A celebration and memorial of the greatest era of heavyweight fighters from 1962 to 1997, as witnessed ringside by an International Boxing Hall of Fame sportswriter.
Once upon a time, of all the memories made in ballparks and arenas from California to New York, there was nothing to rival that magic moment that could grab a heavyweight fight crowd by its collective jugular vein and trigger a tsunami of raw emotion before a single punch had even been thrown.
That’s the way it was when the heavyweight giants danced in the boxing ring during the golden eras of the greats Ali, Frazier, Holmes, and Spinks, to name a few. There will never again be a heavyweight cycle like the one that began when Sonny Liston stopped Floyd Patterson and ended when Mike Tyson bit a slice out of Evander Holyfield’s ear; when no ersatz drama, smoke, mirrors, and noise followed a fighter’s entry into the ring; when the crowds knew that these men were not actors on a stage but rather giants in a ring with a single purposeto fight other giants.
By the ringside, acclaimed sportswriter Jerry Izenberg watched history as it was being made during those legendary days, witnessing fights like the Thrilla in Manila and the Rumble in the Jungle and preserving them in punchy yet tremendous prose. Delivering both his eyewitness accounts and revelatory back stories of this greatest era of heavyweight boxing, Izenberg invites readers to a place of recollection.
Once There Were Giants is his memorial to this extraordinary time, the likes of which we shall never see again.