SPORTS & RECREATION

No Way But To Fight: George Foreman and the Business of Boxing

Univ. of Texas. Jan. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9781477319765. $29.95. SPORTS
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In this well-researched account, Smith (sport management & history, Nichols Coll., MA) considers heavyweight champion George Foreman’s (b. 1949) life inside the ring and his longstanding contributions to boxing. This academic work follows Foreman from his childhood in Houston to his time as a sparring partner for Sonny Liston and his emergence into a boxing champion. Smith examines the notable Sunshine Showdown in 1973, when Foreman bested Joe Frazier, and the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974, when then-undefeated world champion Foreman lost to challenger Muhammad Ali. He also traces Foreman’s retirement and spiritual rebirth; he became a born-again Christian and ordained minister. Later chapters target Foreman’s transition into a TV pitch man promoting his eponymous grill.
VERDICT Foreman fans and those who remember his Rumble in the Jungle will enjoy this adept look at the champion’s life inside the ring.

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