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Boxing's Greatest Fighters Paperback – January 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592286321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592286324
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Bert Sugar is far more than a connoisseur of the Manly Art. He is one of the foremost sports historians alive."--The Boston Globe

From the Back Cover

Boxing's most entertaining writer picks the greatest fighters of all time.No one is more qualified to answer the time-honored question "who was the greatest fighter?" than Bert Randolph Sugar. In Boxing's Greatest Fighters, the former editor of The Ring magazine not only tells us who the greatest fighters are, but tells us the order of their greatness.Could Sugar Ray Robinson have beaten Muhammad Ali? Could Sugar Ray Leonard have beaten Sonny Liston? The answer, most experts agree, would be "no." But what if, as Bert Sugar has done here, one were to take all the boxers and "reduce them in the mind's eye to the same height, the same weight, the same ring conditions?" The answers come out a lot different.And while some fans may express outrage that Rocky Marciano is not in the top 10 and Marvelous Marvin Hagler is barely in the top 50, others will nod sagely when they read why Sugar selects Henry Armstrong and Willie Pep as better than just about anybody else.So, whether you read Boxing's Greatest Fighters cover-to-cover, or merely flip to your favorites, be prepared, at the bell, to come out arguing. For Sugar makes "The Sweet Science" one helluva sweet quarrel.

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Customer Reviews

A must for the boxing fan.
F. Murphy
Bert Sugar is a legenday sports writer, and boxing writer especially.
Shalom Freedman
Overall, this is a well-written, entertaining book.
TacoGuy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Hawk on February 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First things first: You are NOT going to agree with 100, 75 or possibly 50% of his ranking positions. Some fighters will be far too high in your eyes, or bafflingly low.

Or in the case of a Micheal Spinks or a Fighting Harada (#87 on his original list in 1984 and in my opinion THEN, too low), missing altogether from the top 100.

You may puzzle over why Ruben Olivares did not make the cut in 1984 but is sitting at #36 in the 2006 edition. How can Larry Holmes be behind Holyfield and Foreman and (gasp) Tunney! And what is Beau jack doing one spot ahead of Ike Williams who "owned" Jack, much in the same way Archie Moore is rated ahead of Ezzard Charles, despite losing to the Cinncinati Cobra all three times they fought.

Two things: The stories and detail of each fighter only sparks the desire to learn more about these fighters who make Bert's list. And the overall disagreement that you WILL have with Bert, makes the read fascinating. You almost have an argument and a debate with yourself!

Lists will do that to you. One man's list is ONLY perfect to the man who wrote it. Everyone else will have issues with it.

But I defy any boxing enthusiast who buys this book, to NOT have it by your side literally everywhere you go.

Boxing History, in one small package.

Priceless and maddening at the same time.

Hawk
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By feedthecat on April 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Bert Randolph Sugar, he of the everpresent fedora and unlit cigar, is one of the best known "talking heads" in the boxing media. He is articulate, writes well, and is very passionate about boxing, the greatest, truest, and purest of athletic competitions. However, he is more a boxing writer than a boxing historian, as is demonstrated by the fact that he believes (and promulgates) many of the myths that have floated around for years about this or that fighter without having bothering to check any primary sources to confirm these stories (Sugar relates many of these fairy tales in this book, but states them as fact, such as Willie Pep having won a round in a fight with Jackie Graves without having landed a single punch [Pep himself, in most of his accounts of the bout, said that he did, in fact, throw and land more than a few punches in that round], that Harry Greb's last name was Berg [Greb's birth certificate says otherwise], that Jack Dempsey broke Jess Willard's jaw in their 1919 battle [an injury that none of the reporters who interviewed Willard in the hours and days after the bout seemed to notice], that Greb broke Gene Tunney's nose with a headbutt in the first round of their first of five wars [Greb and many ringside reporters attributed the break to a left hook and Tunney himself stated that it was probably the result of a Greb right and definitely not from a butt], that Sam Langford gave Jack Johnson all he could handle in their fight [Langford admitted more than once that 'Lil Arthur had whipped him)], etc, etc).Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TacoGuy on July 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
This latest edition of "Boxing's Greatest Fighters" is an update from the 1984 edition. I have both copies, mainly because I was curious to see how Bert Sugar re-ranked some of my favorite fighters. For example, Sugar Ray Leonard moved from #56 to #25. Overall, this is a well-written, entertaining book. It's probably not logical to rate fighters from different eras, but the concept is hard to resist for a boxing fan, especially one interested in its early history. As with many others reviewers, I don't agree with some of Sugar's rankings, but overall his list makes good sense.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raquel on January 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my brother in law as a gift! He is really into boxing and was so excited to receive it, after he read it he told me it was the perfect gift he loved it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joe C on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very easy way to learn the basics about the greatest boxers in history. Burt Sugar is the best for a reason. Some nice stories and details. But basically just 100 thumbnails.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By F. Murphy on October 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like boxing and its glorious history, this book is for you. Bert Sugar is the recognized king of boxing writers, and he knows his stuff. A must for the boxing fan.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Bert Sugar is a legenday sports writer, and boxing writer especially. His tremendous knowledge of the history of boxing enables him to make surprising and interesting comparisons of fighters, fights of different times and eras. He is colorful and quick, and not at all shy in providing the lowdown on various aspects of the game.
There has to be subjectivity in a list of this type, and real fans of boxing will certainly have lists of their own. I do not know boxing very well, in fact tuned out of what was going on a long time ago. But I did know about boxing from the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports' in the old days and so saw many of the greatest fights and fighters.
Sugar picks here a hundred of the best. His top five are Sugar Ray Robinson( A pick my guess is most would agree with. It used to be a cliche years ago that Sugar Ray pound- for- pound is the greatest) His second pick is Henry Armstrong the only three- division , and almost four in the history of boxing. It is hard to quarrel with this one either. The next two Harry Greb, and Willie Pep seem to me very disputable indeed. The fifth is Benny Leonard.
I think many will be surprised to find that Muhammed Ali is not in the top five. In fact Sugar considers Jack Dempsey the greatest heavyweight of all, followed by Joe Louis.
Sugar writes with flair and is a pleasure to read.
One thought. Boxing is not what it used to be, and has gone way down in its place in the sports' pantheon. One reason for this as Sugar makes clear is the multiple- titles, organizing groups, the whole mess of the thing. But I suspect it is also because many people wonder about the morality of two people trying to knock each other's brains out for the amusement of a crowd. Thinking about this in the perspective of the years, and having seen a couple of punch- drunk fighters in my time I wonder if this moral objection does not have something to it.
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