Bouts of Mania: Ali, Frazier, and Foreman and an America on the Ropes by Richard Hoffer - review by Cosmo Landesman

Cosmo Landesman

Fighting Spirit

Bouts of Mania: Ali, Frazier, and Foreman and an America on the Ropes

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Aurum Press 278pp £18.99 order from our bookshop
 

Bouts of Mania tells the story of the bruising encounters – in and out of the ring – between three heavyweight boxing champions: Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman. It’s a tale of boxing’s last golden era, when these three giants slugged it out and the world watched in wonder. Their story is tied to that of another great giant, America, which in the 1970s was bloodied, battered and on the ropes of history.

The My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the killing of students at Kent State University, Watergate and the energy crisis are all evoked to explain why the five fights between the Big Three were so important to Americans. Richard Hoffer, who used to write for Sports Illustrated, claims that these fights

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