Reading List of the Best Boxing Books of all Time

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Best Books of all Time on Boxing

Interested in learning everything about Boxing? Check out the complete reading list of the best Boxing books of all time for great book recommendations.

The page is a reading list sharing the best books to read on Boxing based on many hours of reading and research. You can be sure that each one is fantastic and will be worth your time.

About Boxing

Boxing, sometimes known as “Western boxing,” or “pugilism,” is a combat sport in which two opponents trade blows for a set period of time within a boxing ring while typically using protective gloves and other safety gear like hand wraps and mouth guards. Despite the fact that the name “boxing” is typically associated with “western boxing,” in which only fists are used, boxing has evolved in diverse ways across various regions and civilizations.

22 Books on Boxingđź‘Ť


1. Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense

Jack Dempsey
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Fighting tactics and plans from Hall of Fame boxer and world champion Jack Dempsey.

One of the finest and most well-known boxers of all time, Jack Dempsey, shares the strategies that contributed to his unmatched success in the ring. Championship Fighting teaches the reader the theory, practice, and application of strong punching, aggressive defense, appropriate posture, feinting, and footwork in a clear and precise manner.


2. Undisputed Truth

Mike Tyson
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Undisputed Truth is the remarkable journey of an amazing American original and is brutal, honest, real, and frequently amusing.

Tyson developed into one of the fiercest fighters of all time, as well as the youngest heavyweight champion in history. But his reckless behavior frequently undermined his skill in the ring. The man who previously acknowledged to being hooked to “everything” clawed his way back, however—even after hitting rock bottom—achieving spectacular success as an actor and renewed stability and happiness as a parent and husband.


3. The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey

Muhammad Ali
Publication Date: May 18, 2013
Muhammad Ali, a former boxing legend who is one of the most well-known and adored public figures and an international goodwill ambassador, offers motivation and encouragement as he discusses the spiritual philosophy that keeps him going.

Thus, Muhammad Ali opens his spiritual autobiography by outlining the principles that have helped to mold, sustain, and direct his life. The renowned champion discusses the convictions that have been beneficial to him and take readers on a spiritual trip through the seasons of life, from childhood to the present, in The Soul of a Butterfly.


4. Boxing: A Cultural History

Kasia Boddy
Publication Date: July 10, 2019
Boxing is a comprehensive study that finally explains how and why boxing has been so important to so many people.

One of the earliest and most fascinating sports is boxing, whose brutal, violent fights have influenced Western culture since 3000 BC. Young men, and occasionally women, have raised their gloved or bare fists to one another frequently during that time.


5. Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing

Donald McRae
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
McRae combines a novelist’s eye and ear for revealing detail and authentically recalling conversation to the intense, obsessive world of professional boxing. This novel is passionate.

Boxing is the only sport like it. In search of a greater understanding of the harsh trade that had fascinated him since he was a young man, Donald McRae embarked on a journey across the United States and his adopted country, Britain, more than twenty years ago. The end product is a remarkable history that documents some of boxing’s most famous figures as well as McRae’s dramatic personal journey through the world of professional prizefighting.


6. Greatest Boxing Stories Ever Told: Thirty-Six Incredible Tales From The Ring, First Edition: Thirty-Six Incredible Tales From The Ring

Jeff Silverman
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
A broad assortment that has all the drama and excitement of a championship match.

The collection of stories in The Greatest Boxing Stories Ever Told includes not just some of the best pieces of literature ever produced on “the sweet science,” but also tales that touch on the more significant social themes that this harsh sport has come to represent and encapsulate.


7. Box Like the Pros

Joe Frazier & William Dettloff 
Publication Date: November 1, 2005
A comprehensive guide to the fight game is presented by Smokin’ Joe Frazier, a former world heavyweight champion, and William Dettoff, senior writer for The Ring magazine.

Box Like the Pros is a must-have for anyone interested in boxing as a hobby or who plans to train to be a professional, drawing on the experiences of one of the sport’s greats.


8. Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing

George Kimball
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Before the pay-per-view model, during the late 1970s and early 1980s, when prize fights were shown on network television and still captivated the country, Roberto Duran, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns all made up the pantheon of boxing greats.

Championship fights during this time period frequently pitted one of these legendary boxers against another and were rife with retaliation and rage. Author George Kimball was present to document every body blow, uppercut, and TKO from training facilities to locker rooms. This collection of boxing tales is a treasure trove of insider accounts written by one of the sport’s best writers, and each one is replete with drama, sacrifice, terror, and suffering.


9. Atlas: From the Streets to the Ring: A Son’s Struggle to Become a Man

Teddy Atlas & Peter Alson
Publication Date: May 8, 2007
So starts the illustrious boxing trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas’ autobiography. Teddy Atlas went from being the disobedient son of a doctor to becoming a guy who upholds and upholds his father’s ideals and code.

Atlas describes his fascinating life as a young delinquent on Staten Island’s streets, a boxer and Golden Gloves champion under the guidance of renowned coach Cus D’Amato, and a friend of the dangerous and unpredictable Sammy “the Bull” Gravano until the day that Gravano turned rat and brought down crime lord John Gotti.


10. Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

Geoffrey C. Ward
Publication Date: January 3, 2006
Geoffrey C. Ward vividly recreates the life of the most admired and despised African American of his day in this biography.

In order to claim the title of heavyweight champion of the world, Jack Johnson had to fight his way out of poverty and obscurity in the Jim Crow South. He decided to live without regard for race at a period when white people controlled everything in America.


11. The Sweet Science

A.J. Liebling
Publication Date: September 29, 2004
Classic New Yorker articles by A.J. Liebling on the “sweet science of bruising” vividly depict the past of boxing.

The Sweet Science chronicles the major occasions of boxing’s heyday in America, including Sugar Ray Robinson’s stunning comeback, Rocky Marciano’s ascent to fame, and Joe Louis’ regrettable slide.


12. Cinderella Man – James J. Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset In Boxing History

Jeremy Schaap 
Publication Date: January 1, 2005
This actual Depression-era tale of a defeated fighter’s stunning comeback is a “delight,” according to the New York Times bestseller.

A once-promising light heavyweight, James J. Braddock. The Great Crash of 1929, however, coincided with a streak of defeats in the ring and a damaged right hand, forcing Braddock to work on the Hoboken docks.


13. Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran

Christian Giudice
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Christian Guidice, an American journalist, has now authored the first and final account of Duran’s amazing life, both within and outside of the ring.

Duran grew up in the streets of Panama, where he was born and raised in abject poverty. His skill with the hands quickly became apparent, and in 1967 he engaged in his first professional fight. He developed into a fighter’s fighter, famed for his agility, hardness, talent, and appetite for conflict more than anything else.


14. Smokin’ Joe: The Autobiography of a Heavyweight Champion of the World, Smokin’ Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier & Phil Berger
Publication Date: January 1, 1996
Joe Frazier was king as the Heavyweight Champion of the World during a time when boxing was brash, colorful, and glamorous and the fights were the most anticipated sporting events of the year. He ruled from 1970 to 1973.

Joe Frazier, a gentleman and tough fighter who is well-known, adored, and beloved, speaks candidly in Smokin’ Joe about his upbringing in poverty, competing in the first $2.5 million fight, and his early friendship with Muhammad Ali and how that connection developed.


15. The Art of the Sweet Science: Boxing Training for the Body and Mind

Shahan Dudayev
Publication Date: May 27, 2021
The boxing book The Art of the Sweet Science delves deeply into the psychological and physical facets of boxing training.

The book is organized into three sections that offer advice on boxing techniques, tactics, and mentality. You may read about all the training methods that boxers employ to become in fighting shape in the section on boxing training.


16. The Last Great Fight: The Extraordinary Tale of Two Men and How One Fight Changed Their Lives Forever

Joe Layden
Publication Date: October 2, 2007
The secret tale of an epic battle and the two soldiers who would never be the same again is superbly written and well-researched.

The knockout of then-unbeaten Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson in the tenth round by James “Buster” Douglas in 1990, when Tyson was dominant and terrifying, is regarded by many as the biggest upset in boxing history.


17. John L. Sullivan and His America (Sport and Society)

Michael T. Isenberg
Publication Date: July 1, 1994
Isenberg explains why, despite criticism for his inebriated and combative behavior from others, presidents, monarchs, and turn-of-the-century Americans regarded Sullivan as a hero.

Michael Isenberg chronicles Sullivan’s turbulent life from his modest Boston beginnings to the pinnacle of his enormous popularity. The fighter moved as effortlessly in the world of respectable workingmen as he did in the underworld on the periphery of the sport, and his success was a crucial factor in turning boxing into a successful and ultimately lawful industry.


18. Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson

Wil Haygood
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Another insightful socio-historical tale of the twentieth century by the author of the critically acclaimed In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr., this one centered on one of the most recognizable figures in the fight game, Sugar Ray Robinson.

One of sports’ most recognizable superstars and perhaps the best boxer of all time was Sugar Ray Robinson. His illustrious career lasted over 26 years and featured close to 200 professional fights along with his titles as the world’s middleweight and welterweight champion.


19. In the Ring with Bob Fitzsimmons

Adam J. Pollack
Publication Date: December 1, 2007
The third volume in Adam Pollack’s trilogy on the heavyweight champions of the gloved era is now available. The first pound-for-pound great in boxing, Bob Fitzsimmons first won the middleweight world championship before moving up to the heavyweight division.

Fitzsimmons, who only weighed 158 pounds, was able to defeat heavyweights by combining cunning technique and deadly power! Fitzsimmons’ boxing career is meticulously and thoroughly documented in this book using numerous local primary sources from New Zealand, Australia, and America.


20. Rocky Marciano: The Rock of His Times (Sport and Society)

Russell Sullivan 
Publication Date: August 1, 2002
Rocky Marciano’s status as a symbol and cultural icon of his time is confirmed by Russell Sullivan in this engrossing and nuanced picture of an American sports star.

Rocky Marciano is the first book to set the boxer in the context of his times. It is spirited, quick-paced, and detailed. Sullivan investigates how Marciano’s career reflected the glamour and scandal of boxing as well as the tone of his times by capturing his physical triumphs against the vibrant backdrop of the 1950s fight scene.


21. Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler

Randy Roberts 
Publication Date: June 5, 2003
Roberts describes how this record was created, giving details about Dempsey’s forays into Hollywood, the controversy surrounding his alleged draft-dodging, his lengthy post-retirement life, and his enduring reputation as one of the greatest boxers in history.

Randy Roberts chronicles the life and career of a guy widely considered one of the fiercest competitors in history in this sharp, fast-paced biography. He goes into detail on Dempsey’s move from amateur boxing to professional boxing, as well as how his reputation for quick, savage knockouts began to grow.


22. Mental Combat: The Sports Psychology Secrets You Can Use to Dominate Any Event! (Martial Arts, Fitness, Boxing MMA, etc)

Phil Pierce
Publication Date: August 6, 2015
It is obvious that you require the correct kind of system in addition to a system in general. A super-simple, step-by-step manual for releasing the power of your brain is also included, in addition to the science underlying mental toughness.

Phil Pierce had the good fortune to collaborate with some of the top specialists in the world as a successful author, martial arts instructor, and fitness trainer. The Author developed simple strategies that everyone may utilize with ease after receiving advice from leading educators and academics. sports like boxing, MMA, and martial arts to fitness enthusiasts, runners, and gymgoers.


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