Friday, October 5, 2007

Boxing Book Cuts To Core Of Fighting’s Failure

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – The sport known as “The Sweet Science” may have been dealt its final knockout punch.

That’s according to author and former sports columnist Joe Layden, who, in The Last Great Fight: The Extraordinary Tale of Two Men and How One Fight Changed Their Lives Forever (St. Martin’s Press), chronicles the legendary 1990 upset of Mike Tyson by James “Buster” Douglas.

Layden says, “Boxing is a dying sport. You can trace it back to the Tyson-Douglas fight. I don’t see boxing ever occupying the place in popular culture like it did when Tyson was fighting.”

While Layden traces both puncher’s post-fight problems, he says a phone interview with Tyson revealed the parodied puncher to be smarter – and softer – than he thought.

Layden says, “He’s elusive to say the least, but he was great. He’s self-deprecating and funny, but there’s a lot of pain there too.”

And while fighting fans remember where they were during the storied struggle, Layden laments, “I was in Los Angeles, covering the Global Hockey League’s organizational meetings. Talk about money poorly spent!”

The Last Great Fight is on shelves now.

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