The Shadows of Boxing: Prince Naseem and those he left behind

2002 Orion: London

'Geoffrey Beattie's On the Ropes was hailed as a boxing classic - it told the story of Naseem Hamed's earily days at Brendan Ingle's gym in Wincobank, Sheffield, up to his first world title in 1995. Since then, Naz has become a household name, and The Shadows of Boxing: Prince Naseem and Those He Left Behind picks up the story from here. In a boxing triptych, Beattie revisits Prince Naseem's roots, talks through the acrimonious split with Brendan Ingle, and, in Naz's first interview following his defeat at the hands of Marco Antonio Barrera, looks at how Naz and the Hamed family have coped with and been changed by fame; he pieces together how the phenomenal success of the Prince was engineered in that run-down gym in Sheffield and details the psychological cost to all the individuals concerned. 

Geoffrey Beattie is a talented chronicler of life behind the scenes of boxing, which is too often poorly understood and badly observed. In the central section of the book, he follows the contrasting fortunes of some of the hard men of Ingle's gym, tracing a route - his own personal journey - through the mean streets of Salford and Sheffield, in and out of the shadows of boxing. His trip back to where it all began shows how money, reputation and mutual obligation can lead to dark and unforeseen consequences. In fusing the seemingly disparate worlds of the psychologist, the boxer and the nightclub bouncer, he has produced another boxing classic. On the Ropes recieved huge critical acclaim, and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.' (from the cover)

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Reviews

'His previous book, On the Ropes, was hailed as a boxing classic, and its sequel is equally good.’ 
Rated, 2002

‘This brilliant and complex book….many unforgettable pages.’
City Life, 2003