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!

Bobby "The Hebrew Hammer" Halpern

Name: Bobby "The Hebrew Hammer" Halpern

    Colorful Heavyweight in 1990s Won The New Jersey Diamond Gloves in 1948. According to a 1977 Sports Illustrated article, Halpern "estimated he had close to 200 amateur bouts and had lost about 10." Pro Record: won 8 (KO 5) + lost 4 (KO 3) + drawn 0 = 12

Favorite Book: The Daily News

"Sitting in a jail cell there ain't much to do. So I read. I liked looking at the "Daily News".

Howie Albert

Name: Howie Albert

    Recipient of 2005 James A. Farley Award (for Honesty & Integrity)
    • Manager of Emile Griffith with Gil Clancy.
    • Cutman.
    • Publicist, and jack-of-all trades.

Favorite Book: "The Jewish Boxers' Hall of Fame" by Ken Blady

"I met Benny Leonard up in Grupps Gym. The best Jewish fighter there was. My father used to fly pidgeons in the area, up on the roof-top to Grupps. Anyway, this was an interesting book. It's packed with fascinating revelations and amusing anecdotes."

Guy "The Rock" Casale

Name: Guy "The Rock" Casale

Favorite Book: "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo

"I liked Puzo's story-line. Plus, he did an interesting thing--he humanized these tough guys. Sure, they were thugs and killers, bums with little remorse. But Puzo was able to flip them over and show a tender, gentle side. I'm not saying these hoods were good, because they weren't, but Puzo is a fine writer and he was able to round them out. They weren't portrayed as flat characters. That's a good writer."

Tommy Gallagher

Name: Tommy Gallagher

    Colorful Manager on "The Contender" TV series (1st season)
    • Has worked almost 40 years as a trainer, manager, promoter, and gym owner in NYC.
    • Has been a factor in the careers of such boxing stars as Doug DeWitt, Vito Antuofermo, Don Lalonde, Lou Savarese.
    • NYC Golden Gloves Champion.

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

"I was there at the filming of this movie, the pool room shot. I remeber it good. It was on 110th Street. I was 13-years-old. Paul Newman was there with that blond-haired guy, Steve McQueen. I was 13-years-old."

Joe Miceli

Name: Joe Miceli

    Rugged Brooklyn Welterweight who fought in 3 decades.
    • Fought 11 world champions.
    • Defeated Johnny Saxton (TKO 4).
    • Defeated Virgil Akins (W 10).
    • Defeated Ike Williams (2X) (W 10) & (W 10).
    • Defeated Art Aragon (2X) (W 10) & (W 10).
    • Defeated Wallace "Bud" Smith (SD 10).
    • Defeated Bobby Dykes (MD 10).
    • Drew with Joey Giardello.
    • Lost to--Johnny Bratton (SD-10), Gene Fullmer, Kid Gavalin (SD-10), Ralph Dupas, Curtis Cokes, Luis Manuel Rodriguez, Don Jordan (SD-10).
    • won 60 (KO 28) + lost 42 (KO 11) + drawn 8 = 110

Favorite Book: Ring Magazine

"I loved picking up "Ring" from the newsstands and thumbing through it to see where I was ranked that month. A top-10 ranking back then was a great feeling."

Jimmy Gibney

Name: Jimmy Gibney

Favorite Book: "Confessions of a Fighter" by Peter Wood

"Reading this book is like I was back in the ring. Wood tells it like it is: the nervousness you get sitting in a dressing room before a fight; the feeling of getting punched in the jaw, and the excitment in your gut of climbing up the ladder to win a Golden Gloves title. It's all there."

Bert Randolph Sugar

Name: Bert Randolph Sugar

Favorite Book: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"We fall in love with boxers and we fall in love with books. F. Scott Fitzgerald was the Muhammad Ali of prose, the Sugar Ray Robinson of pen. I liked it then and I like it still. It's about love lost, and it reflects a time gone by. There's mystery to "Gatsby". Plus there's a baseball reference in it!

Kevin McBride

Name: Kevin McBride

Favorite Book: "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

"When I first told people that I was moving to the United States, a couple of them recommended I read some of the great American classics. I tried a little Hemingway and "The Great Gatsby", but the book I really took to was "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. I’ll admit, what I first liked about it, the paperback was less than a 100 pages. But what really hit home with me was all the traveling around Lennie and George did and how they were working hard for this dream of getting their own farm. I also was traveling around America when I read it and working hard on my own boxing dreams. The book didn't have a happy ending. Things didn’t work out for Lennie and George. That bothered me at first, but I took it as a warning how easily dreams can be destroyed."

Emile Griffith

Name: Emile Griffith

    • 1958 NYC 147-Pound Open Golden Gloves Champ
    • Held World Welterweight Champion intermittently from 1961-1968.
    • Beat Benny "Kid" Paret (Twice).
    • Dick Tiger (Twice).
    • Joey Archer.
    • Nino Benvenuti.
    • Don Fullmer.
    • Gaspar Ortega.
    • Denny Moyer (Twice).
    • Isaac Logart.
    • Luis Manuel Rodrigues (Three Times).
    • Florentino Fernandez.
    • Holly Mims.
    • Gypsy Joe Harris.
    • won 85 (KO 23) + lost 24 (KO 2) + drawn 2 = 112

Favorite Book: Sports Illustrated

"I like looking at the pictures. They have wonderful photos from all over the world of the finest athletes. I read the articles, too!"

"Tiger" Ted Lowery

Name: "Tiger" Ted Lowery

    Rugged Heavyweight Contender in The 1940s & 50s
    • Fought Rocky Marciano--The local newspaper had Lowry winning six rounds to four.
    • Defeated Billy Fox (W 10).
    • Defeated Aaron Wade (W 10).
    • The only fighter to twice last the ten-round distance with undefeated heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano.
    • Member of the all-black 555th Parachute Battalion--which came to be known as the "Triple Nickles"--during World War II.
    • won 67 (KO 43) + lost 67 (KO 3) + drawn 10 = 14

Favorite Book: "God's in My Corner"

"God's in My Corner " is my story. I'm the only man to twice go the distance with Rocky Marciano. But while my record against Rocky Marciano still stands, my service during WWII with The Triple Nickels, the first all-Black Paratrooper division, is an unknown, yet significant part of American history. Facing Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis and Tiger Jack Fox is only a part of my life. I hope you find my book inspirational. "

Shelly Finkel

Name: Shelly Finkel

    Shelly Finkel, who originally came from the music industry, has managed many top boxers since the 1980s. His list includes:
    • Tyrell Biggs
    • Francisco (Panchito) Bojado
    • Mark Breland
    • Juan Diaz
    • Anthony Hanshaw
    • Evander Holyfield
    • Manny Pacquiao
    • Alex Ramos
    • Meldrick Taylor
    • Mike Tyson (1999-05)
    • Fernando Vargas
    • Pernell Whitaker
    • Jeff Lacy

Favorite Book: The Day of the Jackal

"I was mesmerized by this book. It's a fast-paced novel that is based in part on actual events that occurred in 1960s France. It was a long time ago that I read it, but everyone who I've recommended it to, has loved it."

Chris "Rapid Fire" Byrd

Name: Chris "Rapid Fire" Byrd

    IBF & USBA Heavyweight Champion
    • Defeated Vitali Klitschko (RTD 9).
    • Jameel McCline (SD 12).
    • Evander Holyfield (UD 10).
    • David Tua (UD 12).
    • Fres Oquendo (UD 12).
    • (won 40 (KO 21) + lost 5 (KO 4) + drawn 1 = 46

Favorite Book: The Outsiders

"This is a redemption story. "The Outsiders" is a one-of-a-kind book that all ages can enjoy. I read this book a while ago and it was my favorite book. I bet it is still is one of my favorite pieces of literature, even though I've read a lot of other good books since then. I believe the reason for me liking this book is because it's action packed, full of suspense and it's about loyalty and friendship and courage."

Bob Bozic

Name: Bob Bozic

    Devastating Heavyweight Puncher

    Favorite Book: All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

    "This is a book about how a humble man from The South struggles for success and winds up being cut up by his own ego. Zhou Enli, the Chinese Prime Minister, once said--"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." It all relates."

Jerson Ravelo

Name: Jerson Ravelo

    Talented, Up-Coming Middleweight.
    • Nationality: Dominican Republic
    • Birthplace: San Cristobal, Dominican Rep. Hometown: Newark, NJ
    • Stance: Orthodox. Height: 6′ 2″
    • 1998 National Golden Gloves Middleweight champion.
    • Ravelo represented the Dominican Republic as a Middleweight at the 2000 Syndey Olympic Games.
    • Career Record: won 18 (KO 12) + lost 3 (KO 2) + drawn 0 = 21.

Favorite Book: "The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck

"A friend told me to read this book. What's it about? Every day life. About if you put negative into your head, you'll get negative. There's many good examples of doctors & lawyers and successful people and how they created their successful paths. Hey, it's important to hang around good people and to read good books, and this is a good book. And being a fighter is someone who walks the road less traveled."

Paul Thorne

Name: Paul Thorne

    Slick Welterweight (1985-1988).
  • Fought Roberto Duran.
  • Singer/Songwriter/Artist.
  • Residence: Tupelo,Mississippi.
  • Won 14 (KO 5) + Lost 4 (KO 3) + Drawn 1 = 19

Favorite Book: Salvation on Sand Mountain--Snake-Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia by Dennis Covington

"Me? You want me in the "Boxer-Book Hall of Fame"? Is this a joke? Well, the book I liked was about a Pentecostal, a snake-handling church. An outside reporter infiltrated the congregation in order to learn more about the culture and to write a book about it. At the end, he's handling snakes and the congregation invites him onto the stage to talk about his new-found faith. Instead, he tries to open up some minds by preaching about Mary Magdalene. But this rather close-minded, one-dimensional community simply shuts him down yelling. I can relate. Pentecostal is my background and, because at one time, I did the same, I was branded a blasphemer. Today I'm still a believer, but I'm unaffiliated. Great book"

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