Over the past couple of months, this blog has been featuring a series of exclusive previews of content from Boxiana: Volume 1, which will hopefully whet your appetite and persuade you to buy the full volume, which is available NOW as a paperback book (RRP £9.99) or ebook (RRP £3.99).
Today I'm presenting an extract by Rowland Stone, in which he takes a journey back to a heady night in 1992 at Earl's Court...
A NIGHT AT THE FIGHT
Rowland Stone recalls a heady night in Earls Court in 1992 when he, and Lennox Lewis, came of age …
The night was 31 October 1992. I’d love to say I knew that because it was an evening of such importance that the date has become branded into my memory. In actual fact, it’s because I just looked it up on Wikipedia. However, as anyone that follows boxing will agree, remembering the date is far less important that remembering the fight. And I had good reason to remember this one - it was my first ever boxing match as witnessed in the flesh and the people I’d chosen to pop this particular cherry were Lennox Lewis and Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock, in an eliminator that would see the winner go on to fight for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Well, that was the plan anyway.
On the night in question, I was only three weeks away from turning 16. A big moment for any young man, and what better way to celebrate than with a World Heavyweight Championship eliminator. I don’t remember everything about the night, but I remember some things starkly. I remember that, because of American TV broadcasts, the fight wasn’t due to start until the early hours of the morning, at Earl’s Court in London; I remember that my father had agreed to drive into Central London and collect myself, and the friend I was attending with, at stupid o’clock in his Nissan Prairie (he wasn’t usually that generous); And, more than anything, I remember being nervous about both the outcome of the fight itself and how I would cope at my first ever boxing match.
The background to the fight was interesting. The main cause of concern for me was that there was absolutely no guarantee at all that Lennox Lewis was going to win. It seems funny to say it now, knowing what a great champion he was to become and how he dominated the division for so many years, but at the time, he was just a callow 27-year-old with a promising but by no means assured future in the ring ...
THE FULL ARTICLE APPEARS IN BOXIANA: VOLUME 1
ROWLAND STONE is a television producer and director. As a journalist and producer, he spent four years at the BBC working for their Current Affairs and Consumer Units working with luminaries ranging from Cherie Blair and Terry Wogan to Adrian Chiles and Phil Tufnell. His programme credits include ITV's Real Crime series, BBC’s Watchdog, The Sheriffs Are Coming and The One Show. Before working in television, he worked at Macmillan publishing and as a print journalist. Always wanting to be different, he rooted for Chris Eubank in both fights against Nigel Benn.
An anthology of new boxing writing Boxiana: Volume 1 is available in both paperback book and eBook formats. Boxiana editor Luke G. Williams said: “In a world dominated by 140 character limits and the 24-hour news cycle, brevity and superficiality have become de rigueur. Boxiana takes a different approach; by using long-form journalism to take an in-depth look at boxing’s past, present and future, we are hoping that Boxiana will become a vital new voice in sports writing.”
In Volume 1:
Trevor Von Eeden, author of graphic novel The Original Johnson, analyses the significance of Jack Johnson; Mario Mungia tries his hand at amateur boxing; Ben Williams uncovers his grandfather’s bare-knuckle career; James Hernandez catches up with Jon Thaxton; Matthew Ogborn ponders boxers and retirement; rising light heavyweight Chris Hobbs recounts his life in the military and the ring; Rowland Stone recalls a heady night in 1992; Corey Quincy attempts to solve the Wladimir Klitschko conundrum and Luke G. Williams examines the meteoric rise of Deontay Wilder and the under-rated career of Chris Byrd.
Enquiries / review copies: +44 7958 319765 / firstname.lastname@example.org