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”.

Boxing: Robinson pips Ali as fighter of century

LEGENDS OF THE RING British fighters given scant regard as Sugar Ray's championship record eclipses world's greatest heavyweight

Muhammad Ali is a hero - but not just in the ring

`It would be daft to adore Ali for his speed in the ring but take no interest in his ideas'

Boxing: Tyson link puts Francis in front line

MENTION THE name of Mike Tyson and people take notice. The British heavyweight champion Julius Francis was not on the BBC's guest list for Sunday night's Sports Personality of the Year Awards - until Friday, when he was linked with Tyson in the national press.

TALES OF THE DRAGON

For millions, he was bigger than Muhammad Ali, bigger than the Beatles. For Davis Miller, though, Bruce Lee was more than just an icon. In this excerpt from his new biography, Miller explains Lee's impact on his life and asks two crucial questions: what killed the king of martial arts and was he really the greatest fighter ever?

Books for Christmas: Sport - Float like a butterfly, sting like a fee

AS MUHAMMAD Ali's powers decline, his place in the affections of the sporting public seems ever more secure. The Ali publishing industry was kick-started by Thomas Hauser's peerless oral biography at the start of the decade, and as Ali steps up to receive the numerous Sportsman of the Century awards coming his way, it is appropriate that two of the best sports books of 1999 concern the man and his times. Mike Marqusee's Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties (Verso, pounds 17) is as much about the times as the man. Ali may be everyone's hero now, but for a large part of his career, and in spite of foreign supporters, most of his fellow-Americans despised this draft- dodging, uppity black Muslim. Marqusee's exhaustively detailed book sets him against a backdrop of civil rights, Malcolm X, Vietnam and all the rest of that giddy decade.

Sports Book Of The Year: Ferguson gives way in heavyweight market place

Populist titles have failed to attract judges seeking the blend of quality, originality and readability

SPORT AWARDS: Pele and Ali are honoured

SPORT AWARDS:

Cricket: Elegant evidence of greatest feats

Stephen Brenkley finds monumental support for the status of Bradman

FOX'S 20TH CENTURY: 1960-65: Arnold Palmer By Norman Fox

DIFFICULT THOUGH it is to claim that anyone apart from Cassius Clay, later Muhammad Ali, was the outstanding world sportsman of the early and mid-Sixties, a personal view is that the sport he dominated with such athletic skill remains one without justification: the only one in which the most lauded margin of victory (the knockout) threatens brain damage and death.

Books: The motormouth progenitor of rap

I'm a Little Bit Special: A Muhammed Ali Reader edited by Gerald Early Yellow Jersey Press pounds 8

Arts: Ken Kesey gets back on the bus

The Merry Pranksters finally reach the UK, 35 years after the first acid road trip. By Michael Collins

TOP 10 BOOKS

TOP 10 BOOKS

When mind games amount to conduct unbecoming

NO ETHIC in sport has suffered so spectacular a decline as respect for the opposition, which had its happiest days when the impulse to take up a game was not necessarily the impulse to make a great deal of money. Verbal intimidation is not something that has recently risen up but we have reached a sorry state when the cricketers of England and New Zealand cannot be relied upon for conduct becoming to their status.

Book of the Week: Rope Burns: One Man's Reluctant Obsession with Boxing

Rope Burns: One Man's Reluctant
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