"Boxing Is" by Thomas Hauser
Jerry Glick reporting: Thomas Hauser is commonly thought of as the premier boxing writer in the business and that is a well deserved designation. He has authored some 40 books and all have been well received including this one, "Boxing Is ..."
"Boxing Is." is a compilation of Hauser’s stories and investigative reports that he wrote in 2009. He has done this sort of book before and it works quite well. It gives the reader an overview of what happened in the previous year in boxing. If that were all his reporting was I could end right here and simply say; "Buy the book, it’s entertaining." But entertaining is only one aspect of what Hauser does. The columns that he writes throughout the year are almost always meant to inform in a way that can only be found in his works.
Hauser is a fine writer, that is to say that he has a command of the English language and how to artfully use it, but his real talent lies in his nose. Hauser has that uncanny ability to find things out the way a pig is trained to sniff out truffles hidden deep underground. Okay, I’ll say it; he has a nose for news.
This becomes obvious when the reader reads his reports on the New York Times, HBO, and Golden Boy among others. In many cases things look one way on the surface and another way after reading what this superb writer/detective discovers.
The book runs the gamut of boxing from the opening chapter on the great Sugar Ray Robinson to Tyson, to current stars Yuri Foreman, Manny Pacquiao, and Danny Jacobs; from controversies concerning Texas scoring, to shenanigans surrounding John Duddy. There are segments about personalities who are non-combatants and one or two who are just fans. Hauser covers it all.
This book, as are others that he has penned, is a page turner. While each report is long, it is never boring. That brings us back to the word "entertaining". If finding out what is really going on in boxing, or in anything for that matter, is your thing, you will have trouble putting this wholly enjoyable and informative book down.
The 280 page Boxing Is is published by The University of Arkansas Press and sells for US$22.50 in paperback.
October 19, 2010