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“Mayorga spent six of his teenage years in a gang, an experience that twice left him looking down the barrel of a gun that miraculously jammed. He is covered in the scars of a person for whom there is only the now—this thrill, this fight, this temptation. But the guns didn’t kill him, the lead pipe that split open his head didn’t, neither did the drag races, the Via de la Suerte, the daily pack of Marlboro Reds. And so why stop? Maybe he thought he was invincible. Maybe he hadn’t succeeded yet.”

Read Vulgar Display of Power: On Ricardo Mayorga on Hannibal Boxing.


“’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.