Cut Time: An Education at the Fights

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book cover
  • By Carlo Rotella
  • ISBN 0226725561
  • Format: Paperback, 236pp
  • Pub. Date: September 2005
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press

As his affection for boxing grows, Carlo Rotella discovers that it sheds a startling light on the world outside the ring. The brief, disastrous boxing career of one of his students pinpoints the moment when adulthood arrives. The hard-won insight of a fellow fan shows Rotella how to process the trauma of a car crash. The persistence of a wizened ex–lightweight champion gives him the key to understanding and honoring his grandmother.

Rotella unearths the hidden wisdom in any kind of fight, from barroom dustup to HBO extravaganza. He vividly describes the tough choices and subtle pleasures that come the way of every fighter, from perennial underdogs on the tank-town circuit to Larry Holmes, an all-time great who still spars to retching exhaustion at the age of fifty. As Rotella traces his surprising immersion in the fight world, he achieves what few other writers on that world have: he makes it relevant to us, whether we’re fans or not.