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The Last Great Contenders - Boxing Book


The heavyweight division of the 1970s was arguably the the most competitive in boxing history. Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman all earned the title of HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION but in order to get to the top of the heap they had to survive a crucible of contenders unlike any other in the division's history. Names like Ken Norton, Jerry Quarry, Earnie Shavers and Jimmy Young among others dotted the fistic landscape. No fighter who competed during this unforgettable era would emerge from these battles unscathed.  


Jerry Quarry was named by George Foreman as the greatest fighter to never win a title and "Big" George openly admits that he avoided him. When Jimmy Young took on Muhammad Ali & Ken Norton, many in the viewing audience believed that he had done enough to win both fights. Jeff Merritt was labeled as a "can't miss" prospect by everyone who ever saw him fight...but the drug lifestyle robbed him of his future. Earnie Shavers punched "lack a Mack truck" according to Larry Holmes but a soft child and poor stamina led to untimely losses. 


Anyone who witnessed Foreman versus Denver strong man Ron Lyle will never forget Howard Cosell's call of their epic encounter. The last round of Holmes versus Norton has made for many a barber shop conversation. Quarry versus Frazier was boxing's equivalent of the immovable object against the irresistible force. Shavers versus Lyle was a seldom seen classic. Great fighters all competing for what was a modern day answer to a Roman gladiator tournament. These brutal battles became the standard by which all heavyweight fights are judged. 


What did Roy "Tiger" Williams say when Muhammad Ali owed him money? The two engaged in a fierce two-day sparring session to settle their dispute, proving how sometimes the best fights took place outside the arena and in the gym. Was Sonny Liston knocked cold by ex-Marine Mac Foster in an Oakland gym? Did Earnie Shavers leave Muhammad Ali's camp by choice or was he thrown out? Stories like these are all included in this encyclopedia of heavyweight contenders of the 1970s. 

Among the fighters profiled are: 

Pedro Agosto - Top Puerto Rican slugger
Billy Aird - Beloved club fighter of Britain
Rahman Ali - Brother of Muhammad Ali
Ibar Arrington - Steel chinned ex-Navy champion
Jody Ballard - Sparring partner of the greats
Duane Bobick - The most criticized fighter of the era
Rodney Bobick - Sparring partner for Ali, died in car accident
Oscar Bonavena - Wild and wooly Argentinian
Johnny Boudreaux - Was compared to Muhammad Ali
Joe Bugner - Underrated veteran who fought them all
George Chuvalo - Perhaps the toughest fighter of all time
Henry Clark - Clever San Francisco heavyweight
Dino Denis - Popular Massachusetts stick and mover
Tony Doyle - Was considered Utah’s best boxing prospect
Jim Lee Elder - Up and coming slugger who died from a brain tumor
Lou Esa - Giant former bouncer out of Florida
Mac Foster - Ex Marine who won 24 straight by knockout
Jose Luis Garcia - Venezuelan slickster who ate himself out of contention
Terry Hinke - Heavy left hooker who was Foreman’s sparring partner
Morris Jackson - Nebraska power puncher
Scrap Iron Johnson - The trial horse of the division
Florida Al Jones - Giant Miami prospect hampered by a hand injury
Leroy Jones - Good boxer forced to retire because of detached retina
Boone Kirkman -Popular draw out of Washington state
Scott Ledoux - Minnesota brawler who always gave his best
Alvin Blue Lewis - Detroit tough guy
Pedro Lovell - Popular Argentinian who fought out of L.A.
Ron Lyle - Denver slugger who gave Foreman hell
Danny McAlinden - Aggressive Irish brawler
Humphrey McBride - The decade’s answer to Butterbean
Jeff Merritt - Brutal left hooker who was knocked out by drugs
Larry Middleton - Army champ who played spoiler
Fili Moala - Power punching Tongan
Randy Neumann - Intelligent boxer who worked as a writer, model, and investor
Wendell Newton - Bahamian sparring partner for the champs
Ken Norton - Always gave Ali fits
Jack O’Halloran - Goliath who suffered from “gigantism”
Jerry Quarry - One of the most popular fighters of the era
Charlie Reno - Crafty but overweight clubfighter
Young Sanford - Chicago journeyman managed by Redd Foxx
Mike Schutte - The South African “Tank”
Earnie Shavers - Arguably the hardest hitting heavyweight of all time
Mircea Simon - Romanian defector had brief pro career
Howard Smith - One of the best out of Los Angeles
Ron Stander - Engaged in gore fests with Frazier and Norton
Paul Sykes - Crazy jailbird out of Britain
Mani Vaka - Free swinging Polynesian heavyweight
Stan Ward  - Powerful heavyweight out of Sacramento
Chuck Wepner - No fighter shed more blood
Roy Williams - A rough character out of Philly
Jimmy Young - Fought brawn with brains

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$29.95 USD
  • The Last Great Contenders - Boxing Book
  • The Last Great Contenders - Boxing Book
  • The Last Great Contenders - Boxing Book