Punching from the Shadows

Memoir of a Minor League Professional Boxer


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SKU: 9781476672694 Categories: , Tags: ,

About the Book

Glen Sharp’s boxing career was a rise-and-fall story without so much rise in it. A sparring partner for light-heavyweight Hall of Famer Yaqui Lopez, he “retired” with a record of one victory and two defeats. A decade later, having come to understand how and why he failed as a younger fighter, he attempted a comeback. Told with heart and wit, his memoir is a treatise on boxing as both profession and purpose. Sharp uses economic theory to describe the sweet science as a case study in resource management while recounting his own struggle to win fistic glory and his father’s admiration.

About the Author(s)

Glen Sharp is an analyst and editor at the California Energy Commission and lives in West Sacramento.

Bibliographic Details

Glen Sharp

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 265
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7269-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3133-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1. Athletics, My Father and Me—A Love Triangle 5
2. The Growing Dream 10
3. Capitol Gym 18
4. The Golden Gloves 28
5. Training at the PAL—Spring 1979 35
6. Becoming a Good Student 44
7. Discovered by Bobo Olson 54
8. Boxing Is Economics Theory Expressed in the Flesh 60
9. Throwing a Punch and Hitting a Ball 68
10. George Benton’s Shoulder Shell 78
11. Meeting Yaqui López 85
12. Yaqui López, Ernest Hemingway and José Ortega y Gasset 95
13. Boxing as a Martial Art 106
14. Last Sparring Before First Professional Fight 115
15. Locker Room Preparation for First Professional Fight 121
16. An Undefeated Contender 126
17. Back in the Gym 136
18. Losing My Second Fight 147
19. A Broken Nose and a Breaking Dream 152
20. Training with Yaqui at Lake Tahoe 157
21. Sylvester Stallone, Lee Canalito and Vinnie Curto 164
22. Jessie Burnett’s Version of the Shoulder Shell 173
23. Learning Why I Was Not a ­World-Ranked Contender 182
24. Training at Tahoe Again 189
25. Another Loss 196
26. Leaving Boxing 203
27. A Lost Soul Tries to Find Where He Failed 211
28. Boxing, Zen in the Art of Archery and an Introduction to Literature 218
29. Don Conley and the Washington Neighborhood Center 229
30. Marriage and Healing Some of My Gaps 235
31. Becoming a “Smart Slugger” 242
32. Requiem for a ­Light-Heavyweight: The End of a Dream 248
Index 255

Book Reviews & Awards

• “A fast paced book that gives the reader much insight into what it takes to become a fighter. Sharp gives us an honest telling of his life in boxing…a terrific chronicle of what boxing was and should be. I can’t think of another boxing book out there that gives such an inside look at what it was like to pursue the dream of boxing n the way Glen Sharp did. It is a great read on so many levels. Most of all, it is a very human story. I doubt there are many who will not be able to relate to some portions of Sharp’s book. I know I did”—Boxing Over Broadway

• “A particularly good book…an engaging primer on boxing fundamentals. Sharp is better than a pretty good storyteller. He’s first rate.”—The Sweet Science

• “[Sharp’s] analysis of how fighters move, punch, and defend is some of the keenest and clearest ever written. Yet thanks to Sharp’s elegant and conversational style, and his ability to tell the main story in tandem with a searching examination of his own character and experiences, the scope of his book extends far beyond rings and gyms… A humble and candid narrator whose wry wit lightens a serious tale, Sharp probes for insight on every page. Time and again, he surprises the reader by following seemingly mundane observations to a deeper core…Punching from the Shadows…deserves to take its place as a classic of boxing literature” —The American Conservative