By Ira Berkow
Spanning the interval among 1967 and 2005, this compilation comprises eighty four of Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Ira Berkow’s columns on boxing. Readers will meet a few of the maximum names within the sport’s heritage within the pages of this booklet, together with Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis, and Mike Tyson. one of the unforgettable tales accumulated during this assortment are the heated contention among Ali and “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier, Tyson’s notorious “Bite Fight” in 1997, and the will-he-or-won’t-he retirement saga of Sugar Ray Leonard. Written in Berkow’s gripping prose, the columns integrated in Counterpunch chronicle an important moments in boxing during the last 4 a long time.
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Extra info for Counterpunch: Ali, Tyson, the Brown Bomber, and Other Stories of the Boxing Ring
But he missed his opportunity. He could go into places now. He could count now. ” He referred to the so-called Black Muslims. And it was shameful, said Louis, that South Africa denied Arthur Ashe a visa. “Sports should never be involved in politics,” he said. Louis was asked, as he flipped open the top of a can of orange soda with his very large hands, what he feels his role in American history is, and had been. “I was in sports, and it is sports that has done more than anything else for race relationship all over the world, not just America,” he said.
His head, shaved bald as a brass knob before the fight, gleamed in the lights of the passageway under the stands. His head sparkled as if he were wearing a crown. ” Although Frazier didn’t acknowledge it, he heard it—as he will all the rest of his days. III . THE BROWN BOMBER J OE L OUIS : B LACK K ING February 10, 1970 “Outside in the villainously lit streets—they still have gaslight in darktown Baltimore in 1937—it was like Christmas Eve in darkest Africa. ” —from One Man’s America, by Alistair Cooke It had begun two years before that night, Joe Louis was saying, in the same month, coincidentally—May 1935—when he knocked out Primo Carnera, and Jesse Owens, a sophomore at Ohio State, broke three world track records and tied a fourth.
He tried again. Missed. And again. Same result. One more. Nothing. “You’ve missed five times,” said the companion. Ali looked embarrassed. ” he repeated. “These flies keep flying ’round me,” he said. “They must know I’m not all I used to be. They must see the little gray hairs that been growin’ in my head lately. ” A man approached and asked for Ali’s autograph for two boys. “Their mother has trouble making them clean their room,” the man said. Ali wrote: “To Timmy and Rickie. From Muhammad Ali.