There are not many boxing stories that have happy endings. Roberto Duran's seems to be one. Now in his sixties he has his both his faculties and an intact body. He still has money and his wife of more than four decades and his family are his greatest joys. He lives in a country that worships him.
For a fighter who personified the face of evil in the ring he seems to have made no lasting enemies. He invited Ken Buchanan, from whom he won his first title, to his 50th birthday party and offered to pick up the travel expenses. He still makes appearances with Sugar Ray Leonard when he comes to the United States.
This book looks briefly into the life and times of one of boxings greatest legends.
For years, Calzaghe's virtuosity remained a legend of the Welsh valleys. His defeat in 1997 of Chris Eubank brought him to prominence, winning for him the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) super middleweight title. But despite a record number of defences of the belt, his career lacked a defining contest. A long line of challengers and ex-titleholders were disposed of but the biggest names in American boxing avoided the ultimate showdown he craved. Hand injuries further obscured the true level of his aptitude for an art he began to learn from his father, Enzo, at the age of eight when - inspired by Sugar Ray Leonard - a rolled-up carpet in the family home in Newbridge became a makeshift heavy bag.
This is the story of Calzaghe's extraordinary life, from his humble beginnings in his hometown of Newbridge, to his ascent to personal greatness, becoming the first super middleweight boxer to win the prized belt awarded by The Ring, the bible of boxing, in the division's near 20-year history.
One of Britain's foremost sporting champions, a warrior and working-class hero, this is the story of the triumphs and trials that made Calzaghe a legend.
The path from the gym in west Dublin to the world title was often a rocky one. Here, for the first time, Bernard Dunne tells his own amazing story. It begins in Neilstown, where boxing ran in the family. In his amateur career, Bernard never lost to an Irish fighter; but he narrowly missed out on the 2000 Olympics, and rather than spend another four years as an amateur in search of Olympic glory he decided to go pro.
Going pro meant going to California, and, under the tutelage of Sugar Ray Leonard and Freddie Roach, California became a land of dreams for Bernard. Twelve of his fourteen professional fights in America were televised nationally, and he was working towards a title fight. But he missed home, missed his family. He wanted it all: he wanted to win a world title, and he wanted to do it in Ireland.
The way he went about doing that has made Bernard Dunne an Irish national treasure. After winning a European belt, he was defeated by Kiko Martinez; but he bounced back with courage and brilliance to win the WBA super bantamweight belt from Cordoba in front of a delirious crowd at the O2 arena.
Rather than rest on his laurels, as many champions in his position would do, Bernard accepted the toughest challenge of all: from a slab of granite named Poonsawat. He lost the belt, but his courage and dignity in defeat were heroic. Now, Bernard tells the full story of his life and boxing career - a story full of surprises. It will thrill all his old fans and win him new ones.
Naturally, these champions are the focus of the Historical Dictionary of Boxing as well, and they have the biggest entries in the dictionary section, but they had to fight against someone and there are dozens and dozens of other boxers with smaller entries. More of these boxers come from the United States than elsewhere, but there are others from Europe, Asia and Latin America, and there are also entries on the major boxing countries as well. Plus entries on the rules, on the organizations, and on the technical terminology and jargon you have to know just to follow the bouts. The introduction provides a broad view of boxing’s history while the chronology traces events from 688 B.C. to 2012 A.D. Not all that much has been written on boxing that is not ephemeral, but much of that literature can be found in the bibliography. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the sport of boxing.
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.