BUY THE BOOK
North Point Press
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781466800472320 Pages
A gritty, spirited inside look at the world of amateur boxing today
The Golden Gloves tournament is center stage in amateur boxing-a single-elimination contest in which young hopefuls square off in steamy gyms with the boxing elite looking on.
Robert Anasi took up boxing in his twenties to keep in shape, attract women, and sharpen his knuckles for the odd bar fight. He thought of entering "the Gloves," but put it off. Finally, at age thirty-two-his last year of eligibility-he vowed to fight, although he was an old man in a sport of teenagers and a light man who had to be even lighter (125 pounds) to fight others his size.
So begins Anasi's obsessive preparation for the Golden Gloves. He finds Milton, a wily and abusive trainer, and joins Milton's "Supreme Team": a black teenager who used to deal guns in Harlem, a bus driver with five kids, a hard-hitting woman champion who becomes his sparring partner. Meanwhile, he observes the changing world of amateur boxing, in which investment bankers spar with ex-convicts and everyone dreads a fatal blow to the head. With the Supreme Team, he goes to the tournament, whose outcome, it seems, is rigged, like so much in boxing life today.
Robert Anasi tells his story not as a journalist on assignment but as a man in the midst of one of the great adventures of his life. The Gloves, his first book, has the feel of a contemporary classic.
* 1 *
A WAY OF LIFE
The gym becomes a way of life. Arrive on 14th Street at 5:30 P.M., and there might be a few fighters left from the first wave, the ones too young for day jobs, the ones who work...
Praise for The Gloves
“A dying blook sport is reincarnated as a metaphor for redemption under flawed circumstances.” —Nita Rao, The Village Voice
“Robert Anasi . . . can turn a phrase as clean as a neatly wrapped fist.” —Stephanie Zacharek, Newsday
“As gripping as any Arctic chronicle . . . As the author's boxing skills increase he turns his attention to his sparring partners and fellow gym rats . . . and makes a rough lyric out of their hard lives.” —The New Yorker
“[A book] as good as any I've read about the sport.” —George Plimpton
In the Press
At the exact hour on February 12, 2012 that I was supposed to be ferrying the manuscript for The Last Bohemia to the FSG offices, I was puking into the toilet of my Greenpoint sublet. Dubious Chinese and sleep deprivation were to blame. After peeling my hands off the tile, I scrubbed my teeth, got dressed, and made my way to the subway. I felt like a human bruise. - FSG's Work in Progress