"Flesh and Blood" is a powerful story. For one thing, Mr. Hamill's boxing material seems unusually savvy and authentic, though it's hard to say whether this is a purely technical achievement or the result of Mr. Hamill's having thinly disguised several actual figures in the profession…. Whatever the case, the boxing passages are a good deal more sophisticated than they are in most fiction of this sort. For once we can really believe it when Caputo tells his young charge, "You're not a fighter. You're a bum. An Irish bum … But I can make you a fighter." And he does. (p. C29)
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, in The New York Times (© 1977 by The New York Times Company; reprinted with permission), November 18, 1977.