Book review: The Aura Of Boxing by Max Kandhola (with an essay by Professor David Scott)


The Aura of Boxing explores the world of the boxing gym, a tough environment in which boxers train their minds and their bodies in preparation for the gruelling challenges of the ring. Max Kandhola powerfully captures the gritty atmosphere of the gym, and the unrelenting physical effort demanded of the boxers in training.

As well as looking at the training environment, Kandhola focuses on three established figures in boxing: Julius Francis, a four-times British Heavyweight and Commonwealth champion, who Kandhola first photographed in 2000 just before his fight with Mike Tyson; Robert McCracken, who won the British Light Middleweight title in 1994 and the Commonwealth title in 1995 – currently McCracken is Performance Director for the British Olympic team, and personal coach to Carl Froch; and Howard “Clakka” Clarke who fought at Madison Square Garden for the IBF Light Middleweight title – he lost, after which his career took a significant nose-dive. He retired in 2007.

Max Kandhola is an established UK photographer who has exhibited widely in Europe and the USA. He is currently Head of Photography at Nottingham Trent University. This is his fourth book.