In 2015, Booklist observed, “the arrival of Hauser’s annual boxing review is akin to Christmas morning for fight fans. Nobody knows a sport any better than Hauser knows boxing.”
Each year, readers, writers, and critics alike look forward to Thomas Hauser’s annual collection of articles about the contemporary boxing scene. He’s one of the last real champions of boxing and one of the very best who has ever written about the sport.
A Hard World continues this tradition of excellence with dressing-room reports from big fights like Canelo Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto, a behind-the-scenes look at Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, and a foray into the world of mixed martial arts for a compelling portrait of Ronda Rousey. Most importantly, this new collection contains Hauser’s groundbreaking two-part investigative report on the relationship between the United States Anti-Doping Agency and boxing, a report that shook the industry and raised fundamental questions regarding the integrity of USADA’s drug-testing procedures as applied to boxing.
|Publisher:||University of Arkansas Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||787 KB|
About the Author
Thomas Hauser is the author of forty-eight books. His first work, Missing, was made into an Academy Award–winning film. He later authored Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times, the definitive biography of the most famous fighter ever. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for Career Excellence in Boxing Journalism.
Read an Excerpt
The Thrilla in Manila: Four Decades Later In 1989, I sat on the sofa in my living room with Muhammad Ali beside me and watched a tape of Ali’s historic October 1, 1975, fight against Joe Frazier. Boxing fans are familiar with what happened on that hot humid morning in Manila. The early rounds belonged to Ali. He outboxed Frazier, landed sharp clean punches, and staggered Joe several times. Frazier kept coming inexorably forward. The tide turned in the middle rounds. Ali was tiring. Frazier rocked him with thunderous blows. Muhammad’s arms came down, and Joe bludgeoned him against the ropes, pounding, pounding. Ali regained the initiative in round twelve, wobbled Frazier, and measured him for more. One round later, a jolting left hook knocked Joe’s mouthpiece into the crowd. Frazier was shaken, but finished the round. In round fourteen, Ali resumed his assault. Frazier’s left eye was completely closed. The vision in his right eye was limited. He was spitting blood. Ali’s punches were landing cleanly. Joe couldn’t see them coming. Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, stopped the fight after the fourteenth round. Associated Press boxing writer Ed Schuyler later recalled, “The Thriller in Manila was the best fight I’ve ever seen. As it unfolded, everybody at ringside understood they were watching greatness. The pace never eased. It was hell the whole way. I’ve never seen two people give more, ever.” Jerry Izenberg observed, “What it came down to wasn’t the heavyweight championship of the world. Ali and Frazier were fighting for something more important than that. They were fighting for the championship of each other.” I’d watched tapes of many fights with Muhammad sitting beside me prior to our watching Ali-Frazier III. We’d been reviewing his career for a book I was writing, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times. This was different. Despite the fact that it was one of his greatest ring triumphs, there was no joy in Muhammad’s face as we watched Ali-Frazier III unfold. In the past, we’d sat together and witnessed Henry Cooper knocking Cassius Clay close to oblivion with a picture perfect left hook. That had seemed to amuse Muhammad. We’d seen Joe Frazier put Ali on the canvas in round fifteen of their first encounter at Madison Square Garden and Ken Norton break Muhammad’s jaw. Those punches were safely ensconced in the annals of history, as were the thudding blows that George Foreman landed in Zaire. Watching Ali-Frazier III, Muhammad seemed to be re-experiencing the pain. Sitting beside me, he winced as some of Joe’s blows landed. When the tape ended, he turned to me and said, “Frazier quit just before I did. I didn’t think I could fight anymore.” Joe had his own memories of Manila when he and I talked. “We were gladiators,” Frazier told me. “I didn’t ask no favors of him, and he didn’t ask none of me. I don’t like him but I got to say, in the ring he was a man. In Manila, I hit him punches, those punches, they’d of knocked a building down. And he took ʼem. He took ʼem and he came back, and I got to respect that part of the man. He was a fighter. He shook me in Manila. He won. But I sent him home worse than he came.” Physically, neither man was the same after Manila. They both won and they both lost. Four decades later, “The Thrilla in Manila” stands as a symbol of what’s best and worst about boxing.