Format: Trade Paperback
Published: October 7, 2003
Publisher: Knopf Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0676973515
ISBN - 13: 9780676973518
Read from the Book
SECONDS OUT: INTRODUCTION Several years back, a former champion of the world began his comeback in humble surroundings. He certainly wasn’t a great fighter -- more a creation of promotional and managerial smarts than anything else -- but still, he’d known better places than Lulu’s, once, in an earlier life, a discount department store. Now it was billed as the world’s biggest nightclub, an enormous place containing several different bars and featuring musical acts from the fringes of the nostalgic imagination. The mystery of whatever happened to so-and-so, a one-hit wonder from the mid-1960s, was often solved when his name appeared on the marquee. But staging a fight at Lulu’s was more of a risk than bringing in Mitch Ryder or Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and so even with a big name on the bill, the crowd was limited to a few hundred zealots, huddled together in one corner of the vast floor space. Those who were hip to the ways of boxing understood that a classic probably wasn’t in the cards. Though the glamour boy’s name was still worth money in the pugilistic economy, he needed a confidence builder. So his opponent would be chosen purely for his unthreatening nature, a career loser, a tomato can, an afterthought. His list of credits mattered not at all, since his role was entirely supporting. He would show up, act like a boxer, ideally put up a bit of a struggle and then be knocked out and forgotten -- on his way out of town before
From the Publisher
They won, they lost, they were scorned or cheered, but they got in the ring with the champ, and every fighter who got into the ring with Muhammad Ali shone brighter as a result. No life or career could be the same afterwards. Facing Ali is the an engaging portrait of this boxing phenomenon as told by 15 of his opponents—an incredible cross-section that reveals Ali as never before.
About the Author
Stephen Brunt is one of Canada’s premier sportswriters and commentators. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, and in Winterhouse Brook, Newfoundland.
“Mandatory reading, for any age: Stephen Brunt’s latest book, Facing Ali, is an eloquent and elegant journey through the lives of those who fought Muhammad Ali.” Toronto Sun “Stephen Brunt, besides being one of the best sportswriters out there, is absolutely at the top of his game when it comes to boxing…. For a deadly dose of Ali, his times, his travails, Facing Ali is a KO.” The Hamilton Spectator “Stephen Brunt has found a refreshing and revealing entrance into the storehouse of myth and lore that has grown up around The Champ. In examining the stories of 15 fighters who traded punches with the former Cassius Clay, Brunt goes the distance in a brand new direction, scoring a unanimous decision.” The Toronto Star “A fascinating, well-researched and sometimes deeply sad book. You needn’t be a boxing nut to enjoy this rogue’s gallery…. Facing Ali offers some swift, hard jabs by one of our country’s best sportswriters, one who knows boxing and, more importantly, the frailty that goes with human pride. Stephen Brunt takes us for a rare and sometimes painful sit in the loser’s corner, where, as all observers of tragedy know, the most revealing stories take place.” Andrew Pyper, Ottawa Citizen “By interviewing 15 prize fighters who entered the ring against Muhammad Ali, Brunt illuminates how these people were affected, and paints a composite portrait of the man at the centre of it all