Boxing Hall of Fame--With Books "Updated Weekly!"

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Boxing Library Hall of Fame

We are a New-York-based book publishing house interested in books and boxers.

We are also interested in promoting academic growth and literacy within our youth.

We asked boxers, and prominent figures within the boxing world, to tell us the title of their favorite book. "What is the book that you enjoyed reading the most?" we inquired.

Their book could be fiction, nonfiction, memoir, autobiography, history, sport-related, or not. We simply wanted to peek into their soul and see what book--as a kid, or now—knocked them out!

Below, are their responses. Enjoy!

"Big" George Foreman

Name: "Big" George Foreman

    World Heavyweight Champion 1973-74.
    • WBA/IBF Heavyweight Champion 1994-95 (stripped of both titles).
    • Claimed the Lineal Heavyweight Title until losing in 1997 to Shannon Briggs.
    • Named The Ring magazine Progress of the Year fighter for 1970.
    • Named The Ring Fighter of the Year for 1973 and 1976.
    • Named The Ring Comeback of the Year fighter for 1994.
    • Named the ninth greatest puncher of all time in The Ring's list of the 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time.
    • Won The 1968 Olympic Heavyweight Championship
    • Autobiography: By George: The Autobiography of George Foreman Outside the Ring
    • Guest starred on a fifth season (1976) episode of Sanford and Son, entitled "The Directors," as himself.
    • Became highly successful with his "Lean Mean Grilling Machine," and starred in ads for Meineke mufflers.
    • Has five sons, all named George.
    • Daughter Freeda embarked on a brief professional boxing career.
    • Is a born-again Christian and an ordained minister in Texas.
    • Commentated on several fights for HBO
    • Defeated Joe Frazier twice (TKO 5 & TKO 2)
    • Defeated Michael Moorer (KO 10)
    • Defeated Gerry Cooney (TKO 2)
    • Defeated Ron Lyle (KO 5)
    • Defeated Gregario Peralto twice (TKO 10 & D10)
    • Defeated Boone Kirkman (TKO 2)
    • Defeated George Chuvalo (TKO 3)
    • Defeated Ken Norton (TKO 2)
    • Defeated Axel Schulz (MD 12)
    • Defeated Bert Cooper (RTD 2)
    • Defeated Dwight Qawi (TKO 7)
    • Defeated Scott LeDoux (TKO 3)
    • won 76 (KO 68) + lost 5 (KO 1) + drawn 0 = 81 rounds boxed 350 KO% 83.95

      Favorite Book: "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy

      "The most interesting book ever for me--"War and Peace"! I love English, and the bit of wisdom found all through the pages of the book. It's so long, I am never done with it! Thanks, George Foreman."

Arthur Mercante, Jr.

Name: Arthur Mercante, Jr.

Favorite Book: "Inside the Ropes" by Arthur Mercante, Sr.

"I'm an avid boxing fan. Always have been. I've around the sport my whole life. You want to read a good boxing book, read my dad's!"

Bruce Beck

Name: Bruce Beck

    Weekday Sports anchor at WNBC-TV. He is currently in his twelfth year with News 4 New York.
    • Play-by-play voice and host of Showtime's Championship Boxing.
    • Covered a multitude of events for News 4 New York, including Super Bowl XLII, The NBA Finals, The Stanley Cup Finals, The World Series, The U.S. Open Tennis Championship, The U.S. Open Golf Championship, The NCAA Final Four, The 2008 Summer Olympics from Beijing, China,
    • Was elected New York State Sportscaster of the year for two consecutive years in 2007 and 2008 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
    • Received the 2006 New York Emmy as Outstanding Sports Anchor.
    • Was the play-by-play announcer for the Ultimate Fighting Championship from 1994 to 1997, calling UFC 4 through UFC 15 with partner and olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick.

      Favorite Book: "Fathers, Sons & Golf: Lessons in Honor & Integrity" by Andrew Shanley

      "Great book! It's Shanley's account of the memorable summer when he and his boys hit the fairways and learned as much about the daily conduct of life, and the love they have for each other, as they did about the elements of a good swing. The book is structured as a series of golf lessons that at the same time are instruction for building character."

Hilmer Kenty

Name: Hilmer Kenty

    WBA Lightweight Champion 1980-1981
    • Kenty was Emanuel Steward's first world champion; the first world champion from Kronk Gym, and the first world champion in Detroit since Joe Louis decades earlier.
    • Kenty lost a close decision to future champion Sugar Ray Leonard in the 1973 National Golden Gloves Final. Brother of Forrest Winchester.
    • Defeated Ernesto Espana (TKO 4) and (TKO 9)
    • Defeated Vilomar Fernandez (W 15)
    • Defeated Freddie Pendelton (W10)
    • Defeated Ralph Racine (W10)
    • Defeated Arturo Leon (W10) Defeated Young Ho Oh (TKO9)
    • Amateur Achievements:
    • 1974 National AAU lightweight champion
    • 1975 National AAU lightweight champion
    • Represented the United States as a lightweight at the inaugural World Amateur Championship in 1974.
    • Won 29 (KO 17) + lost 2 (KO 1) + drawn 0 = 31 rounds boxed 198 KO% 54.84

    Favorite Book: "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo

    "I loved the book and the movie. I liked "Batman and Robin" series, too. They had great teamwork!"

Bobby Czyz

Name: Bobby Czyz

    IBF Light Heavyweight Champion -- 1986 Sep 6 – 1987 Oct 29
  • WBA Cruiserweight Champion -- 1991 Mar 8 – 1992 May 8
  • Was a member of the U.S. Amateur Boxing Team that perished in a plane crash in Poland in 1980. An injury from an auto accident one week before the flight prevented Czyz from making the trip.
  • Amateur record of 24-2.
  • Was a commentator for Showtime Championship Boxing.
  • Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
  • New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame inductee.
  • A member of Mensa, an organization for people whose I.Q. is in the top 2% of the population.
  • Defeated Oscar Albarado (TKO 3).
  • Defeated Elisha Obed (DQ 6).
  • Defeated Slobodan Kacar (TKO 5).
  • Defeated Robbie Sims (W10).
  • Defeated Murray Sutherland (W 10).
  • Defeated Andrew Maynard (KO 7).
  • Defeated Leslie Stewart (SD 10).
  • Defeated Donnie Lalonde (W12).
  • Won 44 (KO 28) + lost 8 (KO 5) + drawn 0 = 52 rounds boxed 322 KO% 53.85

Favorite Book: "Silent Strength" by Lloyd J. Ogilvie

"This book is about growing up hard and beating the odds. The author puts the reader into the story. It's true to life, very moving, and hard to put down."

Peter "The Pride Of Providence" Manfredo, Jr.

Name: Peter "The Pride Of Providence" Manfredo, Jr.

    NABO Light Middleweight & IBU Light Middleweight Champion
    • EBA Light Middleweight Champion.
    • Defeated Grady Brewer (W 8).
    • Defeated Mike McFail (TKO 8).
    • Defeated Anthony Bonsante (W 12).
    • Defeated Joey Gilbert (W 5).
    • Defeated Alfonso Gomez (W 7).
    • Defeated Scott Pemberton (TKO 3).
    • Defeated Joe Spina (YKO 3).
    • Defeated Donny McCrary (TKO 2).
    • Contestant on the NBC boxing reality television show "The Contender".
    • Competed in 165 amateur bouts, including a bronze medal-winning performance at the 2000 Eastern Olympic Trials.
    • The only boxer in New England history to receive the Outstanding Boxer Award at the Junior Olympics, as well as win the title for the Silver Mittens, the New England Golden Gloves and the New England Tournament of Championships.
    • won 31 (KO 16) + lost 6 (KO 2) + drawn 0 = 37 rounds boxed 203 : KO% 43.24

Favorite Book: "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell

"My favorite book is "Lone Survivor". It's a true story about a navy seal who was the lone survivor in a military operation in Afghanistan. I enjoyed the book because it showed what a true hero is and what happens when you prepare yourself through grueling training."

Willie DeWitt

Name: Willie DeWitt

    Canadian Heavyweight Champion -- 1984-1988
    • 1984 Heavyweight Olympic Silver Medalist.
    • 1982 Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion.
    • Defeated Henry Tillman (W 10).
    • Defeated Ken Lakusta (W 12) & ((KO 5).
    • Defeated Conroy Nelson (TKO 4).
    • Defeated Tony Morrison (W 10).
    • Currently practices criminal law in Canada.
    • DeWitt has a road which bears his name in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
    • won 20 (KO 13) + lost 1 (KO 1) + drawn 1 = 22 rounds boxed 118 : KO% 59.09

Favorite Book: "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand

"It's a long book, but "Atlas Shrugged" is one of my favorites. Not that I agree with everything in it, because I don't. I'm older now and wiser. I guess Rands' themes support what I learned as a fighter: If I worked hard, trained hard and had a strong work-ethic then I'd win. It usually worked out that way. I was reading this book when I was in my 20s during training. That book was the best of the bunch by Rand, but "The Fountainhead" was good too."

Alfonso Gomez

Name: Alfonso Gomez

    Popular contestant on the NBC boxing reality television show "The Contender"
  • Defeated Peter Manfredo, Jr. (W 5).
  • Defeated James Brinkley (W 5).
  • Defeated Arturo Gatti (TKO 7).
  • Defeated Ben Tackie (W 10).
  • Had an amateur record of 80-10.
  • Managed by his father, an ex-boxer, Alfonso Gomez, Snr.
  • won 18 (KO 8) + lost 4 (KO 1) + drawn 2 = 24 rounds boxed 124 : KO% 33.33

    Favorite Book: "A Desparate Cry" by Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez

    "My favorite books are "A Desparate Cry" by Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez and "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. Both knockout books."

  • Mickey "The Toy Bulldog" Walker

    Name: Mickey "The Toy Bulldog" Walker

      Welterweight Champion & Middleweight Champion
      • Fought for the Light-Heavyweight Championship.
      • Defeated Maxie Rosenbloom (W 10).
      • Defeated King Levinsky (W 10).
      • Defeated Paolino Uzcudun (W 10).
      • Drew with Jack Sharkey (D 15).
      • Defeated Johnny Risko (W 10).
      • Defeated Ed "Bearcat" Wright (W 10).
      • Defeated Ace Hudkins (W 10)(2 X).
      • Defeated Mike McTigue (TK0 1).
      • Defeated Paul Berlenbach (W 10).
      • Defeated Theodore "Tiger" Flowers (W 10).
      • Defeated Jack Britton (W 15).
      • Nat Fleischer ranked Walker as the #4 All-Time Middleweight.
      • Herb Goldman ranked Walker as the #4 All-Time Middleweight.
      • Elected to the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1955.
      • Elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
      • won 110 (KO 60) + lost 22 (KO 6) + drawn 5 = 165 rounds boxed 1253 : KO% 36.36

      Favorite Book: "The Moon and Sixpence" by W. Somerset Maugham

      "This was a book and movie based upon the life of the French painter, Gauguin, in Tahiti. I didn't know who Gauguin was but I read some of Maugham's earlier books. I met the writer at Billy DeBeck's apartment years earlier during The Roaring Twenties. The picture had a strange effect upon me...I envied this guy who could paint so beautifully. I envied his way of living. I pictured myself in his place. If only I could paint like that. Suddenly, I wanted to be an artist...That's the way it was in those days...I jumped from my seat...and headed straight for Kramer's art store on Bond Street...I wound up with an easel, palette, canvas sketch board, oil tubes, and a fistful of brushes...It set me back about $200. As I was about to leave, I turned to the clerk. 'Don't tell anyone about this...or I'll break your jaw.'" ("Mickey Walker--The Toy Bulldog & His Times", p. 275)

    Nikolay Valuev "The Russian Giant"

    Name: Nikolay Valuev "The Russian Giant"

      WBA Heavyweight Champion Dec 17 – 2007 Apr 14 & WBA Heavyweight Champion 2008 Aug 30 – present
      • Defeated John Ruiz (W 12) & (W 12).
      • Defeated Serguei Lyakhovich (W 12).
      • Defeated Monte Barrett (TKO 11).
      • Defeated Owen Beck (TKO 3).
      • Defeated Larry Donald (W 12).
      • Defeated Clifford Etienne (KO 3).
      • Defeated Attila Levin (TKO 3).
      • Defeated Pablo Vidoz (TKO 9).
      • Defeated Dicky Ryan (TKO 1).
      • Valuev is the tallest and heaviest man ever to hold a version of the World Heavyweight Championship.
      • Valuev has written a book in Russian called "My 12 Rounds", with the help of a prominent Russian journalist, Konstantin Osipov.
      • Valuev eats three kilos of meat daily.
      • won 49 (KO 34) + lost 1 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 51 rounds boxed 253 : KO% 66.67

    Favorite Book: "War and Peace" Leo Tolstoy

    "There are other ways of preparing for the fight. Sometimes I go walking, read books and watch a few Russian movies. I like reading Leo Tolstoy."

    Kevin Rooney

    Name: Kevin Rooney

      Highly Respected & Colorful trainer of Mike Tyson
      • Trained Vinny Pazienza.
      • Defeated Bobby Plegge (W 8).
      • Defeated Jeff Passero (W 8).
      • Defeated Marvin Jenkins (W 10).
      • Defeated Ernie Jackson (W 10).
      • Won his first 15 professional fights.
      • Won the 1975 147lb Sub-Novice New York Golden Gloves Championship.
      • won 21 (KO 7) + lost 4 (KO 4) + drawn 1 = 26 rounds boxed 146 : KO% 26.92

    Favorite Book: "King of the World: Muhammed Ali and the Rise of an American Hero" by David Remnick

    "This is one of my all-time favorite books. Although the book is about Ali, it also goes into great depth about some of the other great boxers of that time, like Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson. This was when boxing was at it's best. It also touches on so many things outside of Ali's life in boxing, and truly shows that he was an 'American Hero'."

    Brian "The Beast" Minto

    Name: Brian "The Beast" Minto

      Hard-Punching WBA Fedecentro Heavyweight Titleholder
      • Defeated Axel Schulz (TKO 6).
      • Defeated Vinny Maddalone (TKO 7) & (KO 10).
      • Defeated John Poore (KO 1).
      • Defeated Jeremy Bates (TKO 8).
      • Defeated Galen Brown (TKO 4).
      • Defeated Chad Van Sickle (RTD 1).
      • Defeated Billy Zumbrun (W 8).
      • Defeated Danny Batchelder (W 10).
      • won 32 (KO 21) + lost 2 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 34 rounds boxed 152 : KO% 61.76

    Favorite Book: "The Holy Bible"

    "My favorite book is the Holy Bible. 1 John teaches us not to get caught up with things of this world, like money, cars, and material possesions. It reminds us not to be overly proud or to be boastful! The Bible instructs us to keep our eyes on Christ, to love one another, and don't belong to evil. Anyone who does not love remains in death!"

    Joe DeGuardia

    Name: Joe DeGuardia

      President and CEO of Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing
      • Exclusively promotes, and co-promotes, numerous boxing shows.
      • Responsible for the recent "Golden Age" of boxing in New York.
      • Won the 147-pound Open-Class Championship in the 1988 New York City Golden Gloves. (Defeated Larry Barnes by decision.)
      • A past Bronx Assistant District Attorney.
      • Received his law degree from Hofstra Law.
      • Founded the law firm that bears his name -- The Law Offices of Joseph M. DeGuardia.
      • Son of a professional prizefighter.

    Favorite Book: "The Aeneid" by Virgil

    "I have enjoyed so many books over my lifetime. Reading a good book is like eating a great is so hard to choose one as being 'the best'. I love the classics such as 'The Aeneid", by Virgil--they are very inspiring stories."

    Davey Lee Armstrong

    Name: Davey Lee Armstrong

      Represented America at the 1972 Summer Olympics
      • Defeated Arturo Leon (W 12).
      • Defeated Richard Rozelle (KO 2).
      • Defeated Nick Furlano (W 12).
      • Amateur Highlights:
      • 1972 National AAU Champion (106 lbs.)
      • 1972 U.S. Olympians (106 lbs.)
      • 1973 National AAU Runner-up (119 lbs.)
      • 1975 National AAU Champion (125 lbs.)
      • Won the gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games.
      • 1976 National AAU Champion (125 lbs.)
      • 1976 U.S. Olympian. (Placed Fifth)
      • 1979 National AAU Champion (132 lbs.)
      • 2005 Inductee into the Tacoma (Pierce County) Sports Hall of Fame.
      • won 24 (KO 14) + lost 3 (KO 1) + drawn 0 = 27 rounds boxed 163 : KO% 51.85

    Favorite Book: "A Woman of Substance" by Barbara Taylor Bradford

    "This book was about 300 pages and I read all of it. With a book, what I do first is read the back cover and if it seems good, I'll read it. That's what I do, read the back cover first. I like stories about a kid from a bad area and then he winds up doing good in life. Those kind of books encouraged me as a young fighter."

    "Irish" Pat McMurtry

    Name: "Irish" Pat McMurtry

      Number Five Heavyweight Contender in 1957
      • Defeated Ezzard Charles (W 10).
      • Defeated Bobo Olson (KO 2).
      • Defeated George Chuvalo (W 10).
      • Defeated Charley Norkus (W 10).
      • Defeated Henry Hall (W 10).
      • Defeated Howard King (W 10).
      • Winner of three Pacific Northwest Golden Gloves Middleweight championships.
      • Won the All-Marine Heavyweight Crown.
      • Became a referee after retiring from the ring.
      • Inducted into the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame.
      • won 33 (KO 25) + lost 4 (KO 2) + drawn 1 = 38 rounds boxed 184 : KO% 65.79

    Favorite Book: "Davey Crockett" by Irwin Shapiro

    "The first book I read, and completed, was "Davey Crockett" in the 7th grade. I like reading biographies. I read "Truman" and I read General Patton's biography. Thank God Patton was on our side! I also read anything about the Marine Corps. I subscribe to "Leatherneck" magazine every month and I enjoy going through it. I don't like fiction. I like to read about real people's lives."

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