Back in the heyday of heavyweight boxing during the 1960s and ‘70s, the name Smokin' Joe Frazier was right at the top among boxing's greatest.
As a former World Heavyweight Champion, Frazier may be best know for handing Muhammad Ali his first loss and for becoming the first widely recognized, undisputed, heavyweight champion after the fallout from Ali being stripped of the title.
Frazier is also an Olympic gold medalist who has trained professional boxers for nearly thirty years. Among his most successful students was his son, Marvis Frazier, who was at the time a contender to Larry Holmes’ crown.
With that background, who would be better to write a book about what it takes to become a professional boxer?
Senior writer for The Ring magazine and a boxing historian, William Dettloff aids Frazier in constructing this book. Together they have written a perfect introduction for anyone interested in the sport of boxing.
In a smooth, conversational style, Frazier and Dettloff share an abridged history of boxing, an explanation of the rules for both amateur and professional ranks, as well as what goes into scoring a fight.
The meat of the book comes with Frazier's insights into the actual training that creates a boxer. Frazier keeps the focus on basics and carefully explains every step of the fight game from wrapping your hands for the first time up to stepping between the ropes for your first fight.
The journey in between is based in hard work and throwing thousands of punches. Smokin' Joe starts with endurance training, the basics of offense and defense, moving in the ring and throwing punches, and eventually leads in to sparring in the ring.
Box Like the Pros is a wonderful tool, but even Frazier admits that nothing will be better than finding the right gym and the right trainer. He submits a whole chapter in finding the right place and the right person to train with. The appendix includes a list of reputable boxing gyms throughout the United States.
Frazier and Dettloff know boxing, and they have written a book that is invaluable for anyone interesting in getting into boxing, at any age or any skill level.