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on 2 November 2006
This book is honest, factual, and one of the best books I've ever read. Once I started I didnt want to put it down. The brutality is real, gritty and written in a way that you relive each page as if you were there at the time. Thankfully Carl came out Cage fighting alive. Thank you for a great read
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on 21 January 2010
this is one of the bests books i've read and i've read a few, honest, gripping and brutal read, top notch...
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on 5 September 2011
All absolute BS

Just lifted this from a forum where there was a discussion on the book; [...]

It's obviously ALL TRUE and not at all a work of fiction. Good Grief.

If you're going to tell a lie, tell a big one, it'll find the gullible. BTW, I bought COMBAT mag yesterday and apart from having a number of features already published in this month's Martial Arts Illustrated, it also featured BOB SPOUR. Well, even allowing for Lead Times in Print Runs, you'd have thought that they'd have pulled that item!!

Back to Carl "The Truth" Williams, er, I mean "Merritt". The first clue is Wensley Clarkson, the ex-Daily Mirror writer now grubbing around for marginal figures with notoriety and are safely dead to write about i.e. John Bindon, James Moody. So, Salt Cellar to hand, you can make a start on any of his stuff. Second clue, his publisher is John Blake, remember "The Nemesis File" by the fake SAS chappie. Well, it sold an articulated lorry load.

Conclusion: File Carl under extreme Fantasist aided and abetted by Clarkson.

I've just speed read the book. My gut feeling is either total pack of lies or totally over dramatised low level unlicenced boxing matches.

Here are Carl Merritt's claims:

1. Started training in boxing as a child at the Westham Boys Club

2. Fought first boxing match a the age of 11 and lost to a kid from the Repton Club.

3. Got in a fight outside a pub at the age of 15. His opponent hit him with a metal bar. His jaw had to be wired and his face rebuilt. His trainer said he'd never box again. His career was over. (Note that there was no mention of a boxing medical and he somehow managed to subsequently fight as a professional "cage fighter")

4. Was jailed for three months for GBH after stabbing his mothers new boyfriend in the kidney with a pen. He says his mothers boyfriend was abusive.

5. Aged 16 his uncle got him a chance to fight professional unlicenced boxing matched. His first fight was in a pub in Croydon (London) called Lacey Lady's Club. Carl won the fight with a KO and earned £35.

6. Carl Merritt was asked to take part in a brutal cage fight by a man known as Bill (no other information provided).

7. The first fight was in a warehouse near Reading. Carl won the fight by punching his opponent repeatedly until he fell over.

8. Bill told Carl that Cage fighting was invented in America in the mid 1970's. The cage was to stop the crowd invading the ring at illegal fights.

9. The second fight was in Ireland. Carl met "Bill" on a pitch black field. He was flow in a twin engine airplane to a field in Ireland (location unknown). He was then driven to a farm (location unknown). He fought an unknown Irish opponent in a cattle pen and won with a throat punch. He earned £5,000 for the fight.

10. The third fight was in a warehouse on an industrial estate near Ipswich. Carl won.

11. The fourth fight was in an underground carpark in Birmingham near the Bullring. Carl won.

12. The fifth fight was in South London (no other details revealed). The crowd included some famous "East End Actors" and some senior police officers. Carl won.

13. There are no photo records of the fights because they are illegal. At one match a man took a photo. The fight security stamped on both the camera and the man's head.

14. It was now the middle of 1988 and the time of the sixth fight. Carl flew to Paris and fought another nameless opponent. The fight was in a cage errected in another underground carpark. The opponent was a kick boxer. carl grabbed his leg and punched his head knocking him out. He won £6,000 for the match.

15. The seventh fight was in Cork in Eire. Carl won £8,000. No other details given.

16. Autumn 1989, saw Carl fight at Dagenham Docks in a cage. He lost. he was knocked out, jaw fractured, nose broke, knuckle broken, throat swollen, ear drums bleeding, collar bone fractured.

17. Carl flew to LAX airport for a fight in LA. The venue was a hotel 2 miles East of the freeway near LAX. The crowd included some Hollywood stars and an oscar winner. Carl won the match with a knee to the head. He won $10,000.

18. Carl flew to Australia to fight in a furniture warehouse on the outskirts of Melbourne. He bit a chunk of his opponents lip off and the crowd invaded the ring.

19. Carl flew to Vegas. He took a Limo to a "Hall" behind on of Vegas's largest Casinos. The crowd of 300 saw him lose his second cage fight.

20. 1991 - 1993 No cage fights (this dates the first Vegas fight as 1990).

21. 1995 returned to Vegas for a rematch which he won. Same Venue.
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on 15 April 2004
An autobiographical account of one mans journey into the dark and savage world of cage fighting.
It’s an enlightening book as it provides interesting personal insights into the mindset of one cage fighter. Allowing us too share - at a safe distance – the authors perceived reasons for entering the world of cage fighting; offering a blow by blow account of the raw, merciless violence that took place. However, it became somewhat repetitive with the author forever rationalising his reasons for becoming involved: abandoning father, bullying stepfather and lack of money. Reading between the lines, it was obvious that his whole cultural background was steeped in primitive drives that most of us have managed to suppress to a greater or lesser degree. If your hoping for a understanding of one mans reasons for cage fighting then this should satisfy you. If you’re looking for intellectual substance on the subject then stay clear.
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on 25 June 2016
Pages of the book were misding
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