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!

Michael "Double M" Moorer

Name: Michael "Double M" Moorer

    WBO Light Heavyweight Champion (1988-1991) & WBO Heavyweight Champion (1992)
    • WBA & IBF Heavyweight Champion (1994).
    • IBF Heavyweight Champion (1996-97).
    • WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion (2004).
    • WBA North American Heavyweight Champion (2004).
    • Defeated Bert Cooper (TKO 5).
    • Defeated James "Bonecrusher" Smith (W 10).
    • Defeated Evander Holyfield (W 12).
    • Defeated Frans Botha (TKO 12).
    • Defeated Vassiliy Jirov (TKO 9).
    • Amateur Record: 48-16.
    • 1986 Light Middleweight Bronze Medalist at the Goodwill Games.
    • 1986 United States Amateur Light Middleweight Champion.
    • Named The Ring magazine Prospect of the Year in 1988.
    • Was undefeated as a light heavyweight: 22 fights, all knockout victories, including nine defenses of the WBO Light Heavyweight Title.
    • Was the first southpaw to ever capture the World Heavyweight Championship.
    • After retiring, began a career as a trainer. Among his pupils were "Minnesota Ice" Joey Abell.
    • won 52 (KO 40) + lost 4 (KO 3) + drawn 1 = 57 rounds boxed 294 : KO% 70.18

Favorite Book: "Nigger" by Dick Gregory & Robert Lipsyte

“My favorite book? Well, the title of my favorite book confuses, or turns people off. It’s called "Nigger". That word is the only word in the English language that will cause a riot. Think about it. Words are powerful. The press—with words--can make or break you. If you do one little thing wrong, like say, get stopped by the police, the press can write it up and ruin everything you've worked hard to achieve. Before I read this particular book I had already understood myself and knew who I was. Reading it simply confirmed the knowledge I had about myself. If more people read this book they’d understand themselves better and become stronger mentally. They wouldn’t allow words to affect them adversely.”

Goody Petronelli

Name: Goody Petronelli

    American boxing trainer and co-manager
    • With his brother, Pat, Petronelli managed and trained Marvin Hagler.
    • Trained Robbie Sims.
    • Trained Steve Collins.
    • Trained Kevin McBride.
    • Received (with Pat) "The Al Buck Award for Manager of the Year" by the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Favorite Book: "It Can Be Done" by Joe Morris

""It Can Be Done", a collection of inspirational poetry, is a favorite book of mine. It's on my coffee table right now as I speak. I pick it up every now and then and read a few pages. I've had it for years. My sister Rose bought it for me."

Lucia "The Dutch Destroyer" Rijker

Name: Lucia "The Dutch Destroyer" Rijker

    Undefeated WIBF Super Lightweight Champion
    • Undefeated WIBO Women's Junior Welterweight Champion.
    • Defeated Jane Couch (W 8).
    • Defeated Carla Witherspoon (TKO 4).
    • Defeated Andrea Deshong (TKO 3).
    • Defeated Jeanette Witte (TKO 3).
    • At seven, became a member of the Dutch National Softball Team.
    • At thirteen, won the Amsterdam Fencing Championship, going on to become the Netherlands' Junior Champion.
    • Amassed a 36-0 (25 KO) record as a kickboxer, and won four different world titles.
    • Starring role in award-winning film, "Million Dollar Baby".
    • The subject of an award-winning documentary about women's boxing, "Shadow Boxers".
    • The subject of ABC's Wide World of Sports and HBO's Boxing Series.
    • won 17 (KO 14) + lost 0 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 17 rounds boxed 66 : KO% 82.35

Favorite Book: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

"This is a classic children's book, but you don't have to be a child to enjoy it. I read it in The Netherlands and I remember laughing out loud!"

Russell "The Boy Wonder" Peltz

Name: Russell "The Boy Wonder" Peltz

    Boxing Promoter (since 1969)
    • Promoted his first bout on September 30, 1969 featuring Bennie Briscoe in the main event at the Blue Horizon.
    • Boxing's most consistent promoters and is synonymous with Philadelphia boxing and, in particular, the Blue Horizon, where he promoted bouts for 32 years.
    • Served as director of boxing at the Philadelphia Spectrum from 1973-1980.
    • Among the fighters who boxed on Peltz promoted cards include:
    • Bobby "Boogaloo" Watts, Eugene "Cyclone" Hart.
    • Willie "The Worm" Monroe & Stanley "Kitten" Hayward.
    • Marvin Johnson & Mike Rossman.
    • Billy Douglas & Antonio Tarver.
    • Hall of Famers -- Jeff Chandler, Matthew Saad Muhammad, George Benton & Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
    • Honored with the James J. Walker Award for "Long and Meritorious Service to Boxing" by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1999.
    • Avid boxing historian and archivist.

    Favorite Book: "We Are Not Afraid" by Seth Cagin & Philip Dray

    "The infamous murder of three civil rights workers by a Ku Klux Klan mob and Mississippi law-enforcement officers in 1964 takes on the dimensions of a personal, political and national tragedy in this amazing book. This book is the dramatic and historic story about a murderous rage fueled by racism in The South. I've read a lot of books about the civil rights period and this one is the best. You know, I once did a boxing show in Mississippi and police were following our car. The feeling was a little unsettling. I thought, "This is what those three murdered civil rights workers must've felt like. Only worse--much worse."

Don Elbaum

Name: Don Elbaum

    Promoter, Manager, and Matchmaker based in the midwestern and eastern United States.
    • Promoted his first fight at age eighteen.
    • Promoted or co-promoted over one thousand cards, including 196 shows at the Tropicana Casino over one five-year period alone.
    • Promoted the final fights of Willie Pep and Sugar Ray Robinson, in addition to an early fight of world heavyweight titleholder Nikolay Valuev.
    • Known for staging cards with unusual themes, such as one show that featured a match between winless heavyweights billed as an attempt to crown the "Worst Heavyweight in the World."
    • Managed or worked in an advisory capacity for Aaron Pryor, Tony Tubbs, Simon Brown, Maurice Blocker, and David Telesco.
    • In addition to an amateur career, Elbaum had a number of pro fights in the 1960s. Many of them took place on shows that he promoted, where he filled in as a last-minute substitute when no other fighters were available.
    • won 0 (KO 0) + lost 2 (KO 0) + drawn 1 = 3

Favorite Book: "The Ring Record Book" by Nat Fleischer

"My mother was a concert pianist who played four hours a day. I sometimes played duets with her. I was maybe six years old and I liked piano, but it didn't hold a candle next to my love for boxing. I had three idols: my father, my Uncle Danny, (who had a few fights and was the black sheep of the family), and Sugar Ray Robinson. My dad owned some stores up in Harlem and he once took me to Sugar Ray Robinson's nightclub. I was amazed. He was so nice to me. They had me throw a right hand and Robinson said, "Wow! What a punch!" I was young and in awe. Then when I was about 8, my dad took me to see Willy Pep fight. I was mesmerized! That was exactly what I wanted to do! I became obsessed! Then, my dad bought me Nat Fleisher's "Ring Record Book" and hour after hour, Jesus, I started to memorize facts, fights, knockouts, dates, everything! I took a flashlight to bed with me and read for hours!"

Peter DePasquale

Name: Peter DePasquale

    Former Boxing Promoter, Trainer, Manager
    • DePasquale Brothers (Peter & Luddy), a leading boxing promotion company, named "Promoter Of The Year" by the USBA.
    • Wrote "The Boxer's Workout" in 1987.

Favorite Book: "In This Corner!" by Peter Heller

"I loved Pete Heller's book. It brought you into the mind of each champ. Depending upon the interview, it made you realize how differently they coped with, and handled the pressure of being on top. Some guys were defiant, some reclusive, and some were apprehensive. The champ always feels the pressure--there's always the anxiety of being on top with someone trying to knock you down. Plus, I enjoyed the way these great champs talked so casually about fighting 10 times a year. Imagine fighters today fighting 10 times a year!"

Pawel "Raging Bull" Wolak

Name: Pawel "Raging Bull" Wolak

Favorite Book: "Atlas: From the Streets To The Ring" by Teddy Atlas & Peter Alson

"I loved this book. Atlas wrote a great book. He knows his boxing and he made me sit back and think about this crazy sport called boxing. He wrote a tough, honest and wise book."

Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett

Name: Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett

    Former WBC Continental Heavyweight Champion
    • Defeated Tye Fields (KO 1).
    • Defeated Owen Beck (TKO 9).
    • Defeated Tim Witherspoon (SD 10).
    • Defeated Jimmy Thunder (TKO 7).
    • Amateur Record: 37-3.
    • won 34 (KO 20) + lost 6 (KO 3) + drawn 0 = 40 rounds boxed 240 : KO% 50

    Favorite Book: "I Make My Own Rules" by L.L. Cool J (with Karen Hunter)

    "One of my favorite books is L.L. Cool J's autobiography. I relate to a lot of the family stuff. It was something I needed to hear. What touched me most was the father-son part. Cool J was lucky--he was able to turn to his music to handle his hurt."

Joey Gamache

Name: Joey Gamache

    WBA Super Featherweight Champion -- 1991 Jun 28 – 1991 & WBA Lightweight Champion -- 1992 Jun 13 – 1992 Oct 24
    • NABF Light Welterweight Title Holder -- 1994.
    • IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight Title Holder -- 1990.
    • New England Light Welterweight Title Holder -- 1995.
    • Gamache is the only boxer from Maine to capture a world boxing title.
    • Retired after being seriously injured vs. Arturo Gatti.
    • Defeated Jeff Franklin (W 12).
    • Defeated Jackie Beard (TKO 8).
    • Defeated Jerry Ngobeni (TKO 10).
    • Defeated Jeff Mayweather (W 12).
    • Defeated Rocky Martinez (W 12).
    • Trainer with the famed Kronk boxing program, under Emanuel Steward.
    • won 55 (KO 38) + lost 4 (KO 4) + drawn 0 = 59 rounds boxed 357 : KO% 64.41

    Favorite Book: "The Ageless Warrior--The Life of Boxing Legend, Archie Moore" by Mike Fitzgerald

    "It's your mind and your will that gets beat more than your body! I read this book and loved it. It's Archie Moore's story--but it's also your story and my story, as well."

Ron Lyle

Name: Ron Lyle

    Top-Ranked Heavyweight Contender in the 1970s
    • Lost to Muhammad Ali in WBC & WBA title bid.
    • Defeated Vicente Rondon (KO 2).
    • Defeated Boone Kirkman (TKO 8).
    • Defeated Buster Mathis (KO 2).
    • Defeated Larry Middleton (W 10).
    • Defeated Jose Luis Garcia (KO 3).
    • Defeated Oscar Bonavena (W 12).
    • Defeated Earnie Shavers (TKO 6).
    • Amateur Career:
    • The 1970 National AAU Heavyweight Champion.
    • The 1970 North American Amateur Heavyweight Champion.
    • The 1970 International Boxing League Heavyweight Champion.
    • won 43 (KO 31) + lost 7 (KO 4) + drawn 1 = 51 rounds boxed 324 : KO% 60.78

Favorite Book: "Ring Magazine"

"I read Ring Magazine. I liked looking at the pictures to see guy's styles, to see how they slipped a punch or how they held their hands. Once I got ranked, I liked seeing where I was ranked. It was like being on a rollercoaster--I'd be #2, then #1, then #3. Each month was always different."

Lonnie "Lightning" Smith

Name: Lonnie "Lightning" Smith

    WBA Lightweight Champion -- 1985 Aug 21 – 1986 May 5
    • Defeated Forrest Winchester (W 10).
    • Defeated Todd Longmuir (TKO 7).
    • Defeated Billy Costello (for title) (TKO 8).
    • Named "The Ring Magazine Progress of the Year" fighter for 1985.
    • won 45 (KO 27) + lost 6 (KO 1) + drawn 2 = 53 rounds boxed 331 : KO% 50.94

Favorite Book: "The Spook That Sat By the Door"

"I picked up this book and read it from cover to cover when I was at Don King's training camp in Ohio. Yeah, Don reads all the time. This book was lying around in his home library. It's a hard-hitting book that depicts a world in which the long-suppressed black man fights back with a vengeance. It was made into a film with Ivan Dixon. Hey, when I was living at Don's, I sparred with 'em all--Aaron Pryor, Roberto Duran & Salvador Sanchez. Without a doubt, the best of them all? Sanchez! He was dangerous with either hand and the guy never got tired! And the best book in that library--"The Spook That Sat By the Door!""

Angelo Dundee

Name: Angelo Dundee

    Legendary boxing corner man who has worked with 15 world boxing champions, including Muhammad Ali
    • Trained: “Sugar” Ray Leonard.
    • Trained Jose Napoles.
    • Trained George Foreman.
    • Trained Jimmy Ellis.
    • Trained Carmen Basilio.
    • Trained Luis Rodriguez.
    • Trained Willie Pastrano.
    • Trained Ralph Dupas.
    • Was named Manager of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association in 1968 and 1979.
    • Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.
    • Ringside commentator for many televised fights.
    • Recently trained Russell Crowe for Crowe’s characterization of James J. Braddock in Cinderella Man and appeared in the film himself as “Angelo” the corner man.
    • Co-Author of "Angelo Dundee's "My View from the Corner -- with Bert Sugar".

Favorite Book: "The Jack Dempsey Story" by Gene Schoor

"I never read much as a kid, but I did read "Dempsey" and was impressed as hell. I read it from stern to stern. Fighting in salons and hobo camps, man, what a tough guy! But he was a sweetheart. I got to know him when I lived in midtown Manhattan. I used to eat at Dempsey's Restaurant all the time."

Mike Silver

Name: Mike Silver

    Boxing Historian and Author
    • Author of “The Arc of Boxing: The Rise and Decline of the Sweet Science” Published by McFarland. (Due out in Fall 2008).
    • Curator of the critically acclaimed exhibit “Sting Like A Maccabee: The Golden Age of the American Jewish Boxer”, presented by the National Museum of American Jewish History 2004-2005.
    • Former promoter and Inspector with the New York State Athletic Commission.
    • Articles published in The New York Times, Ring Magazine, Boxing Monthly and various boxing web sites.
    • Historical consultant for numerous boxing documentaries produced by PBS, HBO, ESPN, A & E, MSG Cable, and The History Channel.

Favorite Book: "Catcher in the Rye" J. D. Salinger

"This book is an unforgettable character study that every teenager going through the pangs of adolescence can appreciate and identify with. Salinger captures the moods, anxieties and experiences of typical teenage angst and awakening. It is poignant, hilariously funny, sad, and hopeful. I have several favorite boxing books but Nat Fleischer’s “50 Years at Ringside” was the first I ever read and was a great introduction for a new fan. It remains among my all-time favorites."

Johnny Bos

Name: Johnny Bos

Favorite Book: "In This Corner...!" by Peter Heller

"The book by Pete Heller, "In This Corner" was my favorite. It went through the different boxing eras with Gunboat Smith in the 1915s talking about his fights with Dempsey. Then there's Paul Pender telling you about the 1960s with him fighting an old Sugar Ray Robinson. Henry Armstrong talks about fighting in the 1930s. And it's all written in their own vernacular, their own words. Heller got the concept from "Glory of Their Times" by Lawrence Ritter, a book about baseball players."

Bill Gallo

Name: Bill Gallo

    Bill Gallo (born December 28, 1922) is a famed cartoonist and newspaper columnist for the New York Daily News.
    • Columnist/Writer Received the James J. Walker Award from the Boxing Writers Association, and the Champions Award from the Downtown Athletic Club.
    • Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
    • Received the National Cartoonist Society Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
    • Awarded the Page One Journalism Award from the New York Newspaper Guild 20 times.
    • Received the Power of Printing Award, the Elzie Segar Award (as outstanding Cartoonist in 1975).
    • Received the Achievement Award for Alumni from the School of Visual Arts.
    • Received the National Cartoonist Society Sports Cartoon Award for 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988.

    Favorite Book: "Studs Lonigan" by James T. Farrell

    ""Solo in Tom-Toms" by Gene Fowler is my favorite book. It's about a boy's search for a father. That moved me and I'll never forget reading it. But since it's out of print, I'll give you another book--the wonderful "Studs Lonigan". Both have boxing in them. As I've always said--boxers are the noblest athletes of them all. And they're the best interview. And the most honest, ha-ha, well, not all of them."

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