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Before Boxing Lost Its Punch [Kindle Edition]

Dave Newhouse , John Madden
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dave Newhouse has written a compelling boxing book about the fight game's premier weight division, the middleweights, prompted by childhood memories of pugilism's most savage rivalry, the Tony Zale-Rocky Graziano trilogy, and the 1949 plane crash that killed French boxing icon Marcel Cerdan. Decades later, Newhouse traveled across America and twice visited Europe to interview the families of Zale, Graziano and Cerdan, and to speak with those who knew Edith Piaf, the great French singer with whom Cerdan had an extra-marital affair. To determine the decline of boxing, Newhouse interviewed promoters, managers, trainers, authors, journalists and four middleweight champions. In 2011, Newhouse retired from a 52-year newspaper career as an award-winning sportswriter and columnist at the Oakland (CA) Tribune. He has authored seven books, including "The Jim Plunkett Story", "Heismen: After The Glory", The Million Dollar Backfield", "Old Bears", and "Jim Otto: The Pain of Glory". He lives with his wife Patsy in Oakland, California.

John Madden completed a successful career as coach of the Oakland Raiders with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has achieved additional fame as a pro football analyst, an advertising pitchman, a best-selling author, and as the founder of America's most popular video game. Besides his devotion to football, he's had a similar life-long passion for boxing. He lives with his wife Virginia in Northern California.


Product Details

  • File Size: 498 KB
  • Print Length: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Dave Newhouse; 1 edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007G03MZC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The golden days of middleweights April 7, 2012
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Dave Newhouse comes out swinging in his book "Before Boxing Lost Its Punch." Much of the first round (or chapter) is a retelling of the first Tony Zale-Rocky Graziano fight, and its brutality leaves a reader almost gasping for breath. Hey, are my ribs really sore? Naw, it's just my imagination.
Seriously, though, Newhouse has put together a hard-hitting book, and he recounts all three of the Zale-Graziano brawls in vivid, punishing detail.
This book looks back to the glory days of the sport's middleweight division - arguably it's most interesting. It's a time when boxing had eight(not 17)weight classes and truly recognizable champions. It's the immediate post-World War II era and a time when a young Newhouse became a fan of the "sweet science" -- firmly taking hold when he listened with his dad to the broadcast of the first Zale-Graziano fight.
The book focuses on three middleweight champions of that post-war period: Zale, Graziano and Marcel Cerdan.
Graziano was a street hoodlum who once disrespected baseball great Lou Gehrig and later went AWOL from the Army before going on to a successful boxing career and eventually becoming a television personality. Zale, "The Man of Steel," who overcame shyness arising from the tragic death of his father to rise to world champion, took pride throughout his life in being perfectly fit physically. Newhouse captures the good and the bad of each.
But perhaps the most intriguing story is the one of the French fighter Cerdan, who had an extramarital affair with singer Edith Piaf. It ended when Cerdan died in a plane crash - a flight that was to take him back to the United States for a rematch with Jake LaMotta. Newhouse also spends time examining the life of the greatly talented but deeply troubled Piaf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Interesting Read August 9, 2012
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I've got to give this book five stars alone simply for the amount of research that must have gone into it and the sheer number of golden nuggets of new information. As the previous reviewer mentioned, the book focuses on post-war period middleweight champions Tony Zale, Rocky Graziano and Marcel Cerdan and the author went to great lengths to uncover information that most of the more knowledgeable boxing fans wouldn't already know about these men. He interviewed numerous family members, friends and members of the boxing fraternity in an effort to leave no stone unturned when it came to these three champions and the end-result is a fun informative and entertaining read. Although the book focuses on these three men, the author also provides the reader with a glimpse into the lives and careers of many other boxers, trainers, managers and promoters and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The list of individuals interviewed for the book in addition to all the family members and friends included the likes of Angelo Dundee, W.C. Heinz, Bill Gallo, Gil Clancy, Bert Sugar, Don King, Bob Arum, Gene Fullmer, Carmen Basillio, Leroy Neiman, Budd Schulberg, Jake LaMotta, Joey Giardello, among a host of many, many more, and I can't help but imagine that even the most knowledgeable of boxing historians will learn many things they didn't already know. My only complaints are that some of the chapters ran a bit long and that its only available in electronic form
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