We are counting down to the holiday season and that means the wise ones amongst you are getting your gift lists in order. You will be buying things for the loved ones in your life, and I dare say, might be purchasing a goodie for yourself as well. Being that the overwhelming majority of you reading this are boxing fans, I have a suggestion for a quality item which won't break anyone's bank, and will be certain to enthrall any fight fan you are buying for, or be a solid favor to stick in your own stocking.
TSS's own Thomas Hauser has come out with his 16th collection of boxing columns, in a book titled “Straight Writes and Jabs,” a compilation I heartily endorse. I reached out to Hauser, and asked him about the book, and delved into why he takes the time and effort to complete this project on an annual basis.
“My initial foray into boxing writing was “The Black Lights”, which was published in 1985,” he informed me. '”Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times” was published in 1991. I began writing articles and essays about boxing on a regular basis when the Internet became a significant factor. I don't write for the moment. I'm writing for history. The idea is to create a record of the contemporary boxing scene that reads as well fifty years from now as it does today. If someone wants to know about Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez now or in 2063, I would expect them to watch a video of the fight. Then, to put that video in context and understand what went on in Sergio's dressing room before and after the fight, they could read “Martinez-Chavez: Peaks and Valleys” (pp. 45-59 of “Straight Writes and Jabs”).”
If you want to chart the peaks and valleys of the sport, you cannot do any better than to buy every single one of Hausers' compilations, which offer a micro and macro take on the goings on and health and well-being of our shared addiction, the sweet and savage science. “If someone wants to understand the problem that boxing has with PEDs today, they can read “The PED Mess (pp. 129-153). That problem hasn't gone away during the past year. It has gotten worse,” he noted. “Or for an impressionistic view of Emanuel Steward, there's “A Letter From Emanuel Steward” (pp. 124-126).” That piece, by the way, is one of my all-time Hauser faves…
“Following the books from year to year also enables readers to track the rise and fall of great fighters,” Hauser continued. “For example, “Straight Writes and Jabs” has articles about Pacquiao-Bradley and Pacquiao-Marquez IV. In previous years, I was privileged to be in Manny's dressing room before and after his fights against Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, and Shane Mosley. I was in Roy Jones dressing room for a half-dozen fights. That's a wonderful opportunity to write history. And a great way to spend Saturday night.”
Here is a link to buy the book, to make this no brainer act of purchasing that much easier: