Synopses & Reviews
Their names are legendary: Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hit Man Hearns, and Roberto Duran. They were exceptional boxers with unique combinations of power and speed. In another era, with few rivals of equal caliber, each might have held championship belts for years on end. But as it was, they matured together in the 1980s and fought each other as middleweights. With unforgettable courage and skill, they ruled the ring and ushered in the last Golden Age of boxing.
George Kimball takes an authoritative look at the rivalries that fueled this great era in sports history. Veteran sports journalist Kimball reported on every one of the Four Kings nine internecine fights. Here his eye-witness coverage is enhanced by recent interviews with each of the boxers and other seasoned analysts. The result is a fast-paced, blow-by-blow account of four extraordinary adversaries and a remarkable boxing epoch.
Chosen for Booklist Online's 10 Top Sports Books of 2009
"Kimball's accounts of the fights are riveting blow-by-blows, the 'big event' context is palpably rendered, and each of the fighters reemerges from the mists of memory as colorful and compelling as ever. Boxing fans . . . will savor Kimball's work." Booklist
"Boxing's last Golden Age gets the book it deserves. Kimball's breezy, detail-packed book . . . provides vivid, knowledgeable accounts of the action. He also draws clear colorful portraits of [the] four fighters." Sports Illustrated
"Four Kings is a thriller and George Kimball a prince among sportswriters . . . an epic poem of a book, a book that lifts the heart." Frank McCourt, author, Angela's Ashes,'Tis, and Teacher Man
"A a terrific book. Kimball was there and never missed a moment of it. His account of the fighters, the fights and the colorful supporting players is rich with insights and details." Vincent Patrick, author, The Pope of Greenwich Village and Family Business
"Very accurate and well-researched . . . a phenomenon . . . well-written. I couldn't put it down. I loaned it to a friend and he won't give it back" Emanuel Steward, World Champion Boxing trainer
"Sugar" Ray Leonard, "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler, Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns, and Roberto Duran all formed the pantheon of boxing greats during the late 1970s and early 1980sbefore the pay-per-view model, when prize fights were telecast on network television and still captured the nation's attention. Championship bouts during this era were replete with revenge and fury, often pitting one of these storied fighters against another. From training camps to locker rooms, veteran sports journalist George Kimball was there to cover every body shot, uppercut, and TKO. Inside stories, including recent interviews of each of the boxers, are full of drama, sacrifice, fear, and pain, resulting in a fast-paced, blow-by-blow account of four extraordinary adversaries and a remarkable boxing epoch.
About the Author
George Kimball spent a quarter-century as a sports columnist for the Boston Herald. In 1985 he was awarded the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America. He was an eyewitness to all nine of the bouts between the Four Kings and has covered nearly 400 world title fights in a four-decade sports writing career.