Saturday 12 July 2014

Book ~ "Chuvalo: A Fighter's Life: The Story of Boxing's Last Gladiator" (2013) George Chuvalo and Murray Greig

From Goodreads ~ From a tough Toronto childhood as the only son of immigrant parents, through a twenty-three-year career that earned him induction into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, to the public tragedies that decimated his family long after the cheering stopped, George Chuvalo tells his life story as only he can. 

Chuvalo traded punches with several all-time greats - Joe Frazier, George Foreman and, most famously, Muhammad Ali (twice) - yet in nearly one hundred bouts, he was never knocked down. But his biggest fight came after he hung up his gloves, when drugs and suicide devastated his family. Chuvalo is both a top-flight boxing memoir and a poignant, hard-hitting story of coping with unimaginable loss.

George Chuvalo is a retired professional heavyweight boxer who fought during the 1960s and 1970s.  He was born in Toronto (not far from my 'hood) to Croatian parents and always called Toronto "home".   George tells us about his childhood and how he became a boxer (he started boxing at about age ten).  He gives information on all his fights, what was going on at the time and, in most cases, what eventually became of the boxers.

He was never knocked down or knocked out in his entire career, not even by big-hitters such as Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Although he never won a world title, he did challenge twice for a world title against Muhammad Ali and went the distance. 

After their first fight in 1966,
Ali said Chuvalo was "the toughest guy I ever fought". 

Chuvalo married Lynn when they were young ... he was 19 and she was 16.  Together they had five children (four boys and a girl).  Three sons eventually became addicted to heroin ... Jesse committed suicide because of it and Georgie Lee and Steve died of overdoses.  Lynn committed suicide four days after Georgie Lee's death.  Because of the tragedies in his life, he created the George Chuvalo Fight Against Drugs and he and his second wife, Joanne, traveled around talking to youth in schools about the effects of drugs and the effects on families.

It was an interesting book and I liked it.  I liked the writing style, which seemed honest and real.  Anyone interested in boxing will enjoy it as they are able relive some the great fights of the past.

There are lots of pictures in the back of the book, some of which Chuvalo refers to as he is telling his story.  Rather than having the pictures in the back, it would have been nice to have them close to their stories.  I read this book on an ereader and it would have been to have easier access to the pictures.

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

This is definitely one the hubby would like.