Tracy Callis
By Kelly Richard Nicholson

Kelly Richard Nicholson has written another interesting and informative book about boxing. This one is entitled Hitters, Dancers and Ring Magicians and contains chapters speaking to the careers of six outstanding fighters of the 1890-1910 years. It reads easily and presents descriptions of the careers, ring battles and times in which these talented boxers lived.

Dr. Nicholson develops the story with an introduction and lead-in chapter that gives an historical perspective of the times. Chapters on George "Kid" Lavigne, Bob Fitzsimmons, “Barbados” Joe Walcott, Joe Gans, Terry McGovern, Sam Langford and Stanley Ketchel follow. His last chapter briefly, quickly talks of the next few years that came after these great men left the ring and includes discussions on the "Old School and New," changes that took place in the sport and how boxers over the years compare. Opinions on all-time best fighters are included from a number of boxing people and historians.

Dan Cuoco, Director of the International Boxing Research Organization, has "said the selection of a few men as the best of their time invites argument." But, Kelly doesn’t do this - he just talks about these men as a talented group of that time.

Clay Moyle, boxing historian and author of the recent book, SAM LANGFORD : Boxing's Greatest Uncrowned Champion, has said "it’s often difficult to separate fact from fiction when one is writing about men from that era." I agree. Clay also said he believes Kelly has "made every effort to do that." Again, I agree.

Hitters has already joined my "favorites" group. The easy reading style and well-developed accounts of bouts and incidents are enlightening and enjoyable. When I travel, it goes with me. In my leisure time, as I sit on my porch or lounge in a cozy chair, I find myself looking through it.

The book is published by McFarland Publishing and can be ordered from their website or by phone via # 800-253-2187

216 pages, $29.95 softcover
13 photos, notes, bibliography, index
ISBN 978-0-7864-4990-3  Ebook ISBN 978-0-7864-5991-9  2011.

 Hitters, Dancers and Ring Magicians

Callis description --

Lavigne was sturdy and muscular in build; He was very quick and a hard hitter; His power far exceeded his size; He was rough and durable; His reach was 64 1/2 inches; Lavigne was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1959 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998

During his career, Lavigne defeated such men as Joe Walcott, Dick Burge, Eddie Connolly, Tom Tracey, "Wilmington" Jack Daly, Joe Soto, Johnny Griffin, Jerry Marshall, Andy Bowen and Jack Everhardt

Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
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