CompuBox, Inc. has published its first book, "Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers," a 359-page paperback which is now available for purchase on Amazon. The title will be listed with other distributors that will be announced at a future date.
Co-authored by CompuBox President Bob Canobbio and writer/researcher/punch-counter Lee Groves, "Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers" addresses an area of Ali's boxing life that has never been fully examined by any other project: The punches Ali dished out and, most notably, the punches he took. For the first time ever, "Muhammad Ali by the Numbers" will publish the punch stats for 47 of Ali's 61 professional fights -- all of the complete footage of Ali's career that is available -- including 43 of his final 44 fights and 474 of his 584 professional rounds.
Ali's career is divided into four distinctive phases: "The Young Clay," which covers Alonzo Johnson (his first nationally televised fight) through the first Henry Cooper bout; "Prime Ali," which relives the first Liston fight through his last pre-exile title defense against Zora Folley; the "Comebacking Ali," which ranges from the first post-exile fight against Jerry Quarry through the "Thrilla in Manila" against Joe Frazier; and the "Past Prime Ali," which takes the reader through his final 10 contests.
Every available statistical aspect of Ali's career will be covered in "Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers," including charts denoting Ali's performance in each of the four phases as well over his entire career, comparison reports for his trilogies against Frazier and Norton, a listing of top 10 statistical performances by Ali and his opponents in 12 categories, and how Ali's career stats stack up against 11 other heavyweight champions using CompuBox's "Categorical Leaders" scoring system. Additionally, thanks to master researcher Bob Yalen, all available round-by-round judges' scorecards will be published with its corresponding punch-count chart.
The statistics not only will confirm the offensive brilliance of Ali, it also will reveal the surprising success his opponents enjoyed, especially in terms of landing their power punches. These numbers, especially those accrued after "The Thrilla in Manila" against Joe Frazier in 1975, will graphically explain why Ali's health began to decline in his 30s and why that decline ended up being so profound.
But "Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers" is much more than raw statistics. Each fight is described in vivid detail by Groves while Canobbio provides illuminating "next level" insights -- called "Inside the Numbers" -- at the end of every fight story. Additionally, eyewitness interviews were conducted with James "Smitty" Smith (who watched Ali train as a child and who forged a decades-long friendship with him), onetime light heavyweight champion and accomplished trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (who sparred with Ali in the lead-up to his final bouts), and writers Steve Farhood and Logan Hobson (also a CompuBox co-founder), both of whom offered their ringside recollections of Ali-Berbick.
"It's a tremendous honor to have the CompuBox stats associated with arguably the most famous fighter (and maybe person) of all time -- Muhammad Ali, Canobbio said. "I'd like to thank 'Ali: A Life' author Jonathan Eig for kick-starting this project by requesting Ali stats for his best-selling book and then suggesting Lee and I devote an entire book around them. The stat gathering process, which we decided to break down by career phases, was particularly revealing and somewhat painful for an Ali lover like myself, as each phase reveals how frequently Ali got hit throughout his entire career."
"Muhammad Ali's iconic life has been the subject of countless books, films, TV shows and theatrical projects, but because this book covers the statistical part of his boxing life, 'Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers' may well be the final frontier in terms of Ali books that address unique subject matter," Groves said. "In researching this book, I consulted hundreds of boxing magazines from before the 1960 Olympics to his final fight against Trevor Berbick in 1981 as well as books written by Ali's opponents and admirers and, in a nod to the modern age, Internet videos. In doing so, I discovered facts and observations that I didn't know before, and coming in I thought myself to be pretty knowledgeable about Ali. The narrative of the Liston rematch -- one of the most controversial fights in the sport's history -- is particularly compelling as it recounts the fight from multiple perspectives while also addressing the complicated pre-fight machinations. This is a richly researched narrative that should be entertaining and informative to anyone who chooses to buy it."
"Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers" is available for $19.99. A link to the Amazon sales page will also be available on CompuBoxOnline.com, the company's web site.