February 2006

Rinsing Off the Mouthpiece
By GorDoom

Poem of the Month
By Tom Smario

The 2005 CBZ Year-End Awards
By J.D. Vena

Women to Watch For in 2006
By Adam Pollack


Lou DiBella: No Joe Palooka
By Dave Iamaele

Lamon Brewster, Unplugged
By Juan C. Ayllon

Touching Gloves with...
Clyde Gray

By Dan Hanley


Iron Mike Tyson: Myth or Monster?
By Jim Trunzo

Jess Sandoval: The Coach Says,
"Bundle Up"

By Katherine Dunn

The Legend of the Cuban Baron,
Ramon Castillo

By Enrique Encinsoa

Paul Thorn
By Pete Ehrman

Battling Nelson: Always Battered,
Seldom Beaten

By Tracy Callis

Kid Chocolate, the Cuban Bon Bon
By Monte Cox


Shadow Boxers
Photographs by Jim Lommasson

The Iceman Diaries
by John Scully

The Boxing Bookshelf
by Dave Iamele

The Boxing Bookshelf

By Dave Iamele

For the boxing fan who enjoys a good read -- and I know from some letters I've received that there are at least a few of you out there -- I recommend both Mike DeLisa's The James J. Braddock Story: Cinderella Man (Milo, $14) and David Margolick's Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink (Knopf, $7).

Through a lucky coincidence, I received first the Cinderella Man book in June as a gift from the author, and then received the Louis-Schmeling book as a present from a close friend this October. I say this was lucky because the two books, read in that order, comprise a marvelous story of the heavyweight championship from the 1930s through the 1940s.

As a boxing fan, I obviously enjoyed reading details of the bouts of James Braddock, Max Baer, Joe Louis, and Max Schmeling; however, I enjoy reading books on various subjects, and what I found particularly compelling about both stories was that each book captured the feeling of what life was like in the United States during The Great Depression and the early years leading into World War II. These glimpses or snapshots of those eras convey the drama that the average Joe-on-the-street dealt with back when your average Joe-on-the-street was a boxing fan.

To learn more about the heavyweight division back when it really meant something to be The Champ, read Cinderella Man, about a fighter who was tough as dirt and was one of the most beloved -- although shortest reigning -- champions. Follow that up with Beyond Glory, and read about Joe Louis' devastating loss to German Max Schmeling and his one-round destruction of Schmeling in the return bout. Max Schmeling's story is especially interesting. Some Americans viewed him to be a puppet of the Nazis and some as just a noble sportsman. Which was he? Read the book and make up your own mind. One thing is for certain, when he retired, he made a fortune from distributing Coca-Cola in Germany and reportedly died a wealthy man, just shy of his 100th birthday. I would like to see more boxers follow his example: Retire, stay retired, invest ring earnings wisely, and live a long, happy, healthy life. Sadly, Joe Louis' later years were marked by drug abuse, alcoholism, and constant hounding by the IRS.

Contact Dave Iamele at editors@cyberboxingzone.com.

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