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

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!

Armando "El Hombre" Muniz

Name: Armando "El Hombre" Muniz

    NABF Welterweight Champion--1972
    • Represented the USA in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in the welterweight class.
    • Muniz was the National AAU Welterweight Champion in 1969 and 1970.
    • Defeated Percy Pough (KO 2).
    • Defeated Pete Ranzany (TKO 6).
    • Defeated Jimmy Heair (W 12).
    • Defeated Hedgemon Lewis (10).
    • Defeated Clyde Gray (KO 9).
    • Defeated Ernie "Red" Lopez (TKO 7).
    • Defeated Adolph Pruitt (KO 8).
    • Dave Oropeza (K0) 3.
    • won 44 (KO 30) + lost 14 (KO 2) + drawn 1 = 59

Favorite Book: "Life Cycle Completed" by Erik Erikson

"Erik Erikson interests me. He writes with wisdom and he's a keen observer of human beings. As a former pro fighter, and now, as a high school math teacher, the psychosocial stages of people have always interested me. The night before I fought a tough 10-round draw with Oscar Albarado in The Olympic Auditorium in LA, I was reading--studying for my finals. It might've been Erikson I was reading. Boxing is the most elemental of sports. It offers a most unique vision of human beings."

Ross "The Boss" Puritty

Name: Ross "The Boss" Puritty

    WBC International Heavyweight Title Holder
    • Residence: Norman, Oklahoma.
    • KOed Wladimir Klitschko in 12 Rounds.
    • Defeated Joe Hipp (KO 10).
    • Defeated Jorge Luis Gonzalez (TKO 7).
  • won 31 (KO 27) + lost 20 (KO 3) + drawn 3 = 54

Favorite Book: "Art of War" by Sun Tzu

""The Art of War" by Sun Tzu is a book that I really enjoyed reading, because of all the different types of warfare strategies that are explained and why they are necessary at a certain point in time. As a fighter you must have a plan or at least train for different styles of fighters, because failing to plan for a fight, usually means that you have or must plan to fail."

Pete Ranzany

Name: Pete Ranzany

Favorite Book: "Somebody Up There Likes Me" by Rocky Graziano

"When I was a teenager I read "Somebody Up There Likes Me" by Rocky Graziano and Rowland Barber. I was inspired by Rocky overcoming so many hurdles in his life, to become a world champion as well as being successful outside the ring. Rocky appeared to be a humble person. I wish I had met him and heard some of his stories."

"Irish" Johnny Turner

Name: "Irish" Johnny Turner

    Tough Brooklyn Welterweight Contender

    Favorite Book: "Somebody Up There Likes Me" by Rocky Graziano

    "My favorite book?...Somebody Up There Likes Me. Even though I never made it as a fighter, I still am a winner. I never was in trouble with the law or messed around with drugs or alcohol. My life is good. My wife of 25 years is an amazing woman, and I have two absolutely wonderful daughters. One of them, Dee, was recently the winner in the CBS reality show called "The Amazing Race". She won herself a ton of money. Both my daughters are simply the best. Like I said--somebody up there likes me."

Yaqui "Indian" Lopez

Name: Yaqui "Indian" Lopez

    Great Light Heavyweight Contender of 1970-80s
    • Fought two ring epics with Matthew Saad Muhammad.
    • Defeated Andy Kendall (KO 5).
    • Defeated Mike Quarry (W 10).
    • Defeated Jesse Burnett (2x) (W 10) & (MD 15).
    • Defeated Tony Mundine (TKO 3).
    • Defeated Karl Zurheide (KO 6).
    • Defeated Mike Rossman (TKO 6).
    • Lost thrillers to: Carlos Deleon, John Conteh, Michael Spinks, Victor Galindez & James Scott.
    • Inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame: 2005.
    • Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame: 2007.
    • Won 63 (KO 40) + Lost 15 = 78 bouts.

Favorite Book: Reader's Digest

"I've always liked reading Reader's Digest. I read it both in Spanish or English. I enjoy the true, uplifting stories as well as the humorous stories. I also like "The Living Healthy" section about medicine and stuff."

Gary Stark, Jr.

Name: Gary Stark, Jr.

Favorite Book: "The Contender" by Robert Lipsyte

"I was always into sports. Baseball was my first sport. I was shortstop and second base. I guess I'm blessed with pretty good hand-eye. And bat speed, too. I got good bat speed. Boxing helped my baseball, and baseball helped my boxing. I played for Kingsboro Community College and could've gone further, but boxing took over. Now watch out--I'm gonna hit a home run--in boxing!"

Johnny Persol

Name: Johnny Persol

    Outstanding Lightheavyweight Contender in 1960s-1970s
    • Hometown: Brooklyn, NY Born: 1940-06-12.
    • Persol won two New York Golden Gloves Championships: The 1960 160lb Sub-Novice Championship & 1961 160lb Open Championship.
    • Defeated Amos Lincoln (UD 10).
    • Defeated James J. Woody (D 10).
    • Defeated Herschel Jacobs, twice, (W 6) & (SD 10).
    • Defeated Bobo Olson (MD 10).
    • Defeated Eddie Cotton (SD 10).
    • As a pro, he fought in Madison Square Garden 16 times--losing only twice.
    • won 22 (KO 7) + lost 5 (KO 4) + drawn 1 = 28

Favorite Book: "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr."

"Martin Luther King said it best: 'Don't judge a man by the color of his skin--judge him by the content of his character.' That says it all."

Larry Merchant

Name: Larry Merchant

    Larry Merchant (born February 11, 1931)
    • Former sportswriter and longtime commentator for HBO Sports presentations of HBO World Championship Boxing, Boxing After Dark and HBO pay-per-view telecasts.

Favorite Book: "The Killings of Stanley Ketchel" by James Carlos Blake

"I got a big kick, or punch, out of a recent read, the novelization of the life and times of the James Dean of boxing, "The Killings of Stanley Ketchel" by John Carlos Blake. A century ago, before Jack Dempsey exploded out of the west, Ketchel was already a mythic figure for his middleweight-heavyweight melodrama with Jack Johnson, and for his wild life and tabloid death. As John Lardner wrote, "He was shot dead having breakfast with a woman not his wife.'"

Ron "The Butcher" Stander

Name: Ron "The Butcher" Stander

    Courageous Heavyweight Contender 1972-05-25
    • Joe Frazier beat Ron Stander by 5th round TKO for the WBC & WBA heavyweight title. Stander required 32 stitches after title fight.
    • Defeated Morris Jackson for Iowa & Nebraska State Heavyweight Titles.
    • Defeated Ernie Shavers (KO 5).
    • Defeated Thad Spencer (W 10).
    • Defeated Manuel Ramos ((D 10).
    • Defeated Jack O'Halloran (UD 10).
    • won 37 (KO 28) + lost 21 (KO 9) + drawn 3 = 61

Favorite Book: "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo

"FUGGEDABOUTIT! This book packed a heavyweight punch--like Ernie Shavers! Yeah, boxing's got plenty of colorful characters, but nothing like the characters in this book--like Don Vito Corleone and his sons Sonny, Fredo and Michael. Yeah, "The Godfather's" got plenty of pop. And this guy Puzo punches out a good sentence."

Dave Siev

Name: Dave Siev

    President of the NYPD, Fighting Finest Boxing Team since 2001
    • Currently a Lieutenant assigned to the Organized Crime Control Bureau.
    • He has 13 years experience as an Officer in the NYPD and is a former fighter turned Coach.

    Favorite Book: "Standing Eight" by Adam Pitluk

    "This story is compelling. After arriving illegally in the United States at age seven, he lived in Chicago and eventually fell prey to a gang. When he was 17, he began a prison term for robbing a store with friends. Upon release, he moved to Austin, TX, but was later deported to Mexico. It's a story about overcoming adversity--who isn't going to like a story like that?"

Mando Ramos

Name: Mando Ramos

    WBA Lightweight Champion, WBC Lightweight Champion (1969 Feb 18 – 1970 Mar 3), WBC Lightweight Champion (1972 Feb 18 – 1972 Sep 15)
    • Defeated Pedro Carrasco for WBC title (SD 15).
    • Defeated Carlos Teo Cruz for WBA & WBC title (TKO 11).
    • Defeated Sugar Ramos (SD 10).
    • Defeated Hiroshi Kobayashi (UD 10).
    • Defeated Frankie Crawford ((UD 10).
    • Defeated Raul Rojas (SD 10).
    • won 37 (KO 23) + lost 11 (KO 6) + drawn 1 = 49

Favorite Book: Ring Magazine

"I wasn't much of a reader. But my dad would bring home Ring Magazine and I'd read that. All I like is boxing. I still try to keep up with all of the boxers."

Buster Mathis Jr.

Name: Buster Mathis Jr.

Favorite Book: "48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene

"This book deals with the mind-set of being a fighter. Before every fight I read it. There are two reasons I read this book:

1. For attack: To gain power, as have others who have carefully observed the Laws;

2. For defense: To be aware of ways that people may be trying to manipulate you."

Eddie "The Flame" Mustafa Muhammad

Name: Eddie "The Flame" Mustafa Muhammad

    WBA Light Heavyweight Champion (1980 Mar 31 – 1981 July 18)
    • Defeated Eugene Hart(KO 4).
    • Defeated Matthew Saad Muhammad (SD 10).
    • Defeated Jesse Burnett (TKO 10).
    • Defeated Dave Conteh (TKO 8).
    • Defeated Marvin Johnson (TKO 11).
    • Defeated Rudy Koopmans (TKO 3).
    • Won two Welterweight New York City Golden Gloves Championships: 1971 & 1972 147lb Open Championships.
    • President of boxing union, the Joint Association of Boxers (JAB), which is affiliated with the Teamsters. won 50 (KO 39) + lost 8 (KO 1) + drawn 1 = 59

Favorite Book: The Holy Quaran

"The Quaran. It's the way to a peaceful life."

Alex Miteff

Name: Alex Miteff

    Promising heavyweight prospect in the early 1960s
    • Noted for his viscious body attacks.
    • Defeated Archie McBride SD 10).
    • Defeated Willi Besmanoff (W 10).
    • Defeated Nino Valdez (SD 10).
    • Defeated Harold Carter (TKO 2).
    • Defeated Alonzo Johnson (2x) (W 10) & (W 10).
    • Had a small part in the movie, "Requiem for a Heavyweight", starring Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason.
    • won 26 (KO 16) + lost 13 (KO 8) + drawn 1 = 40

Favorite Book: "The New York Post"

"I'll be honest--I don't read too much. But I do look at the New York Post."

Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos

Name: Alex "The Bronx Bomber" Ramos

    Talented Middleweight Contender in the 1980s-90s
    • Lost to Jose Fernando Castro for WBA Middleweight Title (KO 2).
    • Defeated Curtis Parker.
    • Defeated Fred Hutchings.
    • 4-Time New York City Golden Gloves Champ.
    • 1979 National AAU Champion.
    • 1979 Intercity Golden Gloves Champion.
    • Founder & President of the Retired Boxers Foundation.
    • won 39 (KO 24) + lost 10 (KO 6) + drawn 2 = 51

Favorite Book: "Sugar Ray" by Sugar Ray Robinson

"My favorite book is Sugar Ray by Sugar Ray Robinson with Dave Anderson. Dave Anderson was a writer with The New York Journal-American. He tape-recorded hours and hours of interviews with Sugar Ray Robinson. He started writing this book at a time when, like too many retired boxers, Sugar Ray was boxing's version of a side show. He was making money at exhibitions taking on anyone who showed up for a couple hundred dollars. I liked this book because it's the closest thing to an autobiography. It's Ray's words and they mean something very special to me."

"I also loved the book A Clenched Fist: The Making of a Golden Gloves Champion by Peter Wood. A fighter himself, Wood brought back a lot of Golden Glove memories! It was great writing from a first-hand perspective. Of course, I also like the idea that my name is included in back on a comprehensive list of "The 10 Greatest New York City Golden Gloves Champions!'"

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