Boxing By The Book

BY Robert Ecksel ON September 05, 2005

Gary Todd’s “Boxing’s Greatest Workouts� is a labor of love.

Todd lives and works in Sydney, Australia. He is married, has three children, and boxing has been part of his life forever. He has taken his firsthand knowledge and turned it into something unusual: a book that’s one part inspirational autobiography, one part photo book, and one part how-to-box.

“Boxing Greatest Workouts� is in three parts. In the first part, Todd’s introduction called “Fighting Words,� he writes: “I grew up in a sprawling, multi-story housing estate in Dundee … Life there could be tough. When I was about 11 years old, I noticed a lot of changes taking place. I started watching violent videos around at my mate’s house when his parents were out. I saw some of my mates joining gangs and starting to sniff glue.�

Todd went in another direction and started boxing at the age of twelve. Although he did his fighting and does his writing Down Under, hence his tough guy Aussie prose, replacing ‘multi-story housing estate’ with ‘barrio’ and ‘sniff glue’ with ‘smoke crack’ helps his story hit closer to home.

In the middle section of “Boxing’s Greatest Workouts,� titled “A typical day in the life of a champ,� Todd asks questions of champions like: “How far did you run?� “What time did you go to the gym?� “What time did you leave the gym?� “Did you have a job before you won the title?� followed by champs’ workout schedules.

The champs interviewed for this book include Muhammad Ali, Ricky Hatton, Kostya Tszyu, Roy Jones, Chris Byrd, Fernando Vargas, Jeff Fenech, Mike McCallum, Christy Martin, Aaron Pryor, Ken Buchanan, Ken Norton, Terry Norris and Nigel Benn.

The final section of “Boxing’s Greatest Workouts� is called “My Workout� and has an “action plan� that covers diet, roadwork, sprints, stretching, skipping rope, shadowboxing, pads, sparring, speed, double-end, and heavy bags.

Some say learning to box by reading a book is like learning to fly by sitting in a rocker; but there isn’t a boxing gym and trainer on every corner. If one wants to learn how to box but is geographically challenged, what’s a person to do?

Gary Todd’s “Greatest Boxing Workouts� – with its easy-on-the-eye large type, dramatic graphics, and lots of full-page black and white photos – is as good a place to start as any.

Read more at the BLOG

Robert Ecksel

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