Hunter In Zaire

By George Plimpton From Shadow Box 2014 I had a number of people to see the next day. I dropped in to see Hunter Thompson. I found him in his room. “I got everything stashed behind the pipes,” he said, after he had peeked out a crack in the door to make sure who I...

The Challenger and the Muslims

By Dick Schaap The New York Herald Tribune January 23, 1964 When he was 18 years old, just an amateur fighter with almost no reputation outside his native Louisville, Cassius Marcellus Clay came to New York and, on the corner of 125th St. and Seventh Ave, by the Hotel...

Memphis Kid and the Horrible Truth About Prize Fighting

By W.C. Heinz From The Professional 1958 Eddie had come back off the road with the others and had his breakfast, and I had left him lying on his bed and reading the morning papers and listening to the radio while Jay sat at the table writing postcards. After three...

Get a LOAD of Me!

By John Ed Bradley Sports Illustrated May 17, 1993 Yet another fine yellow noon on Marco Island, Fla., and, miracle of miracles, Buster Douglas is already out of bed. He’s wearing what he always seems to wear these days: white canvas boating shoes, loose-fitting gym...

The Day the War Came for Muhammad Ali

By Leigh Montville From Sting Like a Bee 2017 The day moved slowly. Bob Halloran tried to keep the conversation going in the living room of the small concrete house at 4610 NW 15th Court in the worn-down section of Miami, Florida, that the residents called...

The Life and Loves of the Real McCoy

By John Lardner True February 1956 The hotel manager and the detective stood looking down at the man on the bed, who had killed himself during the night. “Norman Selby, it says on the note, and Selby was how he checked in,” the manager said. “Wasn’t that his right...

Great Men Die Twice

By Mark Kram Esquire March 1989 There is the feel of a cold offshore mist to the hospital room, a life-is-a-bitch feel, made sharp by the hostile ganglia of medical technology, plasma bags dripping, vile tubing snaking in and out of the body, blinking monitors...

Muhammad Ali in Excelsis

By Peter Richmond GQ April 1998 On the table in front of him sit a copy of the holy Koran and a plate holding three frosted raspberry coffee cakes, and when he leans forward on the couch and reaches out it is not for enlightenment. It is for a piece of pastry. With...

Up in Fat City: On The Set With Keach And Huston

By Grover Lewis Rolling Stone 1971 Stockton, Calif.—The Memorial Civic Auditorium, located not far from the central ganglia of this crumby hick town, is old, cavernous, sweltering hot, and overripe with the stink of vintage sweat and piss. The litter-strewn floors are...

The Stacks Chat: W.K. Stratton

By Alex Belth Bronx Banter August 28, 2012 Sports on Earth debuted yesterday and featured a Q&A I did with W.K. Stratton, author of a fine new biography of Floyd Patterson. Stratton is the author of four other books, including Dreaming Sam Peckinpah. He also...

The Apprenticeship of Randall Cobb

By Pete Dexter Inside Sports May 1981 The face suggests more than 21 fights, but that’s how many there have been. Counting the two as an amateur. There is a scar over the left eye, a missing tooth. The nose is flat and soft, without cartilage. Apart from that, it’s a...