From bare-knuckle boxer John L. Sullivan in the late 1800s to the ferocious fists of "Iron Mike" Tyson in the late 1980s to the culture shock of the legendary Jack Johnson and the worldwide phenomenon of Muhammad Ali, the sport of boxing has had a powerful effect on American culture for well over a century.
This book presents a sweeping view of boxing in the United States and the influence of the sport on American culture.
Boxing has long been a popular fixture of American sport and culture, despite its decidedly seedy side (the fact that numerous boxing champions acquired their skills in prison or reform schools, the corruption and greed of certain boxing promoters, and the involvement of the mob in fixing the outcome of many big fights). Yet boxing remains an iconic and widely popular spectator sport, even in light of its decline as a result of the recent burgeoning interest in mixed martial arts (MMA) contests. What had made this sport so enthralling to our nation for such a long period of time?
This book contains much more than simple documentation of the significant dates, people, and bouts in the history of American boxing. It reveals why boxing became one of America's leading spectator sports at the turn of the century and examines the factors that have swayed the public's perception of it, thereby affecting its popularity. In Boxing in America, the author provides a compelling view of not only the pugilist sport, but also of our country, our sources of entertainment, and ourselves.
• Includes information from the early "bare knuckles" era of boxing up to modern-day stars and matchups, presenting the history of boxing in a chronological fashion
• Provides a unique presentation of information and insights about boxing
• The general public continues to be fascinated by the sport and culture of boxing, as the success of recent movies like Million Dollar Baby, Cinderella Man, and Resurrecting the Champ indicates