After pursuing an unplanned career in journalism, Chris Jones is assigned as a sports reporter to cover the professional boxing circuit for the Toronto National Post. During his first year of writing, he chronicles the events associated with seven major boxing matches, including two bouts between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield. During the year, Chris Jones finds himself at Muhammad Ali’s birthday party, in the demeaning presence of promoter Don King, and near the corner of Mike Tyson.
Jones writes clearly and crisply, divulging numerous insights and sidebars accumulated through careful research about each fight he covers. He records a pattern of undermining of many boxing athletes by selfish, abasing managers and promoters. Not only are there interesting tidbits about some contemporary fighters and champions, but also about former champions, such as Sonny Liston and Muhammad Ali.
Although some readers will not like his approach, Jones not only covers the boxing events, but reveals his own inner feelings, his lack of experience and knowledge about boxing and writing, and his trepidations and disappointments with professional boxing. The sport can be very exciting at one moment and disgustingly depressing at the next. Jones learns quickly that he cannot believe most of the things that he is told by others and has to be very careful about his sources of information. Through it all, Jones develops a keen interest for the intrigue of the boxing world and a love for many of the people associated with it, particularly some of the fighters. However, after one year, he is reassigned to cover baseball for the Post, but he still maintains an active interest in boxing.