Men of Steel

Peter Walsh, Author Robson Books $29 (0p) ISBN 978-0-86051-847-1
While the heavyweight class is considered boxing's glamour division, a case can be made that some of the best fighters have been middleweights (150-160 pounds). British journalist Walsh strengthens that case in this action-packed history. It is noteworthy that even some long-gone champions like Stanley Ketchel and Harry Greb are still well known to fans, and that experts consider the wild bouts between Tony Zale and Rocky Graziano to have been among the greatest fights of all time. And then there is Sugar Ray Robinson: thought by many to be the best ever in any class, Robinson, the welterweight champ from 1946 to 1951, moved up in weight class to become a five-time middleweight champion, first taking the title from Jake La Motta in 1951. More recent titleholders like Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard are also treated in detail. Walsh also writes here about mob control of the sport, which he regards as still a major factor, at one point suggesting that the Sweet Science is about as aboveboard as wrestling. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!