Jerry Izenberg

Once There Were Giants

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An International Boxing Hall of Fame sports writer recounts thirty-five years of heavyweight history: “One of those gems you can’t put down” (USA Today).
Once upon a time, of all the memories made in ballparks and arenas from California to New York, there was nothing to rival the magic moment that could grab a heavyweight fight crowd and trigger a tsunami of raw emotion before a single punch had even been thrown.
That’s the way it was when the heavyweight giants danced in the boxing ring during the golden eras of greats like Ali, Frazier, Holmes, and Spinks, to name a few. There will never again be a heavyweight cycle like the one that began in 1962 when Sonny Liston stopped Floyd Patterson and ended in 1997 when Mike Tyson bit a slice out of Evander Holyfield’s ear; when no theatrics were needed to bolster a fighter’s entry into the ring; when the crowds knew that these men were not actors, but giants with a single purpose—to fight other giants.
Acclaimed Star-Ledger sportswriter Jerry Izenberg watched history from the ringside, witnessing fights like the Thrilla in Manila and the Rumble in the Jungle and preserving them in punchy yet tremendous prose. “A masterful tome from a master of his craft,” There Once Were Giants delivers eyewitness accounts and revelatory back stories from the greatest era of heavyweight boxing (BoxingScene.com).
“Only Jerry Izenberg, with sixty-plus years of no-BS reporting and bristling prose behind him, could have brought back to life the greatest era boxing’s heavyweights ever saw … There isn’t another sports writer in America who’s been at ringside so long or tells the stories he found there so memorably.” —John Schulian, editor (with George Kimball) of At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing
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