Counterpunch: Ali, Tyson, the Brown Bomber, and Other by Ira Berkow

By Ira Berkow

Spanning the interval among 1967 and 2005, this compilation contains eighty four of Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Ira Berkow’s columns on boxing. Readers will meet many of the maximum names within the sport’s background within the pages of this booklet, together with Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis, and Mike Tyson. one of the unforgettable tales accumulated during this assortment are the heated contention among Ali and “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier, Tyson’s notorious “Bite Fight” in 1997, and the will-he-or-won’t-he retirement saga of Sugar Ray Leonard. Written in Berkow’s gripping prose, the columns incorporated in Counterpunch chronicle crucial moments in boxing over the past 4 a long time.

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Yet, as one 27-year-old black man said when he saw Louis recently, he is still an idol and a symbol of the heights a black 37 38 | Counterpunch man can reach in America, and the man said he still goes through the scrapbook of Joe Louis that his grandmother gave him when he was a boy. Louis was in Rochester for the Hickok Belt Athlete of the Year banquet, and would receive the “Golden Links” award as a sports hero of the past. ” As it turned out, like Dempsey, he received a standing ovation. Louis was the second black man to hold the heavyweight title.

Three times a week he returns for care and sedatives. The diagnosis was a paranoic complex. Louis, according to his doctors, believed that Mafia members were trying to kill him. Once he tore up a hotel room because he thought hired murderers were coming into the room. Other times he awoke in the night screaming. Rumors burst forth. One that persisted in whispers was that Louis was a dope addict hooked on cocaine. Irving Andrews, one of Louis’ lawyers, was quoted on this subject: “The drugs enter the picture this way.

Louis made use of those golf balls, too. He was with 20 other patients who regularly underwent group therapy. And every Wednesday they had a tournament on the hospital’s 18-hole putting course. “I lost only one time in 16 weeks,” said Louis, smiling his soft smile. “I’d shoot a 32 or 33 or 34. ” Louis recalled that other presidents were interested in him, too. One was Franklin D. Roosevelt. ’ And he squeezed pretty good, you know. It hurt. ” Presidents and plumbers alike have been deeply interested in Louis.

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