not just Mohr’s life but the entire sport of college boxing was in peril. It was to be the last NCAA boxing tournament ever held. Lords of the Ring tells the whole extraordinary story of boxing at the University of Wisconsin, based on dozens of interviews and extensive examination of newspaper microfilm, boxing records and memorabilia.
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The Main Event
Boxing in Nevada from the Mining Camps to the Las Vegas Strip
Richard O. Davies
University of Nevada Press, 2014
Richard O. Davies won Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Bronze Medal in Sports for The Main Event: Boxing in Nevada from the Mining Camps to the Las Vegas Strip. Davies' book was chosen as one of the best indie books of 2014. 

As the twentieth century dawned, bare-knuckle prizefighting was transforming into the popular sport of boxing, yet simultaneously it was banned as immoral in many locales. Nevada was the first state to legalize it, in 1897, solely to stage the Corbett-Fitzsimmons world heavyweight championship in Carson City. Davies shows that the history of boxing in Nevada is integral to the growth of the sport in America. Promoters such as Tex Rickard brought in fighters like Jack Dempsey to the mining towns of Goldfield and Tonopah and presented the Johnson-Jeffries “Fight of the Century” in Reno in 1910. Prizefights sold tickets, hotel rooms, drinks, meals, and bets on the outcomes. It was boxing\--before gambling, prostitution, and easy divorce\--that first got Nevada called “America’s Disgrace” and the “Sin State.” The Main Event explores how boxing’s growth in Nevada relates to the state’s role as a social and cultural outlier. Starting in the Rat Pack era, organized gambling’s moguls built arenas outside the Vegas casinos to stage championships\--more than two hundred from 1960 to the present. Tourists and players came to see and bet on historic bouts featuring Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, and other legends of the ring.

From the celebrated referee Mills Lane to the challenge posed by mixed martial arts in contemporary Las Vegas, the story of boxing in Nevada is a prism for viewing the sport. Davies utilizes primary and secondary sources to analyze how boxing in the Silver State intersects with its tourist economy and libertarian values, paying special attention to issues of race, class, and gender. Written in an engaging style that shifts easily between narrative and analysis, The Main Event will be essential reading for sports fans and historians everywhere.
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No Way but to Fight
George Foreman and the Business of Boxing
By Andrew R. M. Smith
University of Texas Press, 2020

Olympic gold medalist. Two-time world heavyweight champion. Hall of Famer. Infomercial and reality TV star. George Foreman’s fighting ability is matched only by his acumen for selling. Yet the complete story of Foreman’s rise from urban poverty to global celebrity has never been told until now.

Raised in Houston’s “Bloody Fifth” Ward, battling against scarcity in housing and food, young Foreman fought sometimes for survival and other times just for fun. But when a government program rescued him from poverty and introduced him to the sport of boxing, his life changed forever.

In No Way but to Fight, Andrew R. M. Smith traces Foreman’s life and career from the Great Migration to the Great Society, through the Cold War and culture wars, out of urban Houston and onto the world stage where he discovered that fame brought new challenges. Drawing on new interviews with George Foreman and declassified government documents, as well as more than fifty domestic and international newspapers and magazines, Smith brings to life the exhilarating story of a true American icon. No Way but to Fight is an epic worthy of a champion.

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Perfect in Their Art
Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali
Edited by Robert Hedin and Michael Waters. Foreword by Budd Schulberg
Southern Illinois University Press, 2003

Two combatants, one ring, and a battle governed as much by determination and drive as by rules and referees: that’s boxing. Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali spans the millennia to present more than one hundred of the finest in pugilism poetry from both oral and written traditions, celebrating the lasting literary, historical, and cultural significance of boxing’s storied heritage.

Editors Robert Hedin and Michael Waters pulled no punches in assembling the definitive poems and poets of the sport. Works by such classical poets as Homer, Virgil, and Pindar are gathered here side-by-side for the first time with the poems of Lord Byron, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This provocative collection also features more recent literary heavyweights, including Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Levine, Wislawa Szymborska, Ai, Yusef Komunyakaa, James Merrill, and Norman Mailer. Equally impressive is this anthology’s rich sampling of boxing music, including ballads, blues, marches, waltzes, and pop lyrics. Irving Berlin, Memphis Minnie, Leadbelly, Paul Simon, Warren Zevon, and Bob Dylan are only a few of the songwriters in this volume compelled to honor the sweet science.

Complemented by a foreword from On the Waterfront author Budd Schulberg, Perfect in Their Art offers glimpses into the boxing ring’s literal and metaphoric place as a popular stage for brutal but artful combat. Together these poems celebrate the heroes and traditions of this most primal competition across its many eras to provide an accurate, graceful, and spirited evocation of boxing’s cultural legacy as both sport and art.

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Playing in Time
Essays, Profiles, and Other True Stories
Carlo Rotella
University of Chicago Press, 2012
From jazz fantasy camp to running a movie studio; from a fight between an old guy and a fat guy to a fear of clowns—Carlo Rotella’s Playing in Time delivers good stories full of vivid characters, all told with the unique voice and humor that have garnered Rotella many devoted readers in the New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, and Washington Post Magazine, among others. The two dozen essays in Playing in Time, some of which have never before been published, revolve around the themes and obsessions that have characterized Rotella’s writing from the start: boxing, music, writers, and cities. What holds them together is Rotella’s unique focus on people, craft, and what floats outside the mainstream. “Playing in time” refers to how people make beauty and meaning while working within the constraints and limits forced on them by life, and in his writing Rotella transforms the craft and beauty he so admires in others into an art of his own.

Rotella is best known for his writings on boxing, and his essays here do not disappoint. It’s a topic that he turns to for its colorful characters, compelling settings, and formidable life lessons both in and out of the ring. He gives us tales of an older boxer who keeps unretiring and a welterweight who is “about as rich and famous as a 147-pound fighter can get these days,” and a hilarious rumination on why Muhammad Ali’s phrase “I am the greatest” began appearing (in the mouth of Epeus) in translations of The Iliad around 1987. His essays on blues, crime and science fiction writers, and urban spaces are equally and deftly engaging, combining an artist’s eye for detail with a scholar’s sense of research, whether taking us to visit detective writer George Pelecanos or to dance with the proprietress of the Baby Doll Polka Club next to Midway Airport in Chicago.

Rotella’s essays are always smart, frequently funny, and consistently surprising. This collection will be welcomed by his many fans and will bring his inimitable style and approach to an even wider audience.

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front cover of Protect Yourself at All Times
Protect Yourself at All Times
An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2018
“Hauser is a treasure. Whatever he writes is worth reading. Boxing is blessed that he has focused so much of his career on the sweet science.”
Booklist


Each year, readers, writers, and critics alike anticipate Thomas Hauser’s newest collection of articles about the contemporary boxing scene, where his award-winning investigative journalism is on display. The annual retrospective of the previous year in boxing is always a notable moment in the sport that no one knows better than Hauser.
Protect Yourself at All Times offers a behind-the-scenes look at Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, dressing room reports from big fights like Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin, and compelling portraits of luminaries like Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Mike Tyson, and Don King, all filtered through the perspective of a true champion of boxing.
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front cover of The Rumble in the Jungle
The Rumble in the Jungle
Muhammad Ali and George Foreman on the Global Stage
Lewis A. Erenberg
University of Chicago Press, 2019
The 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, staged in the young nation of Zaire and dubbed the Rumble in the Jungle, was arguably the biggest sporting event of the twentieth century. The bout between an ascendant undefeated champ and an outspoken master trying to reclaim the throne was a true multimedia spectacle. A three-day festival of international music—featuring James Brown, Miriam Makeba, and many others—preceded the fight itself, which was viewed by a record-breaking one billion people worldwide. Lewis A. Erenberg’s new book provides a global perspective on this singular match, not only detailing the titular fight but also locating it at the center of the cultural dramas of the day.

TheRumble in the Jungle orbits around Ali and Foreman, placing them at the convergence of the American Civil Rights movement and the Great Society, the rise of Islamic and African liberation efforts, and the ongoing quest to cast off the shackles of colonialism. With his far-reaching take on sports, music, marketing, and mass communications, Erenberg shows how one boxing match became nothing less than a turning point in 1970s culture.
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front cover of Staredown
Staredown
Another Year Inside Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2020
Each year, readers, writers, and critics alike look forward to Thomas Hauser’s newest collection of articles about the contemporary boxing scene. Reviewing his 2019 collection, Booklist proclaimed, “It's hard to think of another sports journalist who knows more about his or her sport of choice. As it does every year, Hauser’s anthology laps the field. The man is a treasure.”

Staredown continues this tradition of excellence with inside reporting from the dressing room before some of last year’s biggest fights, in-depth investigations into corruption in boxing, and more. Hauser also moves beyond the norm to explore incidents like street fights and examine boxing’s storied history in new and creative ways.
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front cover of Straight Writes and Jabs
Straight Writes and Jabs
An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2013
Commenting on Thomas Hauser's annual collections of articles on boxing, Ring Magazine declared, "What makes Hauser's stories so extraordinary is that the man many consider 'The Dean of Boxing Writers' refuses to allow his admiration for the sport to blind him to its dark side. His annual volumes on boxing have become required reading for hardcore and casual fans alike." Straight Writes and Jabs is the latest in the popular series. It brings readers into the dressing room with elite champions in the moments before some of 2012's biggest fights. Hauser's award-winning investigative journalism is on display in a groundbreaking exposé of the use of performance-enhancing drugs. There's a look back in time at the incomparable Archie Moore and much more. Thomas Hauser is the author of forty-five books. His first work, Missing, was made into an Academy Award–winning film. He later authored Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times, the definitive biography of the most famous fighter ever. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for Career Excellence in Boxing Journalism.
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Sweet William
The Life of Billy Conn
Andrew O'Toole
University of Illinois Press, 2009

An Irish working-class hero of Pittsburgh, Billy Conn captured hearts through his ebullient personality, stellar boxing record, and good looks. A light heavyweight boxing champion best remembered for his sensational near-defeat of heavyweight champion Joe Louis in 1941, Conn is still regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Andrew O'Toole chronicles the boxing, Hollywood, and army careers of "the Pittsburgh Kid" by drawing from newspaper accounts, Billy's personal scrapbooks, and fascinating interviews with family. Presenting an intimate look at the champion's relationships with his girlfriend, manager, and rivals, O'Toole compellingly captures the personal life of a public icon and the pageantry of sports during the 1930s and '40s.

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front cover of There Will Always Be Boxing
There Will Always Be Boxing
Another Year Inside the Sweet Science
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2017
In 2016, Booklist observed, “Thomas Hauser is a treasure. Whatever he writes is worth reading. Boxing is blessed that he has focused so much of his career on the sweet science.”

There Will Always Be Boxing continues this tradition of excellence. A poignant look at Muhammad Ali—whose life was celebrated throughout the world following his death on June 3, 2016—highlights this collection of Hauser’s work. The year’s biggest fights are, as always, put in perspective. And once again, Hauser takes readers behind the scenes, giving them a seat at the table with boxing’s biggest power brokers as he reveals the inner workings of the sport and business of boxing.

There Will Always Be Boxing is sure not to disappoint the readers, writers, and critics who look forward to Hauser’s annual collection of articles about the contemporary boxing scene. This collection shows, once again, why Hauser is one of the last real champions of boxing and one of the very best who has ever written about the sport.
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Thomas Hauser on Boxing
Another Year Inside the Sweet Science
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2014
Booklist called Straight Writes and Jabs, last year’s collection of boxing articles by Thomas Hauser, “wonderful writing from a world-class journalist.” This year’s collection, Thomas Hauser on Boxing, is the latest in the popular annuals bringing together all Hauser’s writing from the previous year. Readers will enter the dressing room with elite champions in the moments before some of 2013’s biggest fights. Hauser’s award-winning investigative journalism is on display in his prize-winning exposé of the tragedy that befell heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov. There’s a look at the incomparable Don King in the twilight of his career, and much more.
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front cover of An Unforgiving Sport
An Unforgiving Sport
An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2009
Thomas Hauser has become “must reading” in the boxing community, and his latest book demonstrates why. An Unforgiving Sport brings together Hauser’s 2008 articles from secondsout.com and espn.com, in which he exposes the inner workings of HBO Sports, goes behind the scenes at boxing’s biggest fights, revisits historical figures like John L. Sullivan, and offers revealing portraits of Don King, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton, Bernard Hopkins, and a host of others. Booklist praised an earlier collection of Hauser’s articles as “one more testament to [Hauser’s] talent and passion for the most elemental of our sports.” An Unforgiving Sport adds to Hauser’s definitive record of the contemporary boxing scene.
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front cover of The Universal Sport
The Universal Sport
Two Years inside Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2023
Readers, writers, and critics alike look forward to each new collection of Thomas Hauser's articles about today’s boxing scene. Reviewing these books, Booklist has proclaimed, “Many journalists have written fine boxing pieces, but none has written as extensively or as memorably as Thomas Hauser. . . . Hauser remains the current champion of boxing. . . . He is a treasure.”
 
Hauser’s newest collection meets this high standard. The Universal Sport features Hauser’s coverage of 2021 and 2022 in boxing. As always, Hauser chronicles the big fights and gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at boxing’s biggest stars. He offers a cogent look the rise of women’s boxing and shines a penetrating light on the murky world of illegal performance enhancing drugs and financial corruption at the sport’s highest levels. He explores how boxing has become a tool in the high-stakes world of “sportswashing” by Saudi Arabia and a flash point for discussions about Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. The book culminates in a memorable four-part essay on the craft of writing coupled with reflections on Hauser’s own induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
 
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front cover of Winks and Daggers
Winks and Daggers
An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2011
Thomas Hauser's annual collections have been avidly anticipated from the time A Beautiful Sickness was published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2001 until his most recent collection, Boxing Is . . . , was named a 2010 Best Sports Book of the Year by Booklist, which has called Hauser "the current champ in boxing literature." Sportswriter Donald McRae recently wrote, "Thomas Hauser has become boxing's indispensable writer with a stream of books and internet columns that strip away the layers of intrigue to reveal a seamy but addictive world. Whether writing Muhammad Ali's biography, or shredding boxing's power brokers, Hauser instills passion and gravitas into his work." Winks and Daggers continues that tradition with Hauser's writing from 2010. Hauser brings readers into Manny Pacquiao's intimate circle in the moments before last year's two biggest fights. His award-winning investigative journalism exposes the inner workings of HBO Sports and examines the use of performance-enhancing drugs in boxing. There's a look back in time at Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Leonard. And there's much more in this latest collection in the series that has become, according to reviewer Bart Barry, "an essential part of boxing's official record and the chronicles of this era most likely to endure."
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front cover of A Year at the Fights
A Year at the Fights
Thomas Hauser
University of Arkansas Press, 2002

Acclaimed boxing writer Thomas Hauser admires the sweet science, but he also recognizes and confronts its problems. His essays here portray the sport in all its glory and gore, its grace and disgrace.

Hauser tracks the effects of big money on the sport, exposes corruption at the highest levels, and examines the emotional links between the September 11 attack on America and the way we experience the violence of boxing. He follows the biggest fighters and the most important fights through 2001 into the early months of 2002. He also depicts the broadcasters, government regulators, and others-the people behind the scenes who shape boxing without ever taking a punch. We meet fighters such as Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, and Bernard Hopkins, and non-combatants like ringside physician Margaret Goodman, trainer Eddie Futch, and the powers that be at HBO.

Praise for Thomas Hauser’s writing about professional boxing:

New York Times: Incomparable and indispensable.
Washington Post: Brilliantly crafted.
New York Daily News:The best writing so far on the business of boxing.
Boxing Collectors’ News: A. J. Liebling’s current-day successor.
Ring Magazine: No one has ever done it better.

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