Sport Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing by Donald McRae

This last week I started reading three recent boxing autobiographies or biographies, but didn’t get far with any of them. They weren’t awful, but weren’t good either – plodding, literally blow-by-blow accounts offering little insight into the moral, emotional and financial complexities of what Mike Tyson has memorably called “the hurt business”.

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Boxing: Pacquiao named boxer of decade

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Brian Ashton: And now for Something Completely Different...

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Yusuf, National Indoor Arena, Birmingham <br/>My Life Story, Koko, London

At 61, his voice can still break you to pieces, while a nearly band from the '90s are already ripe for revival

Winning At All Costs, by Paul Gogarty & Ian Williamson

"I blame the parents" goes the cliché, and in their exploration of what psychological forces make great sporting heroes great, the authors – a journalist and a children's analyst – seem to agree. The core of their book is the proposition that a desire to please their mother and vanquish rivals for her affections, be it father, siblings or others, is what drives most sportsmen on; their sporting opponents are surrogate foes (for women, substitute father for mother).

Players, by Tim Harris

Tim Harris doesn't do short books. After his huge, and hugely impressive, 'Sport: Almost Everything You Ever Wanted To Know', comes another doorstopper, 628 pages featuring mini-biographies of 250 men, women and animals who transformed sport. He divides these into three categories: the 'Rulers', who achieved new levels of skill; the 'Rogues', scammers and dopers who looked for ways to circumvent rules; and the 'Revolutionaries', who devised new tactics or techniques.

My View From The Corner, by Angelo Dundee

The name Angelo Dundee is inextricably linked with another, Muhammad Ali. In his 50-plus years in boxing, Dundee has worked as a trainer and corner man with 15 world champions, but his association with Ali, who approached him as a teenage amateur called Cassius Clay, is what has given him fame.

Brian Ashton: Anything is possible if you play without fear

Tackling the issues

A swag bag of Warhol

An art heist to rival a blockbuster movie has foxed LA police. Rachel Shields reports on the audacious theft of images of the 20th century's most famous sporting names

Paul Vallely: Oirish emigré? What a load of Paddywhack

Reflections on Muhammad Ali's 'return' to Co Clare

Ready to party: Notting Hill hub is back

A venue used by the Stones and Pink Floyd before it fell into disrepair is restored to its former glory in time to shine at the carnival.

The Last Word: Britain's muted farewell to the poet of pugilism

It's a crying shame that Ali's final visit to the UK will leave us with memories of decline rather than glory

Inside Lines: Hoey: Time we stopped this bar on women at London's Games

The former sports minister Kate Hoey has called for the International Olympic Committee to issue an ultimatum to Saudi Arabia over its refusal to allow its women to compete in the London Olympics.

Rhoda Koenig: Ban women's boxing &ndash; and men's too

I cannot share this enthusiasm for 'girl power' or 'ladies who punch'

Great Sporting Moments: Muhammad Ali v George Foreman, World Heavyweight title fight, Kinshasa, Zaire, 30 October, 1974

One was a huge and apparently invincible ogre. The other was past his best, with question-marks over his stamina &ndash; and, some said, over his ability to survive the beating that awaited him. No one could have imagined what really lay in store, when Foreman faced Ali in Zaire. Ken Jones was there.
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