The Greatest Fights that Never Were 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       December 8, 2014


Author  Matthew Bazell

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781742575582
Publisher:         New Holland Publishers
Release Date:    


Boxing aficionados should thoroughly enjoy this book.  It seems that Matthew Bazell writes to expose greed and corruption in Sport.  His previous book looked at the high prices and spiralling payments for Football and Footballers.  His research is thorough and extensive and he has used direct sources when able.

The chapters are called “rounds, “and there are fifteen rounds in the book.  Each one looks at separate issues, although often the characters and fighters overlap into the next round.

Matthew looks at the Promoters of fights and shows how in the past, they could manipulate the game by not allowing their man to box with another from an unfriendly Promoter.  The Managers, especially in the past, were also guilty of taking most of the purse money.  Matthew cites examples of many fights that were prevented from occurring and the reasons why this happened.  Again, he has done much research and has many first- hand accounts from boxers and others who were closely involved.

The injustice for fighters like Sam Langford, a coloured boxer, is amazing.  He had “300 fights, and was not allowed one World Title shot.” The term, “drawing the Colour Line”, allows a white boxer to avoid fighting a black boxer on Colour grounds. Langford’s professional career spanned between 1902 and 1925.

As a history of the Sport, this book is loaded with factual information and has a segment of photographs.  It is evident, that over the progress of time the Game has developed in line with the developing ethics of Society. 

There is a quote from Billy Connolly that would sum up many people’s feelings.  He said that fighting was, “against everything he believed in, but it was the bravery and heart of the fighters which meant he could justify being a fight fan.”

Today there are far more guidelines and structures set in place to protect the boxer, not only physically, but also from those who would seek to gain wealth.