Prizefighting: An American History
Arne K. Lang
This work brings a fresh perspective to the history of modern prizefighting, a sport which has evolved over several centuries to become one of mankind’s most lasting and valued sporting attractions. With his primary focus outside the ropes, the author shows how organizers, publicity agents, and political allies overcame both legal and moral roadblocks to make fisticuffing a lively commercial enterprise.
The book begins with the clandestine bare-knuckle fights in eighteenth-century London, and ends with the vibrant, large-scale productions of modern Las Vegas “fight nights.” Along the way, he explains many of the myths about antiquarian prizefighters, describes the origins of slave fight folklore, and examines the forces that transformed Las Vegas into the world’s leading venue for important fights.