Today marks two years since the publication of The Boxing Kings.
No, this isn’t an answer from Carnac the Magnificent, but just a note on two recent articles of mine that I had meant to note here earlier.
His performance in Toledo on July 4, 1919 has never been equaled, both in terms of its physical realities and in the impact it would have on boxing and on sports.
What am I doing sitting here, watching innocent people get their brains stomped in and their throats cut?
In death, he possesses a singular capacity to stimulate writers’ tough-guy fantasies and fondness for conspiracy theories.
In a legendary episode, they fought over an unimaginable distance—75 rounds, for two hours and 16 minutes, in 100-degree heat—before the issue was resolved.
When you read the history of the heavyweights, you’re reading a story that can be separated into BL and AL periods—Before Louis and After Louis.
The temperature was about 105 degrees on that day in 1915 when Jack Johnson fought Jess Willard—unless it was closer to 70.
Like a protagonist in a Bob Dylan song, Jack Johnson was a trickster genius, never an easy man to characterize.
His 1988 battle with Tony Tubbs in Tokyo would be the last time that the world saw Tyson so serene, or at least stable. Storms were breaking around him.
The Dempsey bibliography mirrors the man's own itinerant ways, in his early life—it's scattered, as he was, to the four winds.
The first black man to win the heavyweight title, Johnson was breaking a color line first drawn by John L. Sullivan.