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Boxing

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  1. 7.6 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    They called him “Manos de Piedra”—Hands of Stone—and he was one of the greatest boxers of all time. Now Roberto Durán tells his unbelievable story: from the streets of Panama to being crowned one of the “Four Kings,” along with Hearns, Leonard, and Hagler, as he blazed a trail through the Golden Age of Boxing.Born into abject poverty, barely able to read or write, Durán quickly realized that his fists could both protect him on the streets and put food on the table. His reputation was established on the day when, for a bet, he knocked down a horse with a single punch. At the age of twenty-one, he claimed his first world title, against Ken Buchanan at Madison Square Garden. The legend of Manos de Piedra was born, but his most glorious moment was yet to come.In 1980, Durán delivered one of the greatest upsets in boxing history by defeating the previously unbeatable Sugar Ray Leonard. But greater fame brought greater distractions, and Durán’s endless partying took its toll before the two superstars faced each other again. Here, for the first time ever, Durán confronts the debacle of the rematch that entered sporting folklore, and the truth behind the moment he was heard to utter the infamous words “No más”—No more.Durán’s explosive performances in the ring were matched only by the volatility of his life outside it. He lurched from living like royalty to bankruptcy and, after being written off as a boxing also-ran, made a bloody, legendary comeback that gave his career the ultimate ending, and finally brought redemption. He came from nothing, and changed the world. I Am Durán is the autobiography of one of boxing’s most iconic legends.

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    I Am Duran

    7.6 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 7.9 hrs • 7/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Stripping away the revisionism to reveal the true nature of the man himself, this new book recounts the life journey of a fighter universally recognized as a unique and treasured world icon. Few global personalities have commanded an all-encompassing sporting and cultural audience like Muhammad Ali. Now, Muhammad Ali: A Tribute to the Greatest allows us to more fully appreciate the truth—and understand both the man and the ways in which he helped recalibrate how the world perceives its transcendent figures. In this celebratory volume, New York Times bestselling author Thomas Hauser provides a compelling retrospective of Ali’s life. Relying on personal insights, interviews with close associates and other contemporaries, and memories gathered over the course of decades on the cutting edge of boxing journalism, Hauser explores Ali in colorful detail inside and outside the ring. Muhammad Ali has attained mythical status. But in recent years, he has been subjected to an image makeover by corporate America as it seeks to homogenize the electrifying nature of his persona. Hauser argues that there has been a deliberate distortion of what Ali believed, said, and stood for, and that making Ali more presentable for advertising purposes by sanitizing his legacy is a disservice to history as well as to Ali himself.

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    Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hauser

    Muhammad Ali

    7.9 hrs • 7/1/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 13.0 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    George Plimpton makes his riskiest foray into participatory journalism—stepping into the ring against a champion boxer—in Shadow Box, now recorded and including a foreword by Pete Hamill. Stepping into the ring against light-heavyweight champion Archie Moore, George Plimpton pauses to wonder what ever induced him to become a participatory journalist. Bloodied but unbowed, he holds his own in the bout—and lives to tell, in this timeless book on boxing and its devotees, among them Ali, Joe Frazier, Ernest Hemingway, and Norman Mailer. Shadow Box is one of Plimpton’s most engaging studies of professional sport, told through the eyes of an inquisitive and astute amateur. From the gym, the locker room, ringside, and even in the harsh glare of the ring itself, Plimpton documents what it is like to be a boxer, an artist of mayhem.

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    Shadow Box

    Foreword by Mike Lupica
    Read by Jeff Bottoms
    13.0 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 0.2 hrs • 11/9/2015

    Hear the voices of old-time boxing greats, including Jack Dempsey, Luis Firpo, Al Mayer, Nat Fleisher, Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, Jack Johnson, Jim Jeffries, Tony Galento, Benny Leonard, and Bill Corum.

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  5. 5.7 hrs • 10/6/2015 • Unabridged
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    The Top of His Game

    5.7 hrs • 10/6/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
    11.9 hrs • 7/7/2015 • Unabridged

    “I can lick any son-of-a-bitch in the world.” So boasted John L. Sullivan, the first modern heavyweight boxing champion of the world, a man who was the gold standard of American sports for more than a decade and the first athlete to earn more than a million dollars. He had a big ego, a big mouth, and even bigger appetites. His womanizing, drunken escapades, and chronic police-blotter presence were godsends to a burgeoning newspaper industry. The larger-than-life boxer embodied the American dream for late nineteenth-century immigrants as he rose from Boston’s Irish working class to become the most recognizable man in the nation. In the process, the “Boston Strong Boy” transformed boxing from outlawed bare-knuckle fighting into the gloved spectacle we know today. Strong Boy tells the story of America’s first sports superstar, a self-made man who personified the power and excesses of the Gilded Age. Everywhere John L. Sullivan went, his fists backed up his bravado. Sullivan’s epic brawls, such as his seventy-five-round bout against Jake Kilrain, and his cross-country barnstorming tour in which he literally challenged all of America to a fight are recounted in vivid detail, as are his battles outside the ring with a troubled marriage, wild weight and fitness fluctuations, and raging alcoholism. Strong Boy gives readers ringside seats to the colorful tale of one of the country’s first Irish American heroes and the birth of the American sports media and the country’s celebrity obsession with athletes.

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    Strong Boy by Christopher Klein

    Strong Boy

    11.9 hrs • 7/7/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
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  7. 20.8 hrs • 11/12/2013 • Unabridged

    A bare-knuckled, tell-all memoir from Mike Tyson, the onetime heavyweight champion of the world—and a legend both in and out of the ring. Philosopher, Broadway headliner, fighter, felon—Mike Tyson has defied stereotypes, expectations, and a lot of conventional wisdom during his three decades in the public eye. Bullied as a boy in the toughest, poorest neighborhood in Brooklyn, Tyson grew up to become one of the most thrilling and ferocious boxers of all time—and the youngest heavyweight champion ever. But his brilliance in the ring was often compromised by reckless behavior. Years of hard partying, violent fights, and criminal proceedings took their toll: by 2003, Tyson had hit rock bottom, a convicted felon, completely broke, the punch line to a thousand bad late-night jokes. Yet he fought his way back; the man who once admitted being addicted “to everything” regained his success, his dignity, and the love of his family. With a triumphant one-man stage show, his unforgettable performances in the Hangover films, and his newfound happiness and stability as a father and husband, Tyson’s story is an inspiring American original. Brutally honest, raw, and often hilarious, Tyson chronicles his tumultuous highs and lows in the same sincere, straightforward manner we have come to expect from this legendary athlete. A singular journey from Brooklyn’s ghettos to worldwide fame to notoriety, and, finally, to a tranquil wisdom, Undisputed Truth is not only a great sports memoir but an autobiography for the ages.

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    Undisputed Truth

    20.8 hrs • 11/12/13 • Unabridged
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  8. 8.7 hrs • 10/10/2013 • Unabridged

    When boxing was bold, bright, and glamorous and the fights were the hottest sporting events of the year, Joe Frazier was king as the Heavyweight Champion of the World. From 1970 to 1973 he reigned. With a career record of 32-4-1 with twenty-seven knockouts and an Olympic gold medal, Frazier leaves little question that he was one of the greatest fighters of all time. Well-known, loved, and revered as a gentleman and a fierce competitor in the ring, Joe Frazier speaks his mind in Smokin’ Joe—about growing up poor and fighting in the first $2.5 million bout; about the early days of his friendship with Muhammad Ali and how their relationship changed; and about the often corrupt world of boxing and what really went on inside and outside the ring.  Personable, good-natured, and funny, Frazier’s story is a real delight.

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    Smokin’ Joe by Joe Frazier, Phil Berger

    Smokin’ Joe

    8.7 hrs • 10/10/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 9.4 hrs • 6/7/2011 • Unabridged

    In this unflinching and inspiring autobiography, the boxing legend faces his single greatest competitor: himself.  Sugar Ray Leonard’s brutally honest and uplifting memoir reveals in intimate detail for the first time the complex man behind the boxer. The Olympic hero, multi-championship winner, and beloved athlete waged his own personal battle with depression, rage, addiction, and greed. Coming from a tumultuous, impoverished household and a dangerous neighborhood on the outskirts of Washington, DC, in the 1970s, Sugar Ray Leonard rose swiftly and skillfully through the ranks of amateur boxing—and eventually went on to win a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics. With an extremely ill father and no endorsement deals, Leonard decided to go pro. The Big Fight takes readers behind the scenes of a notoriously corrupt sport and chronicles the evolution of a champion, as Leonard prepares for the greatest fights of his life—against Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, and Wilfred Benitez. At the same time Leonard fearlessly reveals his own contradictions and compulsions, his infidelity, and alcohol and cocaine abuse. With honesty, humor, and hard-won perspective, Leonard comes to terms with both triumph and struggle—and presents a gripping portrait of remarkable strength, courage, and resilience, both in and out of the ring.

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    The Big Fight

    By Sugar Ray Leonard, with Michael Arkush
    9.4 hrs • 6/7/11 • Unabridged
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  10. 10.7 hrs • 10/14/2010 • Unabridged

    “Irish” Micky Ward grew up in the 1970s and ’80s as a tough kid from Lowell, Massachusetts—a town where young men became boxers as a means of survival. Ward participated in street fights from an early age and was forever known by his opponents and spectators as the underdog. But with his incredible ability to suddenly drop an opponent late in a fight with his trademark left hook, he kept proving everyone wrong. A hard worker who overcame bad luck, bad management, and chronic pain in his hands, he avoided the pitfall of poverty and dead-end work that plagued Lowell to become a Golden Gloves junior welterweight. After fifteen years of boxing, a string of defeats, and three years of retirement, Micky battled Arturo Gatti in 2002 in the battle that was later named “Fight of the Year” by Ring magazine and dubbed “Fight of the Century” by boxing writers and fans across the country. Ten rounds of brutal action ended with Micky winning by decision, and reviving enthusiasm for a sport that had been weighted down by years of showboating and corruption. In Irish Thunder, ESPN columnist and Boston television reporter Bob Halloran recounts Ward’s rise to hero status, his rivalry with his imprisoned brother, and the negotiations, betrayals, and drugs that shaped a wild youth who ultimately became a nationally respected boxer. A wrenching account of life in blue-collar America, this is a story about a boxer from a boxing family and a boxing town—Ward’s dramatic victories inside the ring are recounted in gripping detail, but it is his victory outside the ring that inspires.

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    Irish Thunder by Bob Halloran

    Irish Thunder

    10.7 hrs • 10/14/10 • Unabridged
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  11. 0 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5
    8.7 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    This collection of A. J. Liebling’s classic New Yorker pieces on the “sweet science of bruising” brings vividly to life the boxing world as it once was. It depicts the great events of boxing’s American heyday, including Sugar Ray Robinson’s dramatic comeback, Rocky Marciano’s rise to prominence, and Joe Louis’s unfortunate decline. Liebling never fails to find the human story behind the fight, and he evokes the atmosphere in the arena as distinctly as he does the goings-on in the ring—a combination that prompted Sports Illustrated to name The Sweet Science the best American sports book of all time.

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    The Sweet Science by A. J. Liebling

    The Sweet Science

    Foreword by Robert Anasi
    8.7 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5
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  12. 8.8 hrs • 5/3/2005 • Unabridged

    Lost in the annals of boxing is the sport’s true Cinderella story. James J. Braddock, dubbed “Cinderella Man” by Damon Runyon, was a once promising light heavyweight for whom a string of losses in the ring and a broken right hand happened to coincide with the Great Crash of 1929. With one good hand, Braddock was forced to labor on the docks of Hoboken. Only his manager, Joe Gould, still believed in him, finding fights for Braddock to help feed his wife and children. The diminutive, loquacious Jew and the burly, quiet Irishman made one of boxing’s oddest couples, but together they staged the greatest comeback in fighting history. In twelve months Braddock went from the relief rolls to face heavyweight champion Max Baer, the Livermore Butcher Boy, renowned for having allegedly killed two men in the ring. A charismatic, natural talent and in every way Braddock’s foil, Baer was a towering opponent, a Jew from the West Coast who was famously brash and made great copy both in and out of the ring. A ten-to-one underdog, Braddock carried the hopes and dreams of the working class on his shoulders. And when boxing was the biggest sport in the world, when the heavyweight champion was the biggest star in the world, his unlikely upset made Braddock the most popular champion boxing had ever seen. Against the gritty backdrop of the Depression, Cinderella Man brings this dramatic all-American story to life, evoking a time when the sport of boxing resonated with a country trying desperately to get back on its feet. Schaap paints a vivid picture of the fight world in its golden age, populated by men of every class and ethnic background and covered voluminously by writers who elevated sports writing to art. Rich in anecdote and color, steeped in history, and full of human interest, Cinderellla Man is a classic David and Goliath tale that transcends the sport.

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    Cinderella Man

    8.8 hrs • 5/3/05 • Unabridged
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