COMP: Win copies of Ian Probert’s ‘Rope Burns’ and ‘Dangerous’

Pitch 01/11/2016

WBN has teamed up with Pitch Publishing once again to offer readers the chance to win two books published by distinguished writer Ian Probert.

All you have to do is retweet, share or like any of the posts regarding the competition on social media for your chance to win. Three winners of both books will be picked at random before Monday, November 7 and notified via the same method.

Probert’s two books are ‘Rope Burns’ and follow-up ‘Dangerous’:


The critically acclaimed Rope Burns is the true story of what can happen when an obsession takes over your life, sucks you in and spits you back out again.

Set during the world of boxing in the 1980s, it is a tale littered with wasted ambition and shattered hopes; a journey through boxing that begins with the summary execution of Muhammad Ali by Larry Holmes in 1980 and ends with the spectacle of yet another young life battling for survival on the surgeon’s table; as injuries sustained by boxer Michael Watson during his world title fight with Chris Eubank left him fighting for his life. It seeks to answer why a man should risk his life in the ring and why so many are compelled to watch.

Back in print for the first time in 25 years to coincide with the release of Ian Probert’s latest boxing book Dangerous, and updated to include new material, Rope Burns is a cult classic that still inspires writers and fans alike.

In Rope Burns you will discover:
• How Probert went from penniless squatter to national boxing writer in only six months.
• How Probert formed a close friendship with boxer Michael Watson as both their careers took off.
• How Probert gave up writing about boxing when Michael Watson was injured during a world title fight with Chris Eubank.
• How Probert unwittingly tricked boxer Derek Williams into admitting that his fans performed fellatio on him after fights.
• How Probert returned to boxing after a 25-year break, becoming close to boxer Frank Buglioni.



A quarter of a century ago journalist and author Ian Probert decided never to write about boxing again. His decision was prompted by the injuries sustained by boxer Michael Watson during his world title fight with Chris Eubank. Now, in common with so many fighters, Probert is making an inevitable comeback. Dangerous sees Probert return to the scene of an obsession that has gripped him from childhood.

Clinical depression caused by death of his abusive father prompts Probert to retrace his steps in boxing. During an emotional eight-month journey Probert reconnects with boxing figures from his past and in doing so draws unexpected solace from a series of remarkable encounters. In the course of numerous meetings with a number of leading figures in the fight game, including Herol Graham, Steve Collins, Michael Watson, Ambrose Mendy, Frank Buglioni and Glenn McCrory among others, Probert takes a look at how lives have changed, developed and even unravelled during the time he has been away from the sport.

From an illuminating and honest encounter with transgender fight manager Kellie Maloney to an emotional reunion with Watson himself, Probert discovers just how much the sport has changed during his absence. The end result is one of the most fascinating and unusual books ever to have been written about boxing.

Dangerous is no ordinary book on boxing, it is an emotional journey:
• During the writing of the book Probert’s daughter almost dies. In a bizarre coincidence ex-boxer Herol Graham is in the very next hospital ward, also on the brink of death. Probert finds himself caring for both.
• In a deeply emotional meeting with boxer Mark King, Probert discusses the loss of King’s son, who was fatally stabbed in the school playground.
• Probert swaps experiences of depression, alcohol and drug abuse with ex-boxer Glenn McCrory.
• Probert discusses his shared experience of being the victim of child abuse with ex-boxer Herol Graham.
• Probert talks to father and son boxers Alan Minter and Ross Minter, discovering how Ross rescued his famous father back from the brink.
• After initially failing to recognise Probert during a comical first encounter, injured ex-boxer Michael Watson rekindles his once close friendship with the writer.
• Because of the unlikely therapy provided by meeting boxing figures from the past Probert has an emotional meeting with his mother and reveals his childhood abuse to her.