This was probably the most difficult book i had to rate, As mentioned in the title if you are the typical boxing fan, then avoid at all cost, it is not for you. However, if you are both a fan of boxing AND fond of literature (you read hemingway and budd schulberg) and want to see the two intertwine then this may appeal to you (strong emphasis on the may). It provides a narrative that could not be produced by a male, the author Joyce Oates, is an author of many books, and none like this. Many critics claim she has entitled herself to a nobel prize in literature, i write this so you understand what type of read to prepare for, this is not Mcllvaney, it is not shulberg and it is certainly not bert sugar, it is a female perspective on a masculine sport. One thing i do commend the author for is her ability to bring to surface all the emotions that evolve around and within that ring in such a beautifully poetical format, an ability i have not experienced with other authors of the fight game. Only for a special type of reader.