Commentator Gerald Early tells us why he was unsatisfied with "When We Were Kings" the Oscar-award winning documentary about the classic showdown between Muhammad Ali and George Forman in 1974 in Zaire.
At age 46, Foreman still retains the title. He is presently a preacher, community leader and dedicated child advocate. His new book By George: The Autobiography of George Foreman (Villard Books) written with Joel Engel, reveals the man behind the champion.
Writer Thom Jones was a boxer in the Marines in the mid-1960s. He was supposed to ship out to Vietnam, but he suffered an epileptic seizure, which he believes was caused by too many punches to the head. So instead of shipping out, he was thrown out. The rest of his unit did go to Vietnam, where they were ambushed and killed. Jones turned to writing, but couldn't get anything published, so he became a high school janitor. He is finally experiencing literary success this year with the publication of his collection of short stories "The Pugilist At Rest" (Little, Brown).
Salas is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels. His new book, "Buffalo Nickel," is a novelistic autobiography. Salas's mother died when he was 11 and he was left in the primary care of his two older brothers, Al, a Golden Gloves champion, and Eddy, a college student. Al became involved with drugs and crime; Eddy committed suicide.
Owen Gleiberman reviews the latest in the Rocky franchise. Directed by John G. Avildsen, Gleiberman says it tries to recapture the innocence and humanity of the original, but never quite reaches its goal.
Author Jose Torres. His new book, Fire and Fear, charts the personal turmoil and the athletic rise of heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. Torres comes to the Tyson story well qualified: he's the former world light heavyweight boxing champion (his lifetime record was 52-3-1), and he trained with the same man who trained Mike Tyson. Since retiring, Torres has served as the New York state boxing commissioner and written a biography of Mohammad Ali titled Sting Like A Bee.
The book Geek Love is about carnival performers who intentionally take drugs during pregnancy in order to give birth to deformed children. Author Katherine Dunn says she used deformity as a metaphor to make a larger point about body image and disability.
Novelist and essayist Harry Crews. His nine novels include All We Need is Hell and The Gospel Singer. Oftentimes, the main characters of Crews' works are outsiders; The central character of Crews' most recent work, titled The Knockout Artist, is a boxer who specializes in knocking himself out. Crews' three works of nonfiction include the autobiography A Childhood, Blood and Grits, and Florida Frenzy.
Sportswriter and HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant. He discusses the world of boxing, the disintegration of neighborhood boxing clubs in the big cities and how television has changed the image of the boxer and the audience response.
Photographer Bruce Weber, who does the fashion ads for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. He recently finished a documentary movie about young boxers. It's titled "Broken Noses" and opens at the upcoming New York Film Forum.
The novelist's new nonfiction book is a meditation on the violent, intense sport, which her father exposed her to when she was a child. Despite her interest in boxing, Oates finds it difficult to watch live fights.