Boxing Book Review: Lords of The Ring
Boxing Book Review: Lords of The Ring
By Antonio Santiago, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 16, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Lords Of The Ring - Boxing Book - Doug Moe
Today, we have a book that has a title, a writer and a topic all of which sound like something else, a more famous namesake. That book, Lords of The Ring (not the famous movie), is written by Doug Moe (not the former NBA basketball coach), and talks about John Walsh (not the America's Most Wanted show host).

The fact that Lords of The Ring (ISBN 0-299-20424-3, 2004, The University of Wisconsin Press,|wisconsinpress, all rights reserved) talks about college boxing, might lead us to think we will read about Title IX. At least I had presumed that Title IX had to do with boxing's demise as a sports college. How wrong I was!
Lords of The Ring is a look at a time when the United States were more train wagon than jet airplane, more apple-pie than Papa John's pizza. At a time when 24 hour movie, concert and sports television channels like HBO and Showtime were more of a dream, and people packed basketball courts to watch boxing. It is also a look at fights that many of us would have never guessed took place.
Like so many others, I tend to concentrate on professional boxing, rarely looking at amateur fights (I have to partly blame the tv networks for that, through). A sub-division of amateur boxing was college boxing. Imagine this: little attention do we pay to the amateur ranks, how much more little attention do we pay to (past) amateur college boxing?? So the heroics of people such as Warren Jollymore inside the ring go mostly unnoticed, but this book brings them back for public knowledge.
Fighters like Chuck Davey, who enjoyed a professional career in which he challenged Kid Gavilan for a world title,  Bob Ranck, Vito Parisi, Bob Morgan, Dick Murphy, Cal Vernon, John J. O' Connor, the tragic Charlie Mohr and so many more are remembered in this book, as are the barnburner fights that took place between them and other outstanding fighters from other colleges during that time.
Further attention Charlie Mohr deserves. He was a very good fighter, and according to the book, a very good person who had several characteristics going his way. However, the study of his case could very well be used in today's world of boxing medicine. He had shown signs of mental despair before his fight with Stu Bartell, April 9, 1960. It is known now that mental health issues can be a sign of severe brain injury, but in 1960, health medicine was mostly taboo, and doctors did not have the modern knowledge they do now about medical aspects of the brain.
The book does great in covering Mohr and Walter Crocker, another great fighter who also died young, from Cancer.
Lords of the Ring is a joy to read for boxing fans as well as it should be for fans of the University of Wisconsin and for historians. The wealth of information it contains makes it worthwhile and makes me want to see more works on college boxing.

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