‘The Sweetest Thing’ Lands in Australian Book Shops
By Anthony Cocks, Doghouse Boxing (July 16, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Mischa Merz
Mischa Merz Boxing Book
Boxer and author Mischa Merz is set to launch her long-awaited second book about female boxing ‘The Sweetest Thing’ in her native Australia on Tuesday 17 July at Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall, on the corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets in Carlton starting at 6:00pm. Published locally by Hunter after being released in the United States (Seven Stories Press, 2011) last year to critical acclaim, this journal-style work of non-fiction takes the reader on a wide-ranging journey throughout the USA as the author strives to find and define the very heart of female boxing while competing in a series of amateur boxing tournaments.

Throughout the course of the book, Merz takes us from the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn through to gyms in Florida and Georgia, trains under the inimitable Lucia Rijker at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, culminating in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Barbados.

While ‘The Sweetest Thing’ is ostensibly about the author’s journey, the end result is a series of character sketches about the very different women who populate the sport, each with their own unique story and motivation.

Merz’s passion for boxing oozes through her prose. She can dissect a single jab over the course of pages while keeping the reader engaged with her piquant observations and analytical thoughts. But this book provides more than just insight into the sport of boxing and the burgeoning female presence in the square circle; it delves deeply into gender politics, the American psyche and position the sweet science holds there.

The book launch itself promises to break with the traditional meet-and-greet, speech and book signing format. Merz is promising the audience “a three dimensional look inside the book” with “stories of sex, violence, bruises, madness and bust ups” with a guarantee that punches will be thrown.

Three of this country’s most talented female boxers will be in attendance, providing the audience with a firsthand look at women’s boxing. Three-time Australian champion and Oceania champion Bianca Elmir will spar 19-year-old Kristy Harris, with topless ringcard boys rumoured to be carrying the numbers between rounds.

Also in the mix will be Emily Jans, who, as well as being a great boxer and kickboxer is also a vegan and a drummer. She won this year’s national championship at 64kgs in Hobart and is yet another female fighter who breaks the stereotypes about both boxing and being a woman.

There will also be a slideshow featuring some of the juiciest black eyes you will ever see.

Whether you are a fan of boxing or a fan of books, get along to the Bella Union Bar in Carlton this Tuesday at 6pm, where violence and literature will collide.

What: The Sweetest Thing book launch
Presenter: Mischa Merz
Where: Bella Union, Level 1 Trades Hall, Corner Lygon and Victoria Streets, Carlton (enter off Lygon Street)
When: 6pm Tuesday 17th July 2012
Cost: Free

You can read more of Mischa’s work on her boxing blog: http://mischamerz.wordpress.com/

Write for Doghouse Boxing, e-mail Anthony at: anthonyc1974@gmail.com.

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