Mama Said Knock You Out
November 18, 2009 10:50 AM   Subscribe

What are the best boxer autobiographies?

Looking for first-person accounts of being a boxer. Autobiography, "as-told-to" books, oral history, even ghostwritten accounts.
posted by azure_swing to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Jake La Motta's Raging Bull: My Story.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:00 AM on November 18, 2009

Standing Eight. Not an autobiography.
posted by fire&wings at 11:01 AM on November 18, 2009

Thomas Hauser's biography of Ali is a must have. It is an authorized biography so much of it is in Ali's words., which is great, cause we all know he had a way with words.
posted by vito90 at 12:09 PM on November 18, 2009

This Bloody Mary Is the Last Thing I Own, by Jonathan Rendall, is the best inside look at boxing ever written, in my opinion. Rendall is not a boxer, but he was a boxing writer and manager. It's a fascinating book, because he contrasts the Golden Age boxers he interviews with the young boxer he manages in the 1980s.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2009

On the off chance that you are also interested in fiction, Leonard Gardner's Fat City, the story of two struggling, small-time boxers in Stockton, CA, is widely considered one of the finest boxing novels ever written. Denis Johnson's take on it.
posted by dersins at 12:26 PM on November 18, 2009

The Sixteenth Round is the autobiography of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. His story is really interesting, though it's more about how he was falsely accused of murder than about his life as a boxer.
posted by cider at 12:30 PM on November 18, 2009

The Greatest, from Muhammad Ali.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:07 PM on November 18, 2009

King of The World, by David Remnick.

Also, Facing Ali, while perhaps not exactly what your looking for, profiles 15 fighters who fought Ali and is excellent
posted by IanMorr at 1:24 PM on November 18, 2009

Body and Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer is excellent.
posted by otio at 1:45 PM on November 18, 2009

Two memoirs from female boxers which are very insightful and well-written:

Bruising: A Boxer's Story - Mischa Merz
The Boxer's Heart: How I Fell in Love with the Ring - Kate Sekules
posted by Chrysalis at 5:19 PM on November 18, 2009

Sugar Ray Robinson's ghostwritten autobiography is a great read...Sugar Ray probably makes himself come off better than he really did with regards to some of his personal problems, but it's still good.

The Gloves by Robert Ansi gives great insights into modern NYC amateur boxing.
posted by hiteleven at 8:20 PM on November 18, 2009

Here's the link to the Anasi book.
posted by hiteleven at 8:21 PM on November 18, 2009

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