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The Boxing Kings

When American Heavyweights Ruled the Ring
Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)
Regular price: £26.29
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Summary

The Boxing Kings tells the story of the heavyweight title in the days when it was a defining institution in the United States. Author Paul Beston places special emphasis on those champions who held a central place in American culture beyond just in the boxing ring, including John L. Sullivan, who made the title a commercial property; Jack Johnson, who in 1908 became the first black man to claim the title; Joe Louis, whose contributions to racial tolerance and social progress transcended even his greatness in the ring; Rocky Marciano, who became an embodiment of the American dream; Muhammad Ali, who took on the US government and revolutionized professional sports with his showmanship; and Mike Tyson, a hard-punching student of boxing history who exemplified the modern celebrity.

The gallery of champions also includes comics, dandies, bookworms, divas, ex-cons, workingmen, and a tough guy turned preacher. The Boxing Kings treats these and other champions as three-dimensional human beings, flawed but sympathetic men placed on great public stages. As the title shifts from one claimant to another, their stories also open a window into the larger history of the United States.

©2017 Paul Beston (P)2017 HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stunning

Honestly one of the best books about boxing I've read in a very long time. Interesting, thought provoking, sometimes humorous, at the end, poignant. The narration was truly top notch as well, especially when he quotes the fighters/trainers etc. The Mike Tyson chapters are enough to make you cry, so much talent gone to waste due to hangers on and a corrupt promoter. I would recommend this book to any fans of pugilism or sports in general, as well as history.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • LSmith
  • 01-02-18

An outstanding book on heavyweight champions

For nearly a century, the title "Heavyweight Champion of the World" was not only prestigious in boxing,, but in America as well. This outstanding book on the men that have held the title makes that point and tells the story of how this title has changed, not always for the better.

While the entire history of the title in the 20th century is covered, Beston concentrates on the stories of the most influential or noteworthy boxers who held the title: Jim Jeffries, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. What these men meant not only to boxing, but to American society as well, made for excellent listening. Censes:s masterful narration only added to the enjoyment of this book. It is highly recommended for all boxing fans.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 26-10-17

Enjoyable and informational

This book provides a meaningful overview of the American history and evolution of the heavyweight championship through its demise. It was enjoyable throughout.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • KDeSantis
  • 31-01-19

Heavyweight Boxing History

Absolutely loved this heavyweight boxing book!
If you're a wanna be boxing Heavyweight historian this book is perfect. Book gives one a big bang for the buck giving so many bios of champions in one book. Personally I purchased the Audible version. Narrator was excellent. Bio on each fighter was in-depth and at the same time moved along quickly. This book was so great I emailed the author and asked him if he would consider doing a middleweights boxing champions book also. The author was very polite and said he would consider it. I hope so!!!

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  • Juan Burley
  • 29-01-19

Amazing collection of stories

This helped rekindle my love of Boxing, and especially the heavy weight title. It demonstrated how the sport mirrored and influenced American society. i loved all the stories about the Champions who's names we've heard.

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  • Benjamin
  • 05-12-18

Best book I've read this year.

This book is a well-written and fascinating story detailing 100 years of boxing history. the author takes an almost sociological approach to boxing and key fighters explaining how they're x shape them and they shape their time. a must-read for any boxing fan. the only negative is in the audio reading, the performer clearly doesn't know all the boxers and mispronounces a couple of the names.

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  • Change of Heart
  • 10-07-18

Engaging Classic

The audio book tells the story of the American heavy weight division in an engaging manner, which makes it impossible to stop listening. My favorite boxing book.

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  • Michael
  • 25-04-18

Great History Book

As an aspiring boxing historian, the breath and scope of this book had me in awe. It's a must read for anyone interested in the sweet science. The narrator was excellent.

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  • ely
  • 23-04-18

Awesome audiobook

This is a awesome audiobook. I loved it, I was able to learn about all the boxing greats. I would definitely recommend this audiobook four people interested in understanding Boxing when it was great.