BOOK REVIEWTracy Callis and Kelly NicholsonJOE GANS By Colleen Aycock and Mark Scott
There is good news for fans of boxing’s first African-American world champion, Joe Gans. The "Old Master" ruled the lightweight division in the early years of the twentieth century and resides even now, a century after his death, in the highest echelon of the all-time divisional rankings. Authors Colleen Aycock and Mark Scott have put together the most thorough and meticulously researched volume on this fighter to date – a volume that will kindle in the reader an admiration of its wayfaring hero. It is the story of an athlete of talent and character who rose to meet the challenges - not only of his profession, but of the systemic injustices that were rife in his time. Splendid prose, detailed chapter subheading and an extensive index make this book a must-have for students of boxing’s Golden Age.
The authors have been writing together for several years now and have produced a number of short stories having to do with boxing. Their short stories have been popular in Japan and they are currently working on a second book about the Ragtime era fighters.
Colleen’s interest in boxing was inspired by her father’s career in the ring. He was a professional fighter during the Depression, fighting in South Texas, Mexico, and San Francisco. Mark’s interest comes from his career as an amateur boxer in his youth.
The authors had heard old-timers talk about the career and phenomenal ring skills of the great Joe Gans, yet they were faced with a scarcity of information about his life, and what they did find seemed contradictory, even mysterious. Their knowledge of boxing history and the trials blacks faced in Jim Crow America enabled them to tackle the huge task of putting together an accurate and interesting account of Gans’ ring experiences and to explain the more controversial events in his life.
Colleen earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California, specializing in rhetoric and writing. She worked as an executive editor for two magazines while living in Austin, Texas and, while living in Washington, D.C., worked as a writer for the United States Capitol Historical Society. She and her husband reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Mark is a novelist and former golden gloves fighter from Austin, Texas. His short fiction appears regularly in Scars publications and other magazines. He is a CPA and holds a Masters degree in Business Administration.
This book is interesting and informative. It is a must read for die-hard historians and fans.
To order this very detailed book, visit the website www.amazon.com
Joe Gans Colleen Aycock Mark Scott
Callis description --
Gans was one of the all-time ring greats; He had fast hands and was quick on his feet like a cat; On offense, he hit with both hands but mostly utilized a long, straight left accompanied by a stiff right; He also had a great left hook; According to oldtimers, he threw nearly every punch perfectly
On defense, he guarded himself well; His quickness and ducking ability made him a difficult target to strike; News accounts assert that nobody was better at picking off punches
Nat Fleischer ranked Gans as the #1 All-Time Lightweight; Charley Rose ranked him as the #2 All-Time Lightweight; Herb Goldman ranked him as the #2 All-Time Lightweight; Gans was elected to the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990
Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization