DON DUNPHY AT RINGSIDE by Don Dunphy

DON DUNPHY AT RINGSIDE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A sunny-side-up memoir from ""the voice of boxing"" that makes the ever-raffish fight game sound like a genuinely sweet science. After graduating from New York City's Manhattan College, the sports-crazy Dunphy scuffled for announcing jobs (on local radio stations. Having paid his dues during the worst of the Depression, he was picked by Gillette to provide a blow-by-blow account for the national broadcast of the first Joe Louis/Billy Conn match in 1941. Thereafter, the author was on a fast upward track. All told, he's been ringside for over 2,000 prizefights, including 200 title bouts, roughly 50 of which featured heavyweights. In relentlessly upbeat fashion, Dunphy recalls many of the best and a few of the worst fights he has witnessed down through the years. Covered, for example, are the Marciano-Walcott, Ali-Spinks, Frazier-Ellis, Leonard-Hearns, Basilio-Robinson, Zale-Graziono, Patterson-Moore, and other epic matchups. Accentuating the positive, the author 'also passes kindly judgment on a host of fellow sportscasters, e.g., Ted Husing, Win Elliot, Bill Stern, and Chris Schenkel. Conspicuous by his absence, though, is Howard Cosell. By Dunphy's happy-talk account, the gritty, grifting world of professional boxing is a sort of benign fraternity in which there are no racketeers (like Frankie Carbo and Blinky Palermo), no grasping promoters (Jim Norris, Don King), and no pugs willing to fix a fight or two (Jake LaMotta). Incredibly, the author saves his stiffest jabs for Burt Lancaster, with whom he was forced to share a mike when Jerry Perenchio (a show-biz type) won the rights to the closed-circuit telecast of the 1971 championship battle between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. A few good anecdotes apart, lightweight fare. The disappointingly bland text includes photographs (not seen).

Pub Date: May 26th, 1988
Publisher: Henry Holt