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In This Corner . . . !: Forty-two World Champions Tell Their Stories Paperback – 22 Aug 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 2 edition (22 Aug. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306806037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306806032
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Peter Heller is the author of Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story. A sports producer for ABC News, he lives in Putnam Valley, New York and Boca Raton, Florida.


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WILLIE RITCHIE was born Gerhardt Steffen in San Francisco on February 13, 1891. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
this is one of the very best boxing books i have ever read. the boxers range from the early years of the last century to more modern fighters. lots of the boxers have passed away and the record is one of times and customs long gone. there are some wonderful characters and i'd recommend this book and 'corner men'. well worth the money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this after reading in Mike Tyson's autobiography that he read this during his training to help his mind-frame and thought it would be a beneficial read for my sport. I love the way in which the old timers spoke and are transcribed in their interviews into this book, it really has that 1950's 'On The Road' feel. I read roughly half of the book and did feel that it was ever so slightly repetitive in terms of the formula of the interviews as they tend to cover vague descriptions of periods in which the champions boxed and are too brief to cover as much as I would like.

You do get a good feel for how stern some of these old boys were and I would recommend it highly, I would imagine I will complete the book a chapter or two at a time though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
thank you,fast deliver,good item like description.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90680918) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90bfba38) out of 5 stars A real insight into 'the hardest game in the world'! 21 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although the edition I have is pretty old and the most recent interviews were taken in the 1970s this book is still a fantastic look at the lifes of many of the 20th centuries top boxers. Each boxers story is told in a single chapter and in their OWN words. Its brilliant reading about how these champions grew up, what led them to boxing and how they have survived. As well as the Jack Dempsey's, Jake LaMotta's many other 'lesser known' boxers are featured but their stories are just, if not more interesting. A great insight into 20th century american life from those whose lifes have often been the hardest.
Great reading!!!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90b97528) out of 5 stars Wow! What a knock-out book! 3 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. It is the type of book one savours as one might enjoy a good glass of wine or an extrordinary meal. As a history teacher I've used it in the classroom to explain historical periods and sports. You buy this one! You will not be disappointed.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9197d5ac) out of 5 stars An insightful, interesting, & entertaining read 8 Jun. 2009
By feedthecat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As author Peter Heller writes in his preface, "It's my hope that this book will show (the) human side (of the fighters whose interviews appear within), their private thoughts, recollections, triumphs, and disappointments ... (t)his is simply a volume of thoughts and recollections, tempered by time and circumstance, as these men remember it, or wish to remember it." Although some of the boxers, such as Johnny Wilson and Tommy Loughran, had still clearly retained their pride (in the worst sense of the word), arrogance, and conceit over the years, most are honest, open, and matter-of-fact in their descriptions of their ring battles and some, like Fidel LaBarba and Jimmy McLarnin, are very modest about their accomplishments and gracious toward their former adversaries and this is what makes this book so enjoyable a read.

I must note, though, that the reason I gave this volume "only" four stars was because the author did not ask his interviewees many of the questions that one would figure he ought to have asked, such as whom the fighter believed to have been his best opponent, whom he believed to have been the best fighter in his division's history, etc, etc. Although the recollections of the champs, as they appear in the book, seem to be spontaneous, free-flowing "soliloquies" about their lives and careers, Heller, as he states in his preface, had, in fact, edited their statements, at least insofar as to "eliminat[e] the irrelevant or the uninteresting, EDIT OUT MY QUESTIONS, and restructure them for a sense of time and place. But the basic material is unaltered" [my emphasis].)

Nevertheless, the recollections of the fighters interviewed are, as a whole, quite compelling. I don't want to spoil it for readers who approach the book anew, but to give you an idea as to how interesting these recollections are, I'll give some examples of what you can expect:

- Sugar Ray Robinson revealing that he had a dream the night before their bout that he would kill Jimmy Doyle in the ring, a premonition that tragically came to pass (but not before Doyle had the Sugarman on the brink of being kayoed in the sixth round)

- Charley Phil Rosenberg's honest appraisal of his bout with all-time great featherweight Johnny Dundee

- Fritzie Zivic, one of the "dirtiest" fighters in boxing history, relating that terrific-hitting lightweight champ Lew Jenkins (who is also an interviewee) used to manipulate his boxing gloves so that little padding would actually cover his huge knuckles

- Archie Moore explaining how his animosity toward Lloyd Marshall and Jimmy Bivins developed

- LaBarba confessing that, at the end of the bout, he only remembered just over a minute of what transpired in the ring during his first fight with powerpunching bantamweight Bud Taylor because he kept blacking out whenever Taylor nailed him with a great shot, a bout that LaBarba WON (in turn, in HIS interview, "Bat" Battalino claims that he remembered almost nothing from his victory over LaBarba)

- Jack Dempsey modestly and graciously admitting that, "Even at my best I don't know whether I could lick (Sam Langford) or not."

- Ed "Gunboat" Smith - whose interview is definitely among the most revealing, interesting, and entertaining in the book - explaining why the 1910 Jack Johnson-Jim Jeffries title bout was moved from California to Nevada and admitting that he used to "load" his boxing gloves

All in all, a very good book. Incidentally, I didn't bother to name all of the fighters who were interviewed for this book because you can see their names for yourself by clicking on the "Look Inside!" balloon above the image of the book's cover on the Amazon webpage. However, I should note that the book includes an index at the back, which is handy in that it gives you an idea as to the adversaries about whom the interviewees speak.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90d4c9e4) out of 5 stars One of my favorite Boxing books 4 Oct. 2006
By Dr. Marc Axelrod - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
More than 40 world boxing champions tell their stories in this book, and some of them are fascinating. I especially enjoyed the defiant discourse of Roberto Duran, the colorful stories of Archie Moore (especially his conversation about his rivalry with Jimmy Bivins, who hit him so hard with a late punch that his mouth was numb for months), and Carmen Basilio, who steadfastly maintains that Sugar Ray Robinson was overrated.

I liked Emile Griffith's poignant retelling of what transpired before and after his fateful third meeting with Benny "Kid" Paret. It was interesting to listen to James J Braddock talk about his fights with Max Baer and Joe Louis and what his life was like after retirement.

This is a knockout of a book, and all boxing fans should read it at least once.

Rev. Marc Axelrod
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x912ad8c4) out of 5 stars Priceless collection of oral history of boxing legends 14 Nov. 2012
By Battleship - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Peter Heller went through the arduous task of interviewing many living boxers who were some of the most significant fighters in the history of the sport. He had interviews with as many fighters as he could find and who were willing to talk to him. The result of the labor was that Heller preserved an oral boxing history that is second-to-none.

Heller lets each fighter explain his story in his own words. The reader can get a good sense of the era in which each boxer came of age. You can get a good idea of what boxing was like in the "Roaring Twenties" in his interview with Jack Dempsey. You can get a good idea of the discrimination African-American boxers suffered in reading accounts by Archie Moore.

There is great diversity on the part of the boxers profiled. There are lightweights and heavyweights. There are Italian, Jewish, Irish, and Latino fighters profiled. There are fighters from before World War I and there were some who were active in the 1960's.

Heller let each fighter explain his story with his own voice. Some fighters focused on strictly boxing; others focused on economic privation or racial issues. I enjoyed this book and think it is a unique resource that should be cherished by serious boxing fans. Casual fans may find this book to be too detailed and may have diffiuclty following the specifics in each story. Seasoned boxing fans and students of history will love the book.
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