Book Review: Boxing, A Worldwide Record of Bouts and Boxers
By Antonio Santiago, Doghouse Boxing (June 13, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
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Boxing, A Worldwide Record of Bouts and Boxers
Some books are so good, it’ sad to finish reading them and write their review. On that line, soon I have review coming on books about college boxing and world champions Joe Gans and Thomas Hearns. The one book that I am going to review today, however, is one that I have not finished reading. Because…who in the world can finish reading a book consisting of 1,719 pages?

Well, at least not me, not unless the publisher did not care about my review being written in 2025. And I am sure that the publisher, in this case McFarland, does not want that. The book is Boxing: A Worldwide Record of Bouts and Boxers, ISBN 978-0-7864-6054, released in 2012, with records compiled by the Nat Fleisher of our generation, or at least one of the very few we can call that, Mr. Herbert G. Goldman.

Goldman did an excellent job tracking so many fighters and records; it was just inhuman for a person like him and those others who worked behind the scenes to put this together. The book encompasses four tomes, volumes 1, 2 and 3 dedicated to records of many, many fighters, and volume 4 to lists of champions, records (of the “largest”, “quickest”, “shortest” kind) organization presidents, etc. For example, did you know that Paul Prehn was president of the WBA (then known as “NBA”) from 1928-1929? Gee, and I thought Gilberto Mendoza Sr. had been there all that time!! Now, you and I will probably forget that fact quicker than Mike Tyson disposed of Peter McNeeley, but the fact is still there, written on the book.

Because of its length, however, the book is not one that you can read from start to finish. Instead, it is the kind of book you can enjoy by bits. One day you pick one volume and the next you pick another one. You can either look for a specific record or fighter, or just be open-minded and see what page comes up when you open it. There are many fighters I had no idea about written in this book. For example, here you can find Billy Glover, born William Cavanagh, and who had a record of 40-21 with 15 knockouts fighting from Lightweight to Middleweight from 1904 to 1915.

One complaint I have in that aspect is that not all fighters that ever fought are in the book. Then again, like I said, this was a monstrous effort by Goldman and those others who also helped, but I was disappointed to see that my good friends of old, Juan Carazo and Alberto Mercado, were not listed. Carazo was one second away from becoming WBC world Junior Bantamweight Champion in 1989, when he sent Gilberto Roman down for a 9 count in round 4 of their fight. Mercado was one of only three Puerto Ricans to defy the American boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and he was an excellent professional who was twice one or two fights away from challenging for a world title (he is also a proud Puerto Rican Nationalist). Like those two, I am sure that there will be fighters that you know or remember and that you won’t be able to find in the book.

That’s the only gripe I have. Oh, and the prize. At a prize of $195.00 US Dollars (on Amazon.com at least), I am glad I am a member of the boxing media and can get it for free because the way the economy is, as my dearly loved, late grandmothers Pola and Hilda would say, “God (would cry) if you spend money like that (on a book)”. Now I don’t know about the process of prizing something like this, but with the economy in the USA still reeling from the 2008 meltdown, and all hell breaking loose in European markets such as Greece, Spain and Italy, I suspect the almost 200 Dollar tag to be a bit too steep to some of our readers.

That said, the book is elegantly done with a color photo of prospect Ricardo Dominguez hitting someone with an excellent punch on the cover. This same photo is used by Wikipedia.org on their article about our sport. Honestly, it’s one of the best photos I have seen out there, and in 29 years reading The Ring, Guantes, Ring en Espanol, KO Magazine, Nocaut, Boxing Illustrated, International Boxing, World Boxing, etc., I have seen some photos!

Also, like The BBB of C’s Boxing Yearbook 2010, which I recently reviewed on this page, it is a great source for boxing physicians, promoters, managers and people who are involved in sanctioning bouts. The book lets one see who is available and still professionally fighting, and possessing a threat or not to other fighters or to their own selves.

Ultimately, if you have the money, the book is worth it. In fact, it’s a shame Herbert G. Goldman is not in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, as I found out during research for this article. With the Hall of Fame’s latest induction just concluded, perhaps this book helps Goldman’s case, as it should.

Please send all Questions and comments to Antonio at TJ69662094@aol.com.

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