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18
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Hate Game: Benn, Eubank and British Boxing's Bitterest Rivalry
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2013
This is more than a book about Eubank and Benn. It also examines Michael Watson's part in the rivalry. It is a well written account of perhaps the most bitter rivalry in British boxing. The original Eubank-Benn fight in 1990 was one of the most brutal bouts seen in a British ring and this book reveals the source of all that hate. Much of the material is based on interviews with all the protagonists of the time such as Eubank, Benn Watson, Barry Hearn, Frank Warren and Herol graham who both fighters studiously avoided during their careers. Finally the book all details the aftermath of the fights including other bouts during their career and where they are now,
A great book and hard to put down
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
Reading Ben Dirs' excellent book reminded me of a time when even my mum talked about boxing. Nigel Benn was involved in some of the most exciting fights involving a British fighter and people tuned in expecting fireworks. Eubank was the panto villain that everybody claimed to hate but couldn't help but tune in to watch him, even though he was involved in some stinkers. But the real point of the book is to say that they would never have been what they were without each other. Like every great rivalry (Prost/Senna, Ali/Frazer etc) they were fortunate to have a bitter rival of comparable ability allied to the fact that they both oozed charisma. When all those things combine the result is memorable. Dirs tells the story well and gets good contemporary interviews with the likes of Benn, Watson, Warren, Hearn etc. It is just a shame that Eubank did not provide more testimony. In my view at the end Benn comes across as the more likeable man and better boxer due to the fact that he beat top Americans, whilst Eubank unashamedly admitted to avoiding them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2014
This is a really well written book, by a guy who clearly knows his stuff about his subject matter. It's more than just a bio of the two fights (the second one was a bit rubbish anyway) but more of a complete timeline as regards to the lead up to how these two guys got to be where they were, the actual fights, the aftermaths and what became of them afterwards. Great stuff about other protagonists of the day too, such as Watson, Collins, Graham the tough-guy Americans, the promotors, the trainers. There is also a funny paragraph about Daley Thompson which made me think that he was probably a very strange man indeed. It's fast paced, and deals only in the interesting bits of the parallel stories. Some boxing books tend to disappear up their own back-passages but Dirs gets what the reader wants and delivers. A better book on boxing, I've not read. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2014
A great book not just about Benn and Eubank but about boxing in general; the sport, the politics, the characters and the life-stories of the boxers outside the ring. There is relatively little attention paid to describing the fights in round by round detail, and the book is better for it, the author preferring instead to take us on a journey through a boxing landscape littered with the greedy, brave, tragic and heroic. Worth a read if you like sport in general but a must for fight fans especially for anyone who lived through the 'glory days' of British boxing in the 1980's and 90's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2014
By far the best book on boxing i have read in years. This is meticulous in its research, well written and fantastic in its detail. Far better than other books on this rivalry of two of British boxing's modern icons.
Interviews with opponents of both men, journalists of the time, and the promotional men of the day all add to a splendid book. This seems like a labour of love from Ben Dirs, and his efforts have been well rewarded. If you can only afford one book on this rivalry, be wise and make it this one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2013
A great read for all fans of British Boxing. I remember the days when Benn,Eubank,Watson,Collins and co pulled in TV audience figures of up to 14 million at peak time on a Saturday night,glory days that will probably never be repeated.I remember the fights well,I still watch them on YouTube now and again and point the way to them to younger fight fans. What this book does,and does very well,is gives the background to the fights,the characters involved and a good insight into the sometimes less than squeaky clean side of Boxing.
If,like me,you've read the autobiographies of both Benn and Eubank don't be put off of buying this book,you'll learn much more about both men,and British Boxing, than either of those books will tell you.
I love boxing,I love reading,I love books about boxing and this is one of the best of the many,many I've read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2013
A brilliant read. Ben Dirs writes with great knowledge of a rivalry which hit Britain in the nineties. Allows you to make your mind what camp you are in. Made me think what era that was for British boxing Watson Graham,Piper,Wharton and Calzaghe. Great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2014
I was very happy with both books. My aim is to buy many more boxing books to add to my collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2014
Bought this for my husband...he said its the best book he has ever read!
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on 17 September 2014
a fantastic insight to the legendary rivalry of Benn Eubanks Watson Collins in a golden age of british boxing a really in-depth read of the men and there rivalry who made 90s british boxing so exciting and popular to the masses
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