Boxing Book Review – The Duke: The Life and Times of Tommy Morrison

Luke G. Williams Review Carlos Acevedo’s gripping biography of tragic heavyweight hero Tommy Morrison…

Before this review goes into the device, full disclosure is required. I had previously written a book on Ike Ibeabuchi for Hamilcar, the publisher of Carlos Acevedo’s ‘Duke’, although I had never spoken or corresponded with Acevedo himself.

Hamilcar specializes in boxing but has also recently branched out into music and true crime titles. ‘The Duke’, which combines boxing, crime and – to some extent – music (Morrison is an avid Elvis fan) – is therefore, in many respects, a typical Hamilcar title, episode focuses on a turbulent, controversial and tragic character. from the sport’s past (Johnny Tapia, Carlos Monzon, Arturo Gatti, Oscar Bonavena and, yes, the aforementioned Ibeabuchi are among the subjects of other Hamilcar titles).

The ‘Duke’ possessed countless virtues. As one would expect from Acevedo, the text is full of dramatic stylistic flourishes, the prose often raspy and slick, without sacrificing self-consciousness or egotism.

The first paragraph of the book provides a sample of Acevedo at its best, and gives a good idea of ​​the tone and tenor of the entire book:

“Yes, there is sickness, but there is another kind of darkness, the kind of sassy American Dream, on back roads, through fields of ha tho wu, difficult by Quick Stop or Sonic. Under the black and starless sky. Kind of. Why not? After all, Tommy Morrison was in trouble at a young age. Damn, maybe he was born with a spotlight. “

Acevedo’s portrait of Morrison is bleak, but comprehensive and well-balanced. The book’s pacing is the shortest of the three that engage the reader and keep you from putting the book down. The book also packs a heavy emotional punch like one of Morrison’s famous left hooks.

Acevedo’s archival research is impressively deep and solid rock. If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s the low number of interviews he did for the book – just three, according to his own sources. Acevedo’s explanation is that “because so many of his acquaintances (including family members, professional contacts, and exes) come from similarly trustworthy backgrounds, it’s difficult to find out what’s going on,” he said. to get someone talking about Morrison.”

Quite interesting, but it will be interesting to hear new, fresh and exclusive insights from a wide range of people involved in Morrison’s life, especially now that we are almost a decade since that. his death.

However, this warning aside, ‘The Duke’ is a fun and engaging read and I doubt that any other boxing work released this year will match or surpass it.

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