Cover image for Boxing in black and white
Boxing in black and white
Bacho, Peter.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : H. Holt and Co., [1999]

Physical Description:
122 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Text and photographs present some of the notable heavyweight boxing matches of the twentieth century, featuring such fighters as Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1121 .B23 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"Boxing's like an addiction, it just gets in the blood." - Bobby Howard, trainer and ex-middleweight fighterPunch-by punch accounts of key heavyweight fights involving such champions as Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Joe Frazier, and Muhammad Ali reveal the passion and danger of the ring, as well as the impact of what happens there.Peter Bacho makes his living as an author and professor of Asian-American literature, but throughout his life he has been a fight fan, a fighter, a trainer, and a student of boxing. It is those personal experiences that frame this book. Then, while taking readers through the action in the most thrilling prize fights of the century, he shows how those bouts defined the racial and social tension of their times.

Author Notes

Peter Bacho is a winner of the American Book Award and several Washington State awards for his adult fiction. A professor at the University of Washington, this is his first book for young readers. He lives in his native Seattle.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. This highly personal look at the intersection between boxing and race relations is part reflection, part standard history, and part sociology. Bacho profiles a number of professional fighters, beginning with 1926 Filipino champ Sammy Santos and ending with the legendary Muhammad Ali. The thread of race runs unevenly throughout the book. The chapter on the Dempsey-Tunney bouts, for example, mentions race only in a few paragraphs dedicated to comparing the pairing of Dempsey and Tunney with the pairing of Tyson and Holyfield. It's Bacho's sports writing that really holds the book together. His ability to differentiate the strategies and styles of a range of athletes and make them understandable is what will keep readers engaged. Bacho's own story about the impact nonwhite boxers such as Santos and Sugar Ray Robinson had on the members of his Filipino American family, who were not always made welcome in the U.S., will feel familiar to many readers. --Randy Meyer

Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-This look at some of the most important boxing matches of the 20th century has considerable potential value for its intended audience but is hampered by organizational problems. The book begins and ends with profiles of individuals who are, or at one time were, involved in the Seattle-area boxing scene. These sections will be of limited interest to most young people. In between, however, are vivid and insightful accounts of matches that had profound significance not only for the world of boxing but also for society at large. Race is the theme that ties these chapters together and Bacho does an excellent job of demonstrating how black and white fighters came to symbolize the hopes and fears of the larger society. Jim Jeffries, for example, was widely touted as the standard-bearer for white America against the "uppity" black, Jack Johnson. Muhammad Ali, like Johnson, was vilified for flouting the values of white society. Joe Louis, on the other hand, was revered for his humble public persona. For the manner in which it shows how sports reflect society, this section of the book constitutes a significant contribution to this subject.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.