- Series: Sweet Science: Boxing in Literature & History S
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: University of Arkansas Press (February 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1557285977
- ISBN-13: 978-1557285973
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,841,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Black Lights: Inside the World of Professional Boxing (Sweet Science: Boxing in Literature & History S)
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From Publishers Weekly
Hauser (Missing, The Family Legal Companion) followed the fortunes of former WBC superlightweight champion Billy Costello in the fall of 1984, using the boxer's preparations for a title defense as the springboard to examine the sport itself. He makes clear that TV now controls boxing and that sports promoters Don King and Bob Arum enjoy a virtual monopoly because the networks find that a convenient arrangement. Hauser also shows the paternal relationships of manager Mike Jones and trainer Victor Valle with Costello, both aiding him for reasons beyond money. And he looks at the seamier side of the Sweet Science, from grubby gyms to the fate that awaits those who, like Muhammad Ali, have taken too many punches. The book is informative, and the suspense built up around the big fight is masterfully handled. Major ad/promo. November 4
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Some books about boxing, like Schulberg's "The Harder they fall," are about the business of boxing; other books are about the combat itself, like Mailer's "The Fight." Then there are the books like Oates' "On Boxing," which are more philosophical treatises, psychological profiles. Hauser's book is unique in that it combines all of these different subgenre studies of the Sweet Science into something new, and frankly, superior to anything else I've read on the subject.
The book follows the fortunes of WBC champ Billy Costello, an earnest, shy fighter who had the misfortune to be fighting out of the same stable as heavyweight perennial contender Gerry Cooney when the "great white hope" was garnering all of the press in the world and then some (much to the chagrin of champion, Larry Holmes). This book is high drama, compulsively readable from start to finish. The profiles of Don King and Bob Arum were my favorite, and I frankly admired Hauser's ability to keep an even hand and hear all sides of the story in a sport where everything is so contentious (and violent). The behind-the-scenes machinations of the sport-the insane wrangling it takes to get a fight made- are as fascinating and entertaining as the action described in the ring. Highest recommendation.
It's no wonder that after reading this Muhammad Ali chose Thomas Hauser to write his story.
How this book got it's name is another great example of what Hauser can do with just one paragraph!
I had assumed that this would be somewhat of a dry read or just not as good as Hauser's other books on boxing and the world of boxing. I had thought that since it's Hauser's first attempt at writing about boxing that it would be just ok - maaaan was I wrong - THIS is a fantastic book!
Hauser is an amazing writer and is exceptional in all his writings about the sweet science.
This is a great example of a book successfully covering and achieving what it set out to do. You get educated on the inside story of professional boxing and get a great and personal insight into the world of Billy Costello.
I was caught up in every chapter and did not want to put this book down. I've never heard of Billy Costello before this book and found myself being nervous for him, being excited for him, cheering for him and feeling now like I was there with him.
Great book for anyone.
Perhaps it is just me but I had trouble feeling for Costello, I liked reading about him but he didn't come across as well as he might have if the author has fleshed him out a little more.
The problem lies in the lack of depth to a number of the characters that we see. What is Don King really like? Carl King? Jose Suliaman? We get a few pages devoted to each but you could do much more.
Readable book and worth buying.
The author focused on Billy Costello's carreer, from his amateur days to his WBC title defense against Saoul Mamby.
The negociations between manager and promoter, the relation between trainer and fighter, the doubt and incertitude of the fighter
are all covered in an interesting and open context. The window of opportunity is short, you have to get things done fast.
Jose Sulaiman and Don King are the 2 main players who moves fighters like chessboard pieces.
This is a very good book for those who wish to learn how things are done in pro boxing,