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Facing Ali: 15 Fighters / 15 Stories-Stephen Brunt

  • Title: Facing Ali: 15 Fighters / 15 Stories
  • Author: Stephen Brunt
  • Released: 2004-04-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 320
  • ISBN: 159228406X
  • ISBN13: 978-1592284061
  • ASIN: 159228406X

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From Publishers Weekly Brunt provides penetrating and honest profiles of 15 fighters from around the world who faced Muhammad Ali, and he produces a book that should become one of the essential works for understanding the legendary fighter. Brunt's subjects range in chronological order from Tunney Hunsaker, the first man to fight Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) as a professional, to Larry Holmes, whose crushing victory in Ali's fourth comeback showed that the champion's career was truly finished. In between, Brunt (columnist for Toronto's Globe and Mail) offers bracing new looks at Ali's well-known opponents, including Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and George Foreman. Some of Brunt's best portraits, however, bring to life those "extremely unlikely tales, longshots, no-hopers, fighters lifted out of obscurity for their date with the most famous man on earth," such as Germany's Jurgen Blin, who fought Ali and the next day "was back at work at the sausage factory." Although each story varies, Brunt is amazingly sensitive to and respectful of each fighter's own words, no matter how factually wrong or self-serving they might be. He deftly illustrates how all the fighters to some degree believe that, as Jean Pierre Coopman says, "The Ali fight was the defining moment of my career," although this feeling is ironic for some, such as George Chuvalo, who despite his winning record became better known in his native Canada for going the distance with Ali and losing. Others are bitter, such as Joe Frazier, who views Ali's current Parkinson's disease unsympathetically; as Brunt cannily observes, "on the cosmic scale, [Frazier's] getting even..
- getting even."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From *Starred Review* Muhammad Ali has been written about ad nauseum, but here we have a fresh approach: examine Ali the boxer through the eyes of his opponents. From the champs (Foreman), to the contenders (George Chuvalo), to the hopelessly overmatched (Jean-Pierre Coopman), the lives of Ali's opponents were profoundly shaped by facing (and, usually, getting pummeled by) an international icon. While Ali transcended boxing, his opponents didn't, and most of these fighters spent their lives getting beat up in the ring and out of it. That makes for fascinating reading, but for those who care more about Ali than, say, Earnie Shavers, the book is also chock-full of anecdotes and opinions about Ali as seen by his opponents. From each fighter's story, a different Ali emerges. To Frazier, Ali is a cruel bully. To Chuck Wepner, Ali is Apollo Creed to Wepner's Rocky Balboa. To Joe Bugner, Ali is just a brilliant businessman who knew how to put butts in seats. Between the perspectives on Ali and the witty, elegant retelling of 15 fighters' lives, this is a must for boxing fans. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. pdf
 
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