"Richard Herring’s first book introduces the readers into the wonderfully colourful world of boxing. Herring for perhaps, the first time ever, looks not just at the excitement and brutality that is produced on fight night, but rather, instead, focuses on the events that lead up to the fight. In every World Title fight that there has ever been, both fighters and both fighters teams have taken every opportunity to do everything and anything they can to undermine the fighter and his preparations.
When Herring talks about The Dark Arts, he looks at the psychological warfare that each fighter wages on the other and enlightens the reader to the unique mental strength that each man must posses not only to get to the top, but to stay there.
The Darks Arts is set just before the fight of the year. The champion Cornelius “Max” Power is boxing’s longest reigning and most feared Champion and is famed for coining the phrase for not only his ability to rough fighters up with an assortment of semi legal tactics, but rather for his ability to completely psyche out an opponent before the first bell has even been rung.
His opponent “Sugar” Ray Reynolds is not an ordinary fighter, blessed with a huge edge in height and reach, blinding speed and freakish one punch power he is considered by one and all to be the heir apparent.
Something must give, will the aging champion have too much for the young contender or will youth be served.
It is the immovable object against the irresistible force."
About the Author
When Herring wrote The Dark Arts he based some of it on his own personal experience and knowledge of the fight game. Herring fought as an amateur and at that time all his friends were also amateur boxers, they would train together and hang out together and discuss their fears and any tricks they had learned to try and gain an edge, from shadow boxing in a southpaw stance and boxing from an orthodox stance to simply sitting right next to an opponent and never uttering a word. He became fascinated by all the mental games played by boxers and trainers even at that level and has a personal insight it why fighters have won or lost fights. An avid boxing fan to this day, first became hooked on the sport when as a very small child he saw the great Carlos Monzon being hammered to the stomach with a medicine ball without flinching. With hindsight it was clearly meant to be seen and since then he has watched many of the all time greats work their mind games to reduce an opponent to mental rubble. He has an extensive boxing film library that goes right back to the early 1980's and this coupled with the many years he has spent in and around boxing gives him this fresh look at one of sports oldest professions.