Boxing

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Novella, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. Novella

    Novella Practically Family

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    [​IMG]

    This is supposedly a picture of my great grandpa William Howard Furnier. Not the best of pictures as it's a scan of a negative of a picture of a picture, but it's the only one I have of him in boxing mode. He boxed in Cincinnati and I've heard that he was known as Kid Howard. I found a records site online that lists a Kid Howard in Cincinnati who boxed between 1916-1924, and the first match was in the town by where he grew up so it must be him.

    Can anyone recommend good websites or books on early 20th century boxing? I'm not really looking for stories on specific boxers, but something general. I know *nothing* about boxing and would really like to know more.
     
  2. Ben

    Ben One of the Regulars

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    Boxing Authors

    Miss Novella,

    I realize this thread has not gone very far since you posted it, but if you are still interested, I can recommend a couple of authors you might want to check out.

    Edwin Haslett was a boxing coach for the University of Minnesota, I believe, in the 1920s. He wrote a book called "boxing" which is still one of the best out there when it comes to explaining techniques and how to box. If you are interested in what boxers do, or should be doing, in the ring this is probably the book for you.

    If you are looking for general writing about boxing from that time period, then you might want to look up Nat Fleischer's books. He was one of the quintessential boxing writers. In addition, books by Bert Sugar and Ring Lardner might be helpful.

    A lot of these may be out of print, but you might have some luck in the library or at used book stores.
     
  3. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

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    THE book.

    Check out Nat Fleischer's A PICTORAL HISTPRY OF BOXING. It is usually in print and can be easilty obtained on Amazon or eBay. An invaluable reference source for any boxing fan, and loaded with AMAZING early photos.
    My father bought me my first copy of this book when I was a kid and I have dog=eared several copies to death since.
     
  4. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    This is the first time I've seen this thread, so apologies for tardiness.

    Haslett's book is very interesting, but very hard to find. Ben's other recommendations are also good.

    I'd add A J Liebling's Sweet Science, a collection of his boxing pieces for the New Yorker mostly. They are stories on specific boxers for the most part, but also a great window into the golden age of the greatest sport ever invented. Liebling was also not only a great writer, but a fount on boxing history and technique. Not bad for an overweight, nearsighted little man who, as far as I know, never boxed even once in his life.

    Ernest Hemingway, George Plimpton and Norman Mailer all wrote on boxing and can be found at most libraries. Nick Tosches wrote a brilliant biography of Sonny Liston, the fighting machine that took a dive for a scrawny young fighter called Cassius Clay.

    If you find that you're interest in boxing continues, check out fiction by F X Toole, who wrote Million Dollar Baby, a much better story than a film, and the film wasn't bad at all. There is also the film (by John Huston) and the book (by Leonard Garnder), Fat City, a very realistic look at boxers coming up and going down. And Thom Jones' stories, especially those in The Puguilist at Rest, are worth reading.

    That records site is great by the way. A whole lot of knocking out was happening back in the day it would seem.

    Did you find any more information on your grandfather?
     
  5. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    Arthur Conan Doyle wrote some stories about boxing.

    My great-great grandfather was a boxer, too.
     
  6. Novella

    Novella Practically Family

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    Those books sound great! All those recommendations should keep me busy for awhile, thank you for the suggestions. I will definitely see if my library has any of them, and if not I'll check out Amazon/eBay. I haven't learned any new information recently, but I haven't made the time to look either (darn life getting in the way of history/genealogy again).

    Paisley, do you know much about your boxing ancestor?
     
  7. Barry

    Barry Practically Family

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    Cincinnati Boxing is coming out in September (you've probably already come across this). There is also a book on the history of boxing in Cleveland that was published about four years ago.


    Cincinnati Boxing (by Kevin Grace)

    "On August 29, 1885, Cincinnati was the scene for the first modern heavyweight championship boxing match using gloves. The Boston Strong Boy, John L. Sullivan, met Dominick McCaffrey at the city's Chester Park that day and came away with the referee's decision. By this time, Cincinnati had been a noted boxing site since the Civil War years, and over the next several decades, it developed a remarkable number of fine boxers in both the professional and amateur ranks. Out of the many gymnasiums in Over-the-Rhine and the West End came world champions such as Freddie Miller, Ezzard Charles, Bud Smith, and Aaron Pryor. This book is the story of a fascinating aspect of Cincinnati's great sports heritage — the boxing game — with all its leather-punching drama. From the frontierlike matches of the 19th-century river town to the urban ethnic and social influences of the 20th and 21st centuries, Cincinnati Boxing brings a rich part of local history to life."

    Barry
     
  8. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    Boxing like Fencing is one of those sports that makes you use your mind as well as your body. You learn how other people move and react and think and what tears them down mentally. Tennis is that way too, though I like boxing.
     
  9. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    His name was Klaus Miller and he lived in Illinois. He was originally a blacksmith of German descent; his parents came to the U.S. from Germany. (In fact, his mother worked in the Kaiser's summer house.) I imagine that being a blacksmith gave him the upper body strength needed to be a good boxer. He later became a policeman.

    Sorry it took so long to respond; this thread had slipped my mind.:eek:
     
  10. carebear

    carebear My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Paisley,

    Was your g-g-granpa a boxer or a prizefighter? or both maybe?

    Prizefighting had fewer rules and no gloves, bouts could go for hours.

    The rise of formal boxing was due to increasing revulsion at how bloody and brutal prizefighting appeared. Ironically it may have made the sport more dangerous because with padded gloves you can safely aim for the skull without breaking your hand (and thus hindering yourself). More chance for death and brain damage that way.
     
  11. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

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    I recall someone saying he was a Golden Gloves boxer.

    I also recall hearing that gloves have more friction than your hands do. Thus, with a punch to the head, the head spins right or left, but the brain doesn't follow quite as quickly. It can sever neural connections, I think. Thus, the brain damage that some boxers have suffered.
     
  12. newspapercowboy

    newspapercowboy Familiar Face

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    I boxed recreationally(sparring in gyms) from age 25 to 43..headgear and without..boxed a couple pros...it's a hard, hard thing to do
     
  13. Jack Scorpion

    Jack Scorpion One Too Many

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    Brings life to the books I read. Ex-proBoxer cops or Ex-proBoxer criminals are favorite themes for a lot of crime novels.
     
  14. Lincsong

    Lincsong I'll Lock Up

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    My Dad's father used to box in the teens in Hawaii. When I went to college some of the old timers who knew him told me "your grandfather was hit first and don't bother to ask questions."lol lol
     
  15. newspapercowboy

    newspapercowboy Familiar Face

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    The first time I walked into a gym to train, the trainer told me, "Boy, every day you come in the gym, you gonna get hurt. Either you gonna hurt yourself or somebody else gonna do it for you"
     
  16. Ben

    Ben One of the Regulars

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    Another Book

    For those of you looking for more old boxing books, there is a reprint that might interest you.

    "Boxing" by A.J. Newton was first published in 1910. There is a reprint from Bloomsbury Publishing. You can get it from Amazon. It includes a section on singlestick fencing (which is kind of like sabre fencing with sticks. Early contests were to first blood from the scalp, so I've heard.)

    Maybe even more interesting to fans of vintage things, the old advertisements that were published in the book originally are included. So there are adds for Spaulding boxing gloves, Fry's Pure Concentrated Cocoa, and books on billiards and how to dance.
     
  17. Mr Maltby

    Mr Maltby One of the Regulars

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    Fedora Lounge Boxing Group

    I have an idea. Lets start an FL boxing group. I know some of you want to be the athlete, and some of you want to wear your fedora, smoke a cigar and watch/coach. Lets do this. Any takers?
     
  18. Yeps

    Yeps Call Me a Cab

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    I know this is threadomancy of Biblical (Ezekial) proportions, but I kinda like this idea. Also, I just boxed my first (unofficial) match as a heavyweight. Despite my opponent being a proper, trained boxer, and outweighing my by a fair amount, I managed to hold my own. It was a lot of fun.
     

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