50 Years of George Foreman

50 years ago we didn’t know much about George Foreman. But the story of his first professional boxing match told us everything about the boxer and the businessman. In 1968, George Foreman was a largely unknown amateur boxer with only two years and 20 bouts of experience. His victory in the gold medal match of…

Patterson’s “Moral Crusade”: Islamophobia in Ali v. Patterson

By Michael T. Barry Jr. One of the most anticipated sporting events of 1965, and the 1960s in general, was the North American Boxing Federation’s heavyweight championship bought between Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali just came off an impressive victory over Sonny Liston, and Floyd Patterson was once a two-time world champion. Like…

Review of The Boxing Kings

Beston, Paul. The Boxing Kings: When American Heavyweights Ruled the Ring. Lanham (MD): Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. pp. 357.$36.00 Hardback. Reviewed by Cian Manning.        Paul Beston, managing editor of the City Journal and contributor to the boxing website The Sweet Science, in his study The Boxing Kings: When American Heavyweights Ruled the Ring…

Review of Mohamed Ali

Boli, Claude. Mohamed Ali. Paris: Gallimard, 2016. 303 pages + appendices. $11.05 Paperback. Reviewed by Peter Marquis This review first appeared in Transatlatnica. Re-posted with permission. Some say he is indeed the “greatest”, the best-known person on earth, ahead of Pélé or Michael Jackson [1]. From the sidewalks of big cities where peddlers sell posters…

The Battle of the Century: Jack Johnson, Jim Jeffries, and Visions of Race War

Editor’s Note: Much has been written about the Johnson-Jeffries fight. The following post is an excerpt from Stephen Ayres’ undergraduate history thesis from the University College London (2014). It serves as a reminder of “the Battle of the Century” and demonstrates the potential of undergraduate sport history students to use their research to engage the public.…

Review of I Fight for a Living

Moore, Louis. I Fight for a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915. Sport and Society Series. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2017. Pp240. Notes, index, images. $27.95 (paper). Reviewed by Andrew R.M. Smith My favorite story about Sam Langford involves a large wager and a good size mule. Some white men bet…

Looking Back on Boxing in 2017

By Roberto José Andrade Franco    During the last 2 decades since Mike Tyson was a household name—even if infamous—any talk of boxing comes with what seems like a pre-required statement of its death. Granted, boxing, at least in this country, is not among the top sports it was a century ago. But neither is…