Charley Burley has been called the best boxer who never fought for a world championship. Many experts like the late Ray Arcel and Eddie Futch rate him among the best boxers pound for pound of all time, bar none. It is said that Sugar Ray Robinson himself may have avoided him.
In Allen S. Rosenfeld's literary masterpiece on Charley Burley, these issues and many others are brought to light. Burley is the main focus of this book but Rosenfeld has included many supporting characters to make this as much a boxing history book as it is a biography of Burley.
You almost find yourself reliving the Pittsburgh area boxing scene of that era. The rich history of a great fight town where Harry Greb, Fritzie Zivic, Billy Conn and several other emerged. Charley Burley was among them.
Rosenfeld takes you almost fight by fight through Charley's amazing career. The joy of his victories and the sadness of his setbacks. You feel Burley's frustration of missing out on his elusive dream.
You live the plight of the Negro boxers of that time period. Especially one that may have been too good for his own good.
This is a must read for every boxing fan.
Another fine book on sale these days is Rusty Rubin's " Off The Canvas ". I'm not a big fan of fictional boxing stories but Rusty does a wonderful job of putting the reader back into the times of the Great Depression and later the era of the "War To End All Wars ". It is story of two brothers who battle life and fight their way to the top. I really and truly enjoyed the book and I think you would too.
A Unified Champ ? Don't Hold your Breath...
Here is what I'd like to see but I doubt that it will ever happen. I would like to see the winner of the WBA heavyweight match up between John Ruiz and Andrew Golota fight the winner of the IBF pair up between Chris Byrd and Jameel McCline. Then I would like to see WBC champion Vitali Klitschko take on WBO titleholder Lamon Brewster. That bout would have the revenge factor going for Vitali to avenge Wladimir's loss to Brewster. Then the ultimate winners can vie for the "Undisputed" title or meet who will probably hold the IBA "crown", James Toney. By the time the smoke clears from this possible scenario, a new face or two may emerge as the future of the heavyweight division.