Planet Boxing by Ted Sares
By Ted Sares
by John Howard
When boxing writer and historian Ted Sares puts his vast knowledge of boxing into words, fans of the sport are the beneficiary. Sares has followed boxing for more than 60 years and his recall and memory are nothing short of amazing.
Now on his third book in as many years, Sares pulls no punches with “Planet Boxing.” The reader is taken on an epic global journey to witness how boxing is both different and similar country by country. No country on the planet is left untouched by the author.
Sares blends an enormous amount of research with action-packed narrative to give this book just the right amount of balance. The result is a compelling and informative read that doesn’t disappoint and is certain to keep the reader’s interest.
The author ties-in the action of certain fights to the locales in which they took place and that technique serves him well as he describes such places as Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, South Korea, South Africa, as well as the Philippines.
The chapters on South Korea and Thailand reflect the authors grasp of boxing in those two countries. Sares, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO), has put an enormous amount of research into “Planet Boxing.” And judging from his previous work with his books “Boxing Is My Sanctuary” and “Reelin’ In The Years,” the author has never been one to cut corners when it comes to doing his research and homework.
Sares dissects the Eastern European influence that has changed the face of boxing since the end of the Cold War. These new and extremely talented boxers have literally exploded onto the boxing landscape and have remained there ever since. The influx started with Kostya Tszyu followed by the Klitschko brothers, Oleg Maskaev, Nikolai Valuev, Aleksandr Povetkin, Sultan Ibragimov, Ruslan Chagaev and several others past and present. Now with a western influence, these formally stand-up fashion boxers have now become a dominate force in boxing especially in the heavyweight division.
On the journey with Sares, the reader will “trip down under” into Australia where they take their sports very seriously. According to Sares, many “Aussies” refer to the work week as an annoying interruption to the weekend. Australians love their fighters and Sares takes a look back at all of them along with their respective careers and opponents.
As the author circumnavigates the globe, he takes the reader to Cebu City and Manila. The “path sprinkled with greatness” has produced such superb fighters as Manny Pacquiao. Sares examines the rich boxing history of the Philippines taking the reader back into the 30s and 40s with his in-depth research.
The three guest articles by Dan Cuoco, Clive Joseph, and Shane Keeling compliment the book in a marvelous fashion and give a unique inside perspective on things.
“Planet Boxing” has truly set the bar up another notch in which boxing writers in the future will have a tough time imitating.
John Howard is a life-long resident of Port Hueneme, Calif. He’s written for several online boxing sites and his work has been published in the Ventura County Star.