"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: tommy hearns

Two Giants and Four Kings

Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of listening to George Kimball read from his new book at Gelf Magazine’s Varsity Letters reading series.  (Here are two video links: One and Two.) The book,Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing is a must for anyone interested in the fight game.  


Kimball was there for it all and conveys the excitement these four champions brought to the game in this expertly reported book that is written in pleasing, straight-forward prose.

For a sampling of Kimball’s work, check out his archive at The Sweet Science.  For example, here is his story on the Hagler-Hearns brawl

Nearly a quarter century later it remains a high point of boxing in the latter half of the twentieth century. Some knowledgeable experts have described it as the greatest fight in boxing history – which it probably wasn’t, if only due to its brevity. But its ferocious first round, which to this day remains the standard against which all others are measured, was undoubtedly the most exciting in middleweight annals, and one of the two or three best opening stanzas of all time.

What did Bob Arum know that the rest of us did not? Already in the midst of an age in which it had already become obligatory to sell every big fight – and many smaller ones – with a catchy slogan, the promoter who had already staged (with Don King) the Thrilla in Manila, as well as served as the impresario for Evel Knievel’s ill-fated attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon, christened the 1985 matchup between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns simply “The Fight.”

This Friday, Kimball will be interviewed by none other than Pete Hamill (who wrote the foreword for the book) at the  Barnes and Noble in Tribeca (97 Warren street).  7 pm, ya heard? 

Again, anyone with a remote interest in boxing should brave the cold and check out what promises to be a riveting chat.


Beautiful, Beguiling Violence: Bringing Men Together


There used to be a spot in the Times Square subway station where dance crews used to set up and perform for the tourists.  It’s right as you get off the Shuttle train to Grand Central.  Now, an electronics store is there instead, but they still draw a crowd because a famous fight is always playing on the flat screen TV in their display window.  The first couple of times I noticed a crowd huddled around, the Ali-Forman fight* was playing. 

Nothing brings men together like a fight.

Last weekend, I saw them playing the great Hagler-Hearns bout.  One guy watching served as the commentator.


I remember seeing the fight when I was a kid, and being electrified by the fury of violence.  Here it is, brief, savage, and bloody:

Round One:

Round Two:

Round Three:


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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver