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 number of the maximum names within the sport’s historical past within the pages of this publication, 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 struggle” 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 crucial moments in boxing over the past 4 decades.
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Additional info for Counterpunch: Ali, Tyson, the Brown Bomber, and Other Stories of the Boxing Ring
Charles took every little thing Louis threw, and lower back jolts of his personal. A unanimous selection was once introduced for Charles. instantly, radio commentator Ted Husing jumped into the hoop. He requested Charles approximately his plans. Charles responded, “I merely desire and pray that i'll sometime be as a lot a credits to boxing because the guy who's now leaving the hoop. ” A Potpourri of Heavyweight Champs | 87 on the dinner for Charles, acquaintances like Marciano and Rocky Graziano and Archie Moore and Muhammad Ali and one thousand or so extra will muscle into the Sherman apartment. And if that time approximately Charles being a credits to boxing, in addition to to easy decency, isn’t made beautiful quick, an individual there'll get a fats lip. S ONNY L ISTON D RAWS S OME L AUGHS July 7, 1970 Sonny Liston bobbed within the ring prior to the struggle and the white cover of a towel over his head swung slowly this fashion and that, and the ends flapped down comically like a bunny rabbit’s ears. The whites of his eyes within the black face have been expressionless and sleepy. as soon as, they have been expressionless and chilling. the full atmosphere for this struggle used to be a parody of itself. within the Jersey urban Armory, scorching and murky with smoke and Mafia and girls with whippedcream hairdos. a massive plodding white membership fighter named Chuck Wepner, often referred to as the Bayonne Bleeder, the neighborhood favourite. An ex-heavyweight champion, an ex-convict, Liston, self-styled villain for the evening, who 8 and 7 years in the past all started with an unspoken malevolence and iced up Floyd Patterson into instantly one-round knockouts in name fights. He couldn't do an analogous with Cassius Clay (now occasionally often called Muhammad Ali). And Clay took the championship. Liston has been striving on and off on account that then to come back into the cash and name competition. Wepner had desires of an identical. Now, while the towel was once got rid of, Liston not appeared like the “big, grotesque bear,” as Clay had referred to as him. His white gown was once carelessly rumpled on the neck and his closely-cropped head gave the look of a mischievous boy. the different traces above his brows that dovetail down his nostril, and that experience appeared so baleful, appeared painted directly to impersonate an Apache. In his nook, a midget retaining a water bottle further to the bizarre humor. In midring, Liston and Wepner obtained directions from the referee and glared at one another. It used to be Liston’s recognized terrifying ritual and 88 A Potpourri of Heavyweight Champs | 89 Wepner accredited the problem of the eyes. yet one way or the other it resembled anything from a rasslin’ state of affairs, with beautiful Boy Rogers and the undesirable Phantom burling threats histrionically and mutely. Their running shoes filled in mouthpieces because the opponents glared and, now, chomped. Liston’s skinny mustache wiggled. quickly, the Bayonne Bleeder donned a blood-red masks, as Liston sliced up his face with that ax of a left jab. among rounds, Liston, whereas getting rubbed, gazed with out relocating his head as though to count number the home. The struggle used to be stopped due to Wepner’s cuts ahead of the tenth and ultimate around. Liston sat on his stool and raised his correct arm in bored, inevitable triumph.