on 9 November 2013
Adam Smith's very intelligent and he knows Boxing. It's a brutal sport where fairy tales come true and often people with nothing can make a good life for themselves. That's what Beautiful Brutality looks at. Smith talks about family tie, Nazeem Hamed's family, the Hattons, Joe and Enzo Calzaghe.
If you like boxing buy this book. Honestly - it's by the guy who presents Ringside and I now have much more respect for Adam Smith as a boxing pundit. He really knows his stuff and he cares about the boxers he has met and worked with over the years.
I never disliked Adam, he just comes across on Ringside in a very quiet and professional manner. I now know that the man has devoted most of his life to educating himself about the sport and he takes nothing for granted.
The books great - I would rate it up there with the top Boxing books. Buy it an you'll really enjoy it.
on 4 September 2012
Smith is fine commentator and an excellent presenter of boxing on Sky sports. It is this background as part TV journalist and presenter that has allowed Smith such intimate and unfettered access to some of the biggest names in world boxing. What makes the book a little more 'localised' is that real detail and interest comes in his access to British boxers. Khan, Hatton, Calzaghe and Hamed especially - though the true enthusiasts will like the sections on the small more lively characters like the Booth brothers.
The family theme ensures the book has a structure that sets it apert from the usual chronological anthologies and this format works better in some chapters than others - in places it feels a little as if Smith is writing to a formula - soundbite summary - detail and opinion - summary with soundbite set-up for next chapter. This forces a certain amount of repetition. Which could have been edited better.
One aspect that i found interesting was Smith's tone - his voice and presenting/commentating style is very distinct. When reading the prose I could hear him saying it aloud - for the kost part this works well as Smith is always eloquent and well informed - on occassion though, the book did fall into sounding less like a 'book' an more like a VT intro for TV. A minor quibble. This was most botbale around the Mickey Ward section - Smith has a bit of a love in with the Wahlberg film - which is a fine film but plays horribly fast and loose with fact, timeline and reality. More mention of these discrepancies was needed.
This is insightful, interesting, accurate and entertaining. Casual boxing fans/sports fans will get a lot from it and detail/boxing geeks will enjoy the frank and intimate access that Smith has been granted. It is also very revealing about how symbiotic the TV/Journalist and fighter relationship can be. I recommend it to all sports fans.