CORNER MEN by Ronald K. Fried

CORNER MEN

: Great Boxing Trainers
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An enthusiast's engaging rundown on prizefighting's trainers-the men who prep a boxer for his bouts, analyze the weaknesses (or strengths) of opponents, provide instant advice between rounds, and otherwise tend to the emotional as well as physical needs of their embattled charges. A TV producer and writer, Fried puts nine trainers and Lou Stillman (proprietor of a storied mid-Manhattan gym) on his card. Topping the lineup are Ray Arcel (still going strong at 91), whose generation-spanning roster of ring notables ranges from Barney Ross through Roberto Duran, and Angelo Dundee (Carmen Basilio, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, etc.). Also featured are Jack Blackburn (the first trainer Joe Louis had as a pro) and his successor in the Brown Bomber's corner, Mannie Seamon (who had worked with Benny Leonard in the 1920's). Covered as well as hard-drinking Whitey Bimstein (who seconded Gene Tunney, Rocky Graziano, Ingemar Johansson, and a host of other champions); Charley Goldman (best known for his molding of Rocky Marciano); and Eddie Futch (Joe Frazier, Ken Norton), plus Al Silvani (whose claim to fame rests on tutoring film stars like Paul Newman as well as titleholders) and Freddie Brown (a cut man by trade). In recounting the careers of these standout seconds, Fried provides an abundance of grand yarns about the fight game and first-person accounts of many a great match. No A.J. Liebling, the author has a prose style that can most charitably be described as serviceable. He's done his roadwork, however, and delivers an action-packed ten-rounder that ranks as a top contender for fans of the sweet science. (Illustrations-not seen.)

Pub Date: April 10th, 1991
ISBN: 0-941423-48-4
Page count: 300pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991




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