Just published as an e-book on Amazon, Kobo and Google Play is the illuminating new boxing history, Black & White: The Birth of Modern Boxing by Brian Dobbs.
Through its richly illustrated 900 pages, Dobbs recreates the extraordinary years of the early twentieth century when boxing moved from obscurity to the world’s most popular sport. Meticulous research into long forgotten files, records and newspapers reveals a sport racked with controversies and disfigured by racial prejudice.
Dobbs captures the triumphs and disasters of Britons like Jimmy Wilde, Jim Driscoll and Ted Kid Lewis, and Americans like Jack Dempsey and Jack Johnson.
He does not duck important questions: Is boxing really legal? How is it that black boxers were officially banned from British title fights? What made major US cities erupt into riots? What did boxing mean to ethnic minorities and immigrant communities?
Did prominent politicians and officials in the UK and the USA behave dishonourably when confronted with the unprecedented popularity of the sport? Could support for boxing rob a man of a presidential nomination? How come the whole world came to follow the big fights? Who were these fighters who became household names?
The renowned boxing historian, Elliott J Gorn, author of the classic text The Manly Art: The Lives and Time of the Great Bare-knuckle Champions writes about the book, “If you are a boxing fan or a student of sport, this book is for you. Brian Dobbs poured a lifetime of research into his splendid new study.
“Dobbs’ focus is on the golden age of prize fighting, between the reigns of Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey, when the ring became the preeminent sport of the English-speaking world. Along the way, Dobbs shows us how boxing’s rules changed from the old bare-knuckle days into the modern glove era, how race and ethnicity were always present in the alchemy of the ring, and of how prize fights became the grand spectacles of the early twentieth century. Boxing has always attracted some of the best writing in sports, and Black and White is a worthy addition.”
About the author: Brian Dobbs is the author of a number of books on sport and other subjects. He was Art Editor of World Sports and has written for several magazines and newspapers. His acquaintance with boxing began when staying up with his father to hear Freddie Mills, Bruce Woodcock and Joe Louis fights on the radio.