The War: Hagler-Hearns and Three Rounds for the Ages - Hamilcar Publications

The War: Hagler-Hearns and Three Rounds for the Ages

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“There are books about boxing. There are books about the 1980s. But I’ve never been transported into those worlds quite like I have for The War. In Hagler and Hearns, Stradley has two powerful–and underexplored–protagonists that he utilizes expertly as the book moves inexorably toward the greatest ten minutes in the history of sports. A total triumph.”—Dave Zirin, author of The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World

The battle between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns is remembered as one of the greatest fights of all time. But in the months before the two finally collided on April 15, 1985, there was a feeling in the air that boxing was in trouble. The biggest name in the business, Sugar Ray Leonard, was retired with no logical replacement in sight, while the American Medical Association was calling for a ban on the sport.

With Hagler–Hearns looking like boxing’s last hurrah, promoter Bob Arum embarked on one the most audacious publicity campaigns in history, hyping the bout until the entire country was captivated. Arum’s task was difficult. He’d spent years trying and failing to make Hagler a star, while Hearns was a gifted but inconsistent performer. Could Arum possibly get a memorable fight out of these two moody, unpredictable warriors?

The Hagler–Hearns fight is now part of history, but The War by Don Stradley explores the many factors behind the event, and how it helped establish what many feel was boxing’s greatest era. With additional commentary from many who were there, Stradley shows the unlikely path taken by two fighters searching for greatness. They didn’t care how many punches they endured, as long as it led to stardom. When the fight was over, however, each learned that fame inflicted its own kind of damage.

Details

  • Publication Date: September 14, 2020
  • Author: Don Stradley
  • Edition: 1st
  • Availability: World
  • ISBN: 9781949590371
  • Page Count: 264
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dimensions: 6″ X 9″
  • List Price: $29.99 | £22.99 GBP
  • Distribution: Two Rivers

 

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Author

Don Stradley is the author of Berserk: The Shocking Life and Death of Edwin Valero (Hamilcar Publications), Slaughter in the Streets: When Boston Became Boxing’s Murder Capital (Hamilcar Publications), Fistful of Murder : The Fights and Crimes of Carlos Monzon (Hamilcar Publications), Schooled, a dual biography of Lebron James and Jim Morris (Scholastic), and a chapter in The Ultimate Book of Boxing Lists by Bert Sugar and Teddy Atlas. Stradley is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in publications, including The Ring, Ringside Seat, and ESPN.com. Along with his boxing coverage, he’s written about baseball, NASCAR, and professional wrestling. When not writing about sports, he’s written about the movies for such magazines as Cinema Retro and Noir City.

Praise

“…The War stands on its own as an excellent recounting of a landmark fight…Stradley hits his stride in describing the scene in Las Vegas in the days leading up to the fight…[and] the scene on fight day is particularly well told…The saga of Hagler-Hearns is a good story and Stradley tells it well. The War ends with a nod to the future. Hagler-Hearns made Hagler vs. Ray Leonard inevitable. But there’s also a poignant nod to the past.” —Thomas Hauser, Boxing News

“There are books about boxing. There are books about the 1980s. But I’ve never been transported into those worlds quite like I have for The War. In Hagler and Hearns, Stradley has two powerful–and underexplored–protagonists that he utilizes expertly as the book moves inexorably toward the greatest ten minutes in the history of sports. A total triumph.”—Dave Zirin, author of The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World

“I’ve called fights that were genuinely memorable as athletic competition and involved Hall-of-Fame-quality talent, but they weren’t profoundly violent. Self-protection is a professional responsibility in prizefighting. But sometimes the genie escapes the bottle and truly great fighters go to war—GO TO WAR—and the result is breathtaking and shocking, scary and unforgettable, appalling and inspiring. That has never been more true than on the night Marvelous Marvin Hagler fought Thomas Hearns. Don Stradley’s book vividly brings those three blood-curdling rounds back to life.”—Jim Lampley, boxing blow-by-blow professional and member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame

“As the climax of the early 1980s boxing renaissance, the explosive clash between Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns has intrigued fans for nearly forty years. In The War, Don Stradley vibrantly captures the glitz, glamour, and grit of a golden age when America paused for a prizefight between men who may have only been middleweights, but who were bigger than life all the same. While The War is an extended character study of two distinct personalities and how their search for distinction led them to a sporting firestorm on an unforgettable Spring night in 1985, it is also a panoramic narrative of the surreal milieu of boxing during the outlandish “greed is good” decade. With color and verve, Stradley sends the reader back to the gaudy era that produced one of the most memorable and thrilling fights in history.”—Carlos Acevedo, author of Sporting Blood: Tales from the Dark Side of Boxing

“Don Stradley is one of the best chroniclers of boxing’s big moments. In The War, he lives up to his reputation. The inside view of the Hagler–Hearns fight has never been captured on this scale. This book needed to be done, and the details and insights regarding this remarkable match—and the two men who made it special —are related brilliantly. This fight means a lot to me personally, so I’m glad its story is finally being fully told and told so well.”—Al Bernstein, Showtime boxing analyst and member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame