cover image Tooth and Nail: The Making of a Female Fight Doctor

Tooth and Nail: The Making of a Female Fight Doctor

Linda D. Dahl. Harlequin, $26.99 (369p) ISBN 978-1-335-01747-5

In this entertaining memoir, Dahl details her road to becoming one of the only female fight doctors. Raised in the Midwest by Syrian immigrant parents, Dahl was a surgical resident living in the Bronx when she became enthralled with boxing while watching a fight between Shane Mosley and Oscar de la Hoya in 2000. She eventually landed an uninspiring job as a hospital ear, nose, throat physician; but her boxing passion led her to work secretly as a fight doctor at professional fights. She recounts one of her first fights, when she realized after the first round that the Venezuelan fighter had been hit below the belt, “his traumatic hernia blossoming,” but he refused to have her check him in public. While she earned the trust of fighters, men throughout the boxing world continued to fawn over her good looks (“deflecting attention became a bigger job than working the fights”). It wasn’t until she was working a fight between Miguel Cotto and Paulie Malignaggi that her professional life took a turn. The fight had been aired on television, and her secret became known at the hospital. Head physicians congratulated her on her selfless work, and her newfound confidence gave her courage to start her own practice. Dahl offers a unique look at the world of boxing in this uplifting story about realizing one’s destiny. (July)