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!

Chuck Zito

Name: Chuck Zito

    Former president of the New York chapter of the Hell's Angels
    • Actor.
    • Amateur boxer/martial artist.
    • Celebrity bodyguard. (Liza Minnelli, Sean Penn, Charlie Sheen, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Charles Bronson, Sylvester Stallone, and boxer Arturo Gatti.)
    • Stuntman.
    • Hosts a radio show called "Chuck Zito's View" on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Favorite Book: "Elvis and Me" by Priscilla Presley

"As a kid growing up, I had four idols: My father,who started teaching me how to box at the young age of five. I had my first ring fight at twelve years old. My dad was a professional boxer and fought under the name Al La Barba in the 30s and 40s. He fought as a lightweight and welterweight, and was slated to fight Marty Servo for the welterweight title, but was drafted into World War II. After three years overseas he returned home, had a few more fights, retired. The other three idols were: Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley and the greatest himself, Muhammad Ali. I read "Elvis and Me" by Priscilla Presley; "The Tao of Bruce Lee" and "The Greatest" by Muhammad Ali. And of course the best book of them all is "Street Justice" by me--Chuck Zito."

Pinklon "Pink" Thomas

Name: Pinklon "Pink" Thomas

    Heavyweight Boxing Champion (WBC)-- 1984–1986
    • Inaugural IBO Heavyweight Champion -- 1992–1993.
    • Defeated Craig Payne (SD 12).
    • Defeated Mike Weaver (TKO 8).
    • Defeated Tim Witherspoon (W 12).
    • Defeated Alonzo Ratliff (TKO 12).
    • Defeated James Tillis (TKO 8).
    • Defeated Gerrie Coetzee (Draw 10).
    • Defeated Michael Greer (KO 5).
    • Currently works as an assistant at an alternative school in Orlando,Florida called C.E.P. were he works with juvenile children.
    • His autobiography, "Fearless Past, Challenging Future" is forthcoming.
    • won 43 (KO 34) + lost 7 (KO 5) + drawn 1 = 51 rounds boxed 282 : KO% 66.67

Favorite Book: "Charley Burley" by Alan Rosenfeld

"I go to the library a lot. But I recently started re-reading one of my own books, "Charley Burley--The Uncrowned Champion". It was written by a friend of mine, Alan Rosenfeld. I met Alan through Hank Kaplan, God rest his soul, and boxing writer, Ron Ross. Man, this book is thick! But the more I read it, the more I enjoy it. There are many characters in there I know personally, like my old trainer, Gene Buffalo, and Angelo Dundee, who also trained me, and Joe West from Seattle, Washington. I recently brought the book into a high school classroom, and during a 20-minute sustained-reading period, I read along with the students."

"Merciless" Ray Mercer

Name: "Merciless" Ray Mercer

    WBO Heavyweight Champion -- 1991 Jan 11 – 1991 Dec 24
    • IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight title holder -- 1990.
    • NABF Heavyweight title holder -- 1990.
    • Defeated Darroll Wilson (W 10).
    • Defeated Richel Hersisia (W 6).
    • Defeated Tim Witherspoon (W 10).
    • Defeated Jesse Fergurson (W 10).
    • Defeated Tommy Morrison (TKO 5).
    • Defeated Francesco Damiani (KO 9).
    • Defeated Bert Cooper (W 12).
    • Defeated Kimmuel Odum (W 12).
    • Defeated Ossie Ocasio (W 8).
    • Amateur Achievements:
    • Won the Heavyweight Gold Medal for the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
    • Won the 1988 United States Amateur Championship.
    • Amateur record: 64-6.
    • won 36 (KO 26) + lost 7 (KO 2) + drawn 1 = 44 rounds boxed 235 : KO% 59.09.

Favorite Book: "The Little Engine That Could" by Watty Piper

"I'm a little bit embarrassed to tell what my favorite book is. Ya know, I'm sorta ashamed. It sounds, well, kinda silly. Okay, I'll tell you anyway. My favorite book is "The Little Engine That Could". (Mercer's wife laughs in the background.) That's what it is. Through out the years, every time I was training for a fight, I thought of that little book. Even my Olympic coach, Kenny Adams, used that book as a source of inspiration for us when I was on the Olympic team. So, that's my book. When ever I'm confronted with a challenge, I still think of that little train. The message is simple and powerful--something like a knockout punch."

Harry Barnett

Name: Harry Barnett

Favorite Book: "Aztec" by Gary Jennings

"This book is about the ancient Aztec world. Reading it is almost like you're actually living in 16th Century Mexico, actually experiencing Aztec life and the brutal Spanish Conquest. You understand Aztec culture, their point of view. It's that real. It's an incredible journey through Central America before and up to the devastation that was the arrival of the Europeans. This is a gripping story with a lot of action wrapped in insightful historical perspective."

Dennis Rappaport

Name: Dennis Rappaport

    Manager & Promoter

    Favorite Book: "Blood Season--Tyson & the World of Boxing" by Phil Berger

    "My favorite book was "Blood Season" by Phil Berger. It was about the good, bad and ugly sides of Mike Tyson and of the boxing world. It was a vivid portrayal about the man and boxing historically. Berger spent countless hours on research, and it shows because it's a wonderful book."

Joyce Carol Oates

Name: Joyce Carol Oates

    Author of 39 books on the New York Times Notable Books of the Year list
    • Author of "On Boxing".
    • American Academy of Arts and Letters, Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award -- 1968 winner: "A Garden of Earthly Delights".
    • American Theatre Critics Association, New Play Award 1994 nomination: "The Perfectionist".
    • Boston Book Review, Fisk Fiction Prize 1996, winner: "Zombie".
    • Bram Stoker Award -- Short Fiction, 2003 nomination: "The Haunting".
    • Long Fiction, 2000 nomination: "In Shock".
    • Superior Achievement in a Novel, 1996 winner: "Zombie".
    • Heidemann Award for One-Act Plays 1990 Co-winner: "Tone Clusters".
    • James Tait Black Memorial Prize -- 2005 Fiction shortlist: "Mother, Missing".
    • Los Angeles Times Book Prize 1992 Young Adult Fiction finalist: "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl".
    • Mademoiselle College Fiction Contest 1959, winner: "In the Old World".
    • National Book Award 2001 finalist: "Blonde".
    • 1990 finalist: "Because It Is Bitter, And Because It Is My Heart".
    • 1971 finalist: :Wonderland"
    • 1970 winner: "Them".
    • National Book Critics Circle Award -- 2007 fiction finalist: "The Gravedigger's Daughter".
    • 2007 autobiography finalist: "The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates: 1973-1982".

Favorite Book: "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky

"Here's my list of favorite books: 1) "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky 2) "Ulysses" by James Joyce 3) "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner 4) The poems of Emily Dickinson 5) The stories of Franz Kafka 6) "The Red and the Black" by Stendhal 7) "The Rainbow" by D.H. Lawrence 8) "Women in Love" by D.H. Lawrence 9) "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville 10) "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain "What were some of my favorite books growing up? My favorite child's book was "Alice's Adventure in Wonderland." As a teenager I was reading so-called adult literature, and very much admired Henry David Thoreau, Emily Bronte, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and Dostoyevsky. I also read a steady succession of young adult fiction, especially in junior high, and classic mysteries like the tales of Sherlock Holmes, horror and science fiction to a lesser degree" (

Danny Aiello

Name: Danny Aiello

    Actor & Singer
    • "Once Upon a Time in America".
    • "Ruby".
    • "The Godfather": Part II.
    • "The Purple Rose of Cairo".
    • "Moonstruck".
    • "Léon: The Professional".
    • "Two Days in the Valley".
    • "Dinner Rush".
    • "Do the Right Thing".
    • Earned a nomination for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Sal in "Do the Right Thing".
    • Broadway debut) "Biggie".
    • "Lampost Reunion", Little Theatre (now Helen Hayes Theatre), New York City, 1975.
    • "That Championship Season", Chicago, IL, 1975.
    • "Wheelbarrow Closers", Bijou Theatre, New York City,1976.
    • "Gemini", Circle Repertory Theatre, New York City, 1977.
    • "Knockout", Helen Hayes Theatre, 1979.
    • Has released several albums featuring a big-band sound.
    • Won a Daytime Emmy award for his appearance in an ABC After School Special called "A Family of Strangers".
    • SINGING:
    • Aiello and EMI songwriter Hasan Johnson are releasing an album in 2008 of standards fused with rap entitled "Bridges".
    • Played the title character for the video of Madonna's song "Papa Don't Preach".

Favorite Book: "Requiem for a Heavyweight" by Rod Serling

"I don't read books much. For me it's scripts and newspapers. I'm a Daily News and New York Post reader. The New York Times' slant bothers me. But I read a lot on the internet. At first, I thought the internet was a complete waste of my time--now I see I was wrong. It's fantastic. It saves so much time with research, if I need to learn something. Okay, my favorite book...I'll cheat alittle--they're all movies. Maybe they were books too, but I know the film. I got a few: "The Big Knife" and "The Harder They Fall" and "On the Waterfront" and "Requiem for a Heavyweight". Of those, I gotta go with "Requiem". Those are the kinda stories I love--real stories about real people. They can be small stories, but they gotta be real. "Requiem" is Primo Carnera's story. He became a wrestler after he retired. So did Joe Louis. Yeah, my favorite is "Requiem for a Heavyweight".

Saoul Mamby

Name: Saoul Mamby

    WBC Light Welterweight Champion -- 23 February 1980 – 26 June 1982
    • Defeated Larry Barnes (SD 10).
    • Defeated Glenwood Brown (SD 10).
    • Defeated Monroe Brooks (W 10).
    • Defeated Maurice "Termite" Watkins (W 15).
    • Defeated Esteban De Jesus (TKO 13).
    • Defeated Mike Everett (W 10).
    • Defeated Percy Hayles (TKO 8).
    • Defeated Angel Robinson Garcia (W 10).
    • Mamby is the oldest boxer ever to appear in an officially sanctioned bout.
    • won 45 (KO 19) + lost 34 (KO 1) + drawn 6 = 85 rounds boxed 753 : KO% 22.35

    Favorite Book: "Ring" magazine

    "Honestly, I'm not a book reader. That's the truth. But I was proud of my "Ring" magazine collection. I had magazines going all the way back into the '60s and '70s -- until someone stole them. I liked reading about all the fighters. I looked up to those guys and I wanted to become just like them. As I said: If you can perceive it, and you can believe it, you can achieve it."

Ricky "Hitman" Hatton

Name: Ricky "Hitman" Hatton

    IBF Super Lightweight Champion -- 4 Jun 2005– 29 Mar 2006
    • WBA Light Welterweight Super Champion -- 26 November 2005– 4 May 2006.
    • WBA Welterweight Champion -- 13 May 2006– 31 August 2006.
    • IBF Super Lightweight Champion -- 20 January 2007– 11 February 2007.
    • Former British Light Welterweight Champion.
    • Former WBO Inter-Continental Light Welterweight Champion.
    • Former WBA Inter-Continental Light Welterweight Champion.
    • Former British Central Area Light Welterweight Champion.
    • Defeated Freddie Pendelton (KO 2).
    • Defeated Vince Phillips (W 12).
    • Defeated Ben Tackie (W 12).
    • Defeated Ray Oliveira (KO 10).
    • Defeated Kostya Tszyu (RTD 11).
    • Defeated Juan Urango (W 12).
    • Defeated Carlos Maussa (KO 9).
    • Defeated Jose Luis Castillo (KO 4).
    • Defeated Juan Lazcano (W 12).
    • The Ring magazine's 2005 'Fighter of the Year'.
    • ABA National Champion Light Welterweight 1997.
    • ABA National Junior Champion (Class A) Light Welterweight 1995 & 1996.
    • ABA National Junior Champion (Class B) Light Welterweight 1997.
    • ABA National Junior Champion (Class C) Light Welterweight 1994.
    • won 44 (KO 31) + lost 1 (KO 1) + drawn 0 = 45 rounds boxed 263 : KO% 68.89

    Favorite Book: "Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran" by Christian Guidice

    "Pound-for-pound, Duran was one of the greatest. He and I are blood brothers, spiritual kin, warriors to the bone, and we both can knock your block off!"

James "Bonecrusher" Smith

Name: James "Bonecrusher" Smith

    WBA Heavyweight Champion -- 1986 Dec 12 – 1987 Mar 7
    • First heavyweight champion with a college degree.
    • Defeated Mike "Hercules" Weaver (W 12) & (TKO 1).
    • Defeated Tim Witherspoon (TKO 1).
    • Defeated David Bey (W 10).
    • Defeated Jesse Ferguson (W 10).
    • Defeated Jose Ribalta (SD 10).
    • Defeated Frank Bruno (KO 10).
    • Defeated Ricky Parky (W 6).
    • After boxing, became an ordained minister.
    • Started the non-profit organization Champion For Kids Inc.
    • won 44 (KO 32) + lost 17 (KO 7) + drawn 1 = 62 rounds boxed 364 : KO% 51.61

    Favorite Book: "Think & Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill

    "I like this book "Think And Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. There is a scripture in the Bible that says, "As A Man Think, So Is He." Whatever we think about ourselves we are RIGHT."

Rocky Marciano -- "The Brockton Blockbuster"

Name: Rocky Marciano -- "The Brockton Blockbuster"

    Heavyweight Champion of the World -- 1952 Sep 23 – 1956 Apr 27
      The only World Heavyweight Champion to finish his career undefeated.
    • Defeated Jersey Joe Walcott (KO 1) & (KO 3).
    • Defeated Joe Louis (KO 8).
    • Defeated Ezzard Charles (KO 8) & (W 15).
    • Defeated Archie Moore ((KO 9).
    • Defeated Roland LaStarza (TKO 11) & (W-SD 10).
    • Defeated Harry "Kid" Matthews (KO 2).
    • Defeated Rex Layne (KO 6).
    • Member of International Boxing Hall of Fame.
    • Member of World Boxing Hall of Fame.
    • AWARDS:
    • Named The Ring magazine “Fighter of the Year” in 1952, 1954 and 1955.
    • Won The Ring magazine Fight of the Year in 1952, 1953 and 1954.
    • Awarded the Boxing Writers of America Edward J. Neil Trophy 1952.
    • Numerous books have been written about Marciano, including "Rocky Marciano, Biography of a First Son".
    • In the movie Rocky, Rocky Balboa's trainer, Mickey, told him that his boxing style and heart reminded him of Marciano.
    • In Rocky V, a flashback shows Mickey giving Rocky a necklace with a gold cufflink shaped like a boxing glove that he said was given to him by Rocky Marciano.
    • Marciano has been the subject of several paintings and is on a commemorative US postage stamp issued in 1999.
    • Rocky Marciano is featured in many boxing video games including Knockout Kings, Fight Night 2004, and Fight Night: Round 2.
    • Rapper Rock Marciano apparently borrowed the boxer's name, and adapted it slightly to make it his own.
    • won 49 (KO 43) + lost 0 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 49 rounds boxed 241 : KO% 87.76

Favorite Book: "True Detective" Magazine

"Rocky likes to read, and, spending as much time as he does in training camps, he gets plenty of opportunity. He goes for sports and adventure yarns and whodunits. One of his favorite magazines is "True Detective"" (Ed Fitzgerald, "Blockbuster From Brockton").

Sean Sullivan

Name: Sean Sullivan

Favorite Book: "Atlas--From the Streets to the Ring" by Teddy Atlas & Peter Alson

"Atlas' book is outstanding. It's an inspirational read and he keeps it real. I have a second favorite book: "Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing" by George Kimball. Inside the pages are stories full of drama, sacrifice, fear, and pain. These two books are my favorites."

Joel "Love Child" Julio

Name: Joel "Love Child" Julio

    WBO Latino light middleweight title holder
    • Holds fringe belts: WBC Continental Americas (Light Welterweight division) & WBA Fedecentro Welterweight (Welterweight division).
    • Defeated Cosme Rivera (W 12).
    • Defeated Cornelius "Canine" Bundrage (TKO 8).
    • Defeated Ishe Smith (W 10).
    • Defeated Jose Varela (RTD 6).
    • Named's Boxing Prospect of the Year.
    • Appeared on Ring Magazine's New Faces feature.
    • won 34 (KO 31) + lost 1 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 35 rounds boxed 141 : KO% 88.57

Favorite Book: "Relatos de un Naufrago" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

"The last book I read was "Relatos de un Naufrago", translated in English it means, "The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor". It's by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, so it's good. We're all shipwrecked in our own special way."

Andre Berto

Name: Andre Berto

    WBC Welterweight Champion -- 2008 Jun 21 – present
    • Defeated Michel Trabant (W-RTD 6).
    • Defeated Norberto Bravo (TKO 1).
    • Defeated Cosme Rivera (W 10).
    • Defeated David Estrada (TKO 11).
    • Defeated Miguel Angel Rodriguez (TKO 7).
    • Amateur Accomplishments:
    • 2001 National Golden Gloves Light Middleweight Champion.
    • 2003 National Golden Gloves Welterweight Champion.
    • Represented the United States as a welterweight at the 2003 World amateur championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
    • Represented Haiti at the 2004 Olympics.
    • He had over 200 amateur bouts.
    • won 22 (KO 19) + lost 0 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 22 rounds boxed 87 : KO% 86.36

    Favorite Book: "Quiet Strength" by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker

    "Whether you wanna win The Super Bowl or win a boxing championship, it's all the same. Dungy writes about the principles, practices, and priorities of a winning life."

Josua "Grand Master" Clottey

Name: Josua "Grand Master" Clottey

Favorite Book: "The Sweet Science"

“I can’t remember the title of my favorite book, but it was an African book. Now, I like to read articles about boxing on web sites.”

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