Boxing Book Review: Two Ton
Boxing Book Review: Two Ton
By Antonio Santiago, Doghouse Boxing (Nov 13, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Two Ton
I've just finished another book, one of the first that I received. While I keep on reading other books and receiving even more of them, I am somewhat relieved to have finished Two Ton (2007, Joseph Monninger, Steerforth Press,,, ISBN 978-1-56642-138-0, all rights reserved). It's a good book about a good boxer and great character, Tony Galento, but it leaves me feeling, as a reader, that I deserve something better.
The book takes you through Galento's fight with Joe Louis, giving you a narrative of the United States during that era as it describes the fight itself .Interesting tidbits about what went on in Kansas City, Sioux Falls, Rockford and everywhere else as the fight took place are given, and there are accounts of heart attack victims, dogs that stopped barking because no one was outside, this and that. The narration of the fight itself is impeccable, a blow by blow account of one of the best action packed Heavyweight bouts of, at least, the 1930's. One gets to learn and appreciate Tony Galento, shown here as a loving father and funny man who once knocked out Jackie Gleason!
The book also talks in detail about Joe Louis, his wife Marva and how they went from being 4 million dollars rich (and this is in 1939 money, what today would probably be around the 24-30 million dollar stratosphere) to being in trouble with the IRS and forced to fight again and/or wrestle just to get by. Details such as Marva's favorite perfume brand, Gardenia, are not lost here and are given to us in order for us to picture the lives of Joe and his family. A long, long time ago, I write a letter to Ring Magazine asking them if they could publish special magazines dedicated to viewing the way boxers live, and, even as the letter was not published or answered, a few months later they came with their famous magazine about Mike Tyson's live, his mansion and his tiger. I still think we the fans would probably enjoy reading magazines where we can see our men and women boxing champions as they hang in more relaxed environment with family and friends and talk about their hobbies, favorite television shows and movies, stores, restaurants, hang outs, and-why not-even their kids and stuff. Just like Teve-Guia and Estrellitas do in Puerto Rico with all the famous Puerto Rican entertainers, politicians and athletes. But while my idea has gone largely ignored by Ring Magazine, Two Ton did explore the lives of Galento, Louis and the people around them well enough to satisfy me and make me hunger for more of this type of journalism.
The one thing that left me hoping for more, however, the side of the book that baffled me and gave me a big negative feeling, is the way that the writer uses the "N" word to describe Louis. I would not recommend the book to a Black person or anyone who gets offended by racist epitaphs. Even as I myself am prone to curse and call people words such as "" or "Fock U!" and I myself am not, let's say, privy, to street slang, I would never, ever, use words like that to describe people of different ethnic groups or color. In this era in which a Black man is President of the United States of America, in which a woman was so close to being nominated for the same position, and when we have Black Oscar winners, United Nations directors, Miss Universes, etc, I would have never expected to see the "N" word so blatantly used in such an otherwise fine and educational production. This is a shame and it ruined what was otherwise great reading. Now, I do not know if the writer used the "N word" in order so that his writing resembles the way in which others of the old era wrote about and spoke about Blacks and even other non-Whites, or if he used it to reveal his feelings about Joe Louis, but either way, that word should have been left out.
What can I say? But to tell you that, if, and this is a BIG IF, you enjoy good boxing reporting and can stand reading such a horrible word, then for a suggested price of $13.99, this book is not a bad pick at all.
As for me, rather I will just go back and finish reading the other biographies I have been able to gather and am about to review for you, on Deidre Gogarty, Ken Norton, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Ray Arcel, Binnie Klein, Young Stribling and so many others. Biographies that have no words that offend others on it.

Please send all Questions and comments to Antonio at

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