“’The first time I walked in the door—I’ll never forget it. Again, I’m an early teen, I’m just going in to join and I remember I walked in and for whatever reason, it was basically empty that day. There was one guy on the heavy bag that Mr. [Floyd] Logan was workin’ with, somebody was jumpin’ rope. Michael Moorer was hittin’ the speed bag, and it sounded like a .50-caliber machine gun, he’s just banging away. Well, the heat, the energy, the electricity, the intimidation, you know, you’re just overcome by all the fuckin’ emotion and feelings.’ Lepak expects you to intuit the deeper meaning in his description. Most people wouldn’t. For many, walking into a boxing gym is a mostly olfactory experience made familiar by the activities and apparati from this or that boxing movie. But a gym is redolent of something greater, and, even if he couldn’t articulate it at the time, Lepak knew it.”

Read Red and Gold: The Apprenticeship of John Lepak on Hannibal Boxing.

IBR on Hannibal Boxing

“You remember his stoppage of Howard Eastman, the counter right hand that stiffened “The Battersea Bomber” like a tetanus victim. Bernard Hopkins couldn’t stop Eastman, neither could Arthur Abraham. Miranda banged him out in seven rounds. Willie Gibbs fared worse. Miranda hit him so hard Gibb’s corner had to bend the fighter’s legs for him so he could take his stool after being knocked out in the first round. There was Miranda’s knockout of David Banks on Friday Night Fights, too. Remember the way Banks lay hung up in the ropes like a pair of sneakers in a telephone line? One right hand did that.”

Read Dream to Make Believe: The Impossible Life of Edison Miranda on Hannibal Boxing.

IBR on Hannibal Boxing

“Williams brings to mind a line from Don DeLillo’s End Zone: “Words move the body into position. In time the position itself dictates events.” People downplay their troubles for many reasons: to convince themselves those troubles are smaller than they are, for example; or to deter others from offering support; sometimes they do it to hide vulnerability. Williams isn’t doing any of those things. He is speaking himself into position, using his words to set a standard his actions must achieve, not downplaying his troubles but not exaggerating them either. In that position, with that perspective, Williams can act.”

Read The Giant: Paul Williams is Still Making Moves on Hannibal Boxing.