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Heavyweight Boxing in the 1970s: The Great…
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Heavyweight Boxing in the 1970s: The Great Fighters and Rivalries

by Joe Ryan

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While this book is crammed from cover-to-cover with accurate and interesting information about the subject, it really is a dry read. There's not much pizazz and while that usually isn't something you care too much about with books like this, you really notice when it's missing. I hate to say it, but I actually expected more pictures, even if there were just one per chapter. I couldn't get a sense for faces relating to everything being told to me. The text itself is also more high school textbook than authoritative resource. Overall, I did learn quite a bit from this book and it wasn't a terrible experience, but I definitely would not have purchased it had I come across it in a bookstore rather than winning a copy through Early Reviewers. ( )
  hovercraftofeels | Dec 19, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Heavyweight Boxing in the 1970s by Joe Ryan is another gem from the McFarland Publishing stable. If you are a boxing fan, there is no way you want to miss this great source of pugilistic history.

Ryan makes a case that the 1970s provided the greatest era for heavyweights in the history of the sport, and I agree with him. The book compares the other eras, the champions and challengers, and makes argument for why the 70s, loaded with fighters like Ali, Frazier, Foreman, and Norton (not to mention Jerry Quarry, Earnie Shavers, Larry Holmes, etc.) was the high water mark for heavyweight boxing.

For me, this book was a walk down memory lane, as I had seen or at least read about many of these fights way back when. I appreciate the insight that Ryan provided on many of the big fights, the politics behind decisions on where some of the fights were to be held, and the personalities of the boxers.

While the sport has always had controversy and corruption, there is a special pull when you are reading about these larger than life stars like Ali and Foreman. If you are a sports fan, and especially an appreciator of the squared circle, this book is definitely worth your time. ( )
  Ed_Gosney | Jul 12, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Judging any sports team or individuals of different eras is just a subjective exercise with many different opinions. Joe Ryan’s “Heavyweight Boxing of the 1970’s” is such a book. I really did enjoy the recap of the many fights and fighters in the 70’s. I did actually watch most of them at the time they were fought. My only criticism of Mr. Ryan’s take on the fighters was that he discounted and devalued many fighters of different eras for the quality of their competition, or their lack of defending their titles. When it came to fighters of the 70’s he ignored that same thing. To show how people can have different opinions of fighters lets take smoking Joe Frazier. He lost 2 out of 3 fights to Ali who was not the fighter he was in the 60’s. He also was completely dismantled twice by George Foreman. Foreman could punch but his boxing ability was lacking. When Frazier was champion he fought several tomato cans, and didn’t fight often. Fighters can only fight the fighters of their time and should be judged in their time.
  satchmo77 | Jun 14, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is a presentation of all of the figures and events of the greatest era in boxing history. The first chapter compares the seventies to all of the other eras. Written by Joe Ryan this book is jammed with boxing stats, win loss records, and the author's forceful opinion about 1970's boxing and it's greatness. This book reads like an opinionated encyclopedia mixed with an agenda laden opinion. It tries to list criteria to support the authors claim about the 1970's line by line. While the decade may, have been the greatest in history this book is a tough read. It's direct informative style combined with it's constant underlying opinion makes it tough to get excited about diving in to. I'm not a picture snob but in a book like this pictures featuring the great athletes of the time are essential in drawing in a reader, and in case you guessed it not one picture aside of the cover. This book while informative is way too long it contains 12 chapters and is too dry in content to support that length. It could have and should have been condensed into a book half the size just highlighting the greatness of the sport and it's most masterful era in the 1970's. If you love boxing or long books with straight boxing info and not much of else this book is for you. For me while I appreciate the passion for the author's premise it's not for me. ( )
  jon.faia | Jun 1, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an enjoyable book to read. I found it hard to put down once I started to read it. The period he covers in the book was the same period I had started to follow heavyweight boxing. The names were all familiar to me. The biographical information about the boxers adds some background to the narrative. The boxers become more than just names.The authors knowledge and passion for boxing and the people involved is reflected in his writing. Recommended for those who followed boxing in the '70's and for those who just love boxing. ( )
  TKnapp | May 29, 2013 |
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To my father James and my brother Michael, two real fighters who set the bar high for those of us who must follow.
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In the world of sports, no event can capture the world's attention more readily than a major heavyweight title fight.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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