BOOK REVIEWTracy CallisI FOUGHT THEM ALL By Greg Lewis & Moira Sharkey
Finally, someone has written a book about one of the roughest, toughest and most aggressive men ever to enter the ring. A fighter of the Tom Sharkey caliber should have a book written about him. Greg Lewis and Moira Sharkey have done a splendid job!
Tom Sharkey came to fight - and fight he did. During his career, he tangled with the best heavyweights available and gave them all they could handle - John L. Sullivan, Jim Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jim Jeffries, Gus Ruhlin, Kid McCoy, Joe Choynski and Peter Maher - to name a few.
The book traces Tom's life and career from its early years and, in many cases, gives very detailed descriptions of outside the ring goings-on. Descriptions of places and conditions during those pre-1900 years are educational. We come way with a much better appreciation of the social conditions and attitudes of the people. The personal side of Tom is brought out too through the telling of various incidents that happened to him and some of his adventures.
Many of his fights are discussed with more discussion given to his major fights - those with Choynski, Corbett, Fitzsimmons, Maher, Ruhlin and McCoy. The description of his two fights with Jeffries were absorbing. Chapter Eight is subtitled "Ninety-nine Minutes of Hell" and speaks to the second fight between the two super warriors. An awesome battle, indeed!
There are chapters dedicated to the years of Sharkey's life after his true ring days were over. His wonderful friendship with Jeffries is presented and the admiration that friends had for Tom is talked about.
This book is interesting and informative and includes some nice photo images, notes for each chapter, a bibliography and an index. Whether one is a boxing historian interested in great detail or a casual follower of the sport, the book is a must read about one of the ring's top old warriors.
Greg Lewis and Moira Sharkey, husband and wife, are the authors of Land of Hope and Dreams, a book about Bruce Springsteen. They have a son, Evan.
Greg works as a producer in the current affairs department of ITV Wales. His other books include A Bullet Saved My Life, Airman Missing and The Death of Justice, the story of Michael O'Brien who was wrongfully jailed for murder.
Moira was born in Derry, Ireland and her family believes it is related to Tom
To order this book, visit the websites amazon and tomsharkey.blogspot.com
336 pages, hardcover
Some nice photos, notes, bibliography, index
ISBN-13: 978-0-9562722-1-8 2010
I FOUGHT THEM ALL
Callis description --
Sharkey was a short, squat battler who was the near-equal of the modern fighter, Rocky Marciano; He was powerful, rough, and durable.
Sharkey fought during the time of Jim Jeffries, Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons; His 1896 bout with Fitzsimmons was billed as a Heavyweight Title Fight, but his crown evaporated once Corbett made clear his intent to return to the ring. Had he fought at any other time in history, Tom likely would have become heavyweight champion of the world.
He was elected to the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1959 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2003.
Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
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