Why read about boxing books?

Boxing is one of the most-written about of all sports. That’s because the spectacle of two men in the ring is captivating. You might walk past a match on the local tennis court or not look twice at two golfers on the green. But you will not walk past two men taking swings at each other, whether they are in a boxing ring our outside it. Boxing books capture the thrill of the fight but also take us into the lives of fighters, and that gives us a window into the way in which men who box use their masculinity to shape their boxing, or use boxing to shape who they are as men. I examine a lot of biographies and autobiographies about or by boxers, but also a range of works about boxing, its history, and its image today.

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Boxing, boxing books, and masculinity


Allen is a retired professor and active boxer, author of Modern Masculinity, A Guide for Men (2016) and Boxing and Masculinity: Fighting to Find the Whole Man (2022). He has published many books on the Middle Ages.