Lonsdale's Belt: The Story of Boxing's Greatest Prize

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book cover
  • By John Harding
  • ISBN 0860518469
  • Format: Hardcover, 352pp
  • Pub. Date: August 1997
  • Publisher: Robson Books, Limited

Publishers Weekly Review:
Like certain vintage wines, books about British boxing may not be exportable to the U.S., which holds pugilism in the U.K. in about the same esteem as Britons do American soccer. Thus it seems likely that Harding, who scored several years ago with his biography, Jack Kid Berg, cannot expect comparable success with this survey of eight weight classes from 1909 to 1993. Originally named the National Sporting Club's Challenge Belt and in 1936 renamed the British Boxing Board of Control Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt, the trophy has been won and worn by only a handful of boxers known on this side of the Atlantic, even to longtime fans: Tommy Farr, Randy Turpin, Henry Cooper and Lennox Lewis. Because each belt originally made of nine-carat gold, now of hallmarked standard silver-and-gold-plate, today costs about 4000 to make, all promoters of larger professional shows must pay a "tax" of 400 to help cover the cost of the belts. But despite the well-researched accounts of the winners' careers, exciting descriptions of the major bouts and copious photos and other illustrations presented here, the book's appeal will be limited.