View Full Version : Boxer's Books


NJFighter91
08-24-2006, 11:45 PM
What are some good boxing books, especially biography's...

These are the ones I've read.

Iron Mike-A Mike Tyson Reader
The Devil and Sonny Liston
Bad Intentions:A Mike Tyson Story
Blood Season-Tyson and the World of Boxing
Soul of a Butterfly
Facing Ali
King of the World

Iron Mike was my favorite. It was a great book.

The Devil and Sonny Liston was a really boring book. I mean, I always fell asleep after a few pages of reading it.


Bad Intentions/Blood Season were both ok book but they were written in 1989-1993 so it was very outdated but some good stuff on Cus and his early times.

Soul of a Butterfly is the best book ever. I recommend everyone to read it.

Facing Ali wasn't really a biography, but mroe on excerpts from some of his opponents and what they thought of him. Good book.

King of the World is a really good book but some stuff got boring at times.


Post the books you've read and how they were.

Question, if anyone has read a good Sonny Liston book, please post.

La_Vibora
08-25-2006, 02:40 AM
Yeah I kind of agree about the Devil and Sonny Liston, I thought the author strayed away from Sonny a bit too much and had a bit too much rand dom stuff in there.

On another note, you seem to be a Mike Tyson fan, I would recommend reading the book "The inner ring" by Rudy Gonzalez. It was written by Tyson's driver/bodyguard, who went through everything with him. He talks about how everyone was screwing Mike over like Don King, Robin Givens, and even Donald Trump. It also highlights some evidence that suggest that Tyson shouldn't have been commited for rape. Its a really good book that you should certainly check out if you get a chance and will help you to better understand what Mike was going through and why he was always so depressed. Anyways my list is:

Raging Bull - Jake LaMotta
Cinderella Man
Unforgiveable blackness - Jack Johnson
Charley Burley: The Life & Hard Times of an Uncrowned Champion
Joe Louis: The Great Black Hope
Rocky Marciano: The Rock of His Times
The Ageless Warrior: The Life of Boxing Legend Archie Moore
Jack Dempsey: A Flame of Pure Fire
Sugar Ray (Robinson)


These are a couple of my favorites off the top of my head.

The Raging Bull
08-25-2006, 04:27 AM
Here are a few I have that haven't been mentioned:

Muhammad Ali: His life and times
Jo Louis: The Brown Bomber
Rocky Marciano: Biography of a first son
Ghosts Of Manilla

Thats off the top of my head.
I recommend them all :)

jason100x
08-25-2006, 09:35 AM
My favorite boxing biographies are:
Joe Louis:The Great Black Hope
Rocky Marciano:The Rock Of His Times
Muhammad Ali: His Life And Times
Jack Dempsey: A Flame Of Pure Fire
Jack Johnson: Unforgivable Blackness
Cinderella man
Archie Moore: The Ageless Warrior
Gene Tunney by John Jarret
Pound for Pound: A Biography of Sugar Ray Robinson (I liked it as a biography but the fight descriptions are a bit weak, certainly when compared to the other books I mentioned)

I also liked The Devil and Sonny Liston but Nick Tosches' writing style isn't for everyone.

For books on the skills of boxing, I like How To Be An Ass Whipping Boxer by Champ Thomas.
Boxing Mastery by Mark Hatmaker
Box Like The Pros by Joe Frazier
Championship Fighting by Jack Dempsey
Championship Streetfighting by Ned Beaumont

GEOFFHAYES
08-25-2006, 09:51 AM
'Dark Trade' and 'War, Baby' are good reads.

Phantasm
08-25-2006, 10:15 AM
Great, and I just bought The Devil and Sonny Liston this week. Oh well. Cinderella Man was a great read. Pound for Pound was good as well, though I think it was a little too biased sometimes; but I hear it is more truthful than the autobio Robinson wrote. Ali's bio, by Hauser I believe, was one of the best.

NJFighter91
08-25-2006, 11:29 AM
Wow, great lists guys. I don't really have a job so I don't buy them so I have to go to the library for all my reading. :) I doubt, they have most of these books...

Yeah, Rudy Gonzalez knew a lot about Tyson. I'm definately gonna try to find that book.

EDIT-My local library has an online search catalog and I searched for msot of those books and the only ones there were was just one Jack Dempsey book, A Flame of Pure Fire. :(

jason100x
08-25-2006, 01:42 PM
I forgot to mention in my list a great book by Thomas Hauser. I don't Believe It But It's True, Another Remarkable Year in Boxing. It's a collection of essays and reports he wrote over the last year dealing with boxing related issues both inside the rin and behind the scene. Great stuff and he's a top notch writer.

I was also told that John L. Sullivan: The Career of the First Gloved Heavyweight Champion by Adam J. Pollack is coming out in a few weeks. It's being put out by McFarland Press who put out great obscure books on whatever their subject matter is, although they are expensive and this one is $45, but I'll probably get it anyway.

NJFighter91
08-25-2006, 02:46 PM
Awesome.

I'm gonna write these down and hopefully next year when I'm 16 I can get a job :D to buy them :)

jumpman_jones
08-25-2006, 04:09 PM
Undefeated: The Life and Times of Rocky Marciano, i currently have that one commnig in.

Brockton Lip
08-25-2006, 11:59 PM
Undefeated Rocky Marciano.
The fighter who refused to lose

JohnTheMon91
08-26-2006, 04:53 AM
I read "Soul of a butterfly", and it's almost definitely ghost written. It has a poem for Joe Frazier for christ's sake.

jason100x
08-26-2006, 01:54 PM
Last night I picked up Blood Sport: Mike Tyson and the world of boxing by Phil Berger. Great read so far. It's about Mike Tyson but also talks in detail about the heavyweight division and all of the deal making going on at the time, getting into HBO, Don King, Bob Arum, Gerry Cooney and Michael Spinks. I just finished the part dealing with Marvis Frazier and the background to his fight with Tyson. The author's habit of using the third person to describe himself and calling himself Sly is rather annoying but otherwise the book is enjoyable.

NJFighter91
08-26-2006, 02:07 PM
I read "Soul of a butterfly", and it's almost definitely ghost written. It has a poem for Joe Frazier for christ's sake.What do you mean by ghost written?

hotbox2316
08-26-2006, 02:21 PM
"Atlas" teddy atlas book is a great read also......

JohnTheMon91
08-26-2006, 03:04 PM
What do you mean by ghost written?

Not written by him, but he agreed to let it be released under his name.

I think the Ali of the 70s would never have published or written some of the stuff in it....

JohnTheMon91
08-26-2006, 03:04 PM
The Green Mile by J.K Rowling is a very good boxing book.

NJFighter91
08-26-2006, 04:58 PM
Not written by him, but he agreed to let it be released under his name.

I think the Ali of the 70s would never have published or written some of the stuff in it....Because it was the Ali of 2004 :p

It was his thoughts and stuff but was written by his daughter.

jason100x
08-26-2006, 07:03 PM
Yeah, the Teddy Atlas autobiography is an excellent read. I finished it in one day, I couldn't put it down.

NJFighter91
08-26-2006, 09:41 PM
I've heard it was really good. Gotta pick that one up too.

jason100x
08-28-2006, 12:30 PM
I just ordered Joe Frazier's autobiography. Has anyone read it?

j
08-28-2006, 06:37 PM
i've read most of the books that have been mentioned.

i find it extraordinarily interesting to cross reference between books on the same boxer. for example, cross referencing unforgivable blackness to jack johnson is a dandy - which is jack's autobiography.



maybe somebody here can help me. does anyone know of an autobiography of jim corbett or jim flynn(can't remember which one) that was written in the late 1930's? i remember reading through it a long time ago and found it an excellent read. it was very insightfull into the world of boxing in the early 1900's from a this fighter's unique perspective.

i want to say that it was written by corbett, however, i do remember seeing both names in the book and it has confused me. btw, the book was an original, from 1937, and as frail as you can imagine a book that old to be.

any help appreciated!

j
08-28-2006, 06:49 PM
I was also told that John L. Sullivan: The Career of the First Gloved Heavyweight Champion by Adam J. Pollack is coming out in a few weeks. It's being put out by McFarland Press who put out great obscure books on whatever their subject matter is, although they are expensive and this one is $45, but I'll probably get it anyway.

pick up john l. sullivan and his america by michael t. isenberg. i'm not sure how someone could put out a more comprehensive book on sullivan than this one, but if you find that new book too pricey, this one will do great. it's over 400 pages and extremely detailed. if you want some excerpts from it, PM me and i'll send 'em to you.

jason100x
08-30-2006, 07:16 PM
pick up john l. sullivan and his america by michael t. isenberg. i'm not sure how someone could put out a more comprehensive book on sullivan than this one, but if you find that new book too pricey, this one will do great. it's over 400 pages and extremely detailed. if you want some excerpts from it, PM me and i'll send 'em to you.

Thank you very much for the recommendation. I went to Amazon.com and looked the isenberg book up and they even have it so you can read the first few pages and look at the table of contents. I was sold on the book and I've ordered it so I am looking forward to receiving it. It seems like it's an excellent read.

jason100x
08-30-2006, 10:57 PM
Has anyone read On Boxing by Joyce Carol Oates? I saw that there's a new edition of it in the store and I was flipping though it, Looks pretty good but I wanted to see if anyone had anything to say about it before I buy it.

Kid Achilles
08-30-2006, 11:28 PM
I leafed through it and wasn't impressed. For one thing, I recall her stating that Jack Dempsey was a pure brawler with no skill and passing off the old plaster of paris in Toledo myth as a fact.

I'm not against women writing about boxing but when I open your book up and find two completely false details about one of my favorite fighters of all time, you are not doing much to gain my respect for your boxing knowledge, nor are you going to sell me your book.

NJFighter91
08-31-2006, 12:39 AM
Jack Dempsey...brawler with no skill...

She must be a really smart writer...







JP :D

jason100x
08-31-2006, 07:08 AM
Jack Dempsey...brawler with no skill...

She must be a really smart writer...







JP :D

Good point. If she makes comments that stupid, then it looks like that book won't join my collection. When I'm in the store next I'll flip through it and see what else she says but with comments like that, it doesn't sound like a great boxing book.

jason100x
09-05-2006, 02:39 PM
My copy of Joe Frazier's autobigraphy arrived today. Looks like a good book, but I happened to notice that in the fight record of Frazier's in the back that it said he won his last fight in 10 rounds. I seem to remember that fight being a draw so is that a typo error?

jason100x
09-06-2006, 02:18 PM
pick up john l. sullivan and his america by michael t. isenberg. i'm not sure how someone could put out a more comprehensive book on sullivan than this one, but if you find that new book too pricey, this one will do great. it's over 400 pages and extremely detailed. if you want some excerpts from it, PM me and i'll send 'em to you.

My copy of this book just arrived. I've been flipping through it and I have to agree that this book looks like a great read. I'll probably finish it in a few days.