TSS Universe inhabitants are among the most well rounded fight fans in existence. They aren’t only interested in the flavor of the month prospect. They aren't fooled by sanctioning body shenanigans. They know who deserves a title shot, who has a record built on balsa wood. They have a regard for the rich history of the sweet science, and soak up as much knowledge on the sport, and the colorful characters that make pugilism the rich tapestry of humanity that it is, as they can, without irking their bosses or significant others to a “You are fired” or “You’re sleeping on the couch” degree. For this reason, we occasionally offer a recommendation on books which shed a brighter light on the game as we know it. TSS today can offer a hearfelt plug for a book written by Team TSS member Rick Folstad. It’s called “Cornered” and I am three chapters in, and I dig it. I asked Rick to give a little back story on the book, how and why it came together.
Rick’s lowdown: “My boxing history includes a 54-6 record as an amateur and a 20-2 record as a pro back in the late 1960s and 1970s. I fought out of Minneapolis where, in 1974, I advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Golden Gloves Tournament before losing to Aaron Pryor.
As a pro, I won my first 17 fights before my first loss. My record includes a 12-round win for the Minnesota state junior-welterweight championship in 1977. I retired from the ring after suffering a detached retina in a fight in Omaha in 1979. Since then I’ve coached, promoted a couple pro fights and I've been a licensed second in Nevada, Colorado and Florida. I became a sports writer in 1982 (see my bio on the back cover of the book).
Many of the fighting scenes in the book are based on my own experiences in the ring, including the fight in Orlando, where I actually did fight in a rodeo arena. Unfortunately, I lost a split decision to a guy named Jimmy Blevins.
The characters are a combination of some of the people I met in the fight game, though none were as cold and cruel as Callahan.
The gym is based mostly on the old Fifth Street Gym in Miami Beach where I trained for a short time in the mid-1970s.
I wrote the book because you’re supposed to write what you know, and I know a little bit about boxing.”
Folstad is modest. He knows more than a little bit about the game. Here’s ordering info: