• Boxing and the Mob

  • The Notorious History of the Sweet Science
  • By: Jeffrey Sussman
  • Narrated by: David Marantz
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Boxing and the Mob  By  cover art

Boxing and the Mob

By: Jeffrey Sussman
Narrated by: David Marantz
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Publisher's Summary

More than any other sport, boxing has a history of being easy to rig. There are only two athletes and one or both may be induced to accept a bribe; if not the fighters, then the judges or referee might be swayed. In such inviting circumstances, the mob moved into boxing in the 1930s and profited by corrupting a sport ripe for exploitation.

In Boxing and the Mob: The Notorious History of the Sweet Science, Jeffrey Sussman tells the story of the coercive and criminal underside of boxing, covering nearly the entire 20th century. He profiles some of its most infamous characters, such as Owney Madden, Frankie Carbo, and Frank Palermo, and details many of the fixed matches in boxing's storied history. In addition, Sussman examines the influence of the mob on legendary boxers-including Primo Carnera, Sugar Ray Robinson, Max Baer, Carmen Basilio, Sonny Liston, and Jake LaMotta-and whether they caved to the mobsters' threats or refused to throw their fights.

Boxing and the Mob is the first book to cover a century of fixed fights, paid-off referees, greedy managers, misused boxers, and the mobsters who controlled it all. True crime and the world of boxing are intertwined with absorbing detail in this notorious piece of American history.

©2019 Jeffrey Sussman (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

Extremely well researched entertaining history of Mafia involvement in the sport of boxing, the corruption, payoffs, and of course whackings, all the usual suspects are here, Frankie Carbo, Owney Madden, and more.

2 people found this helpful

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Too Deep Into Mobsters background

was pretty cool book, the first hour and half or so was background syories on diferent mob guys. which is ok i guess but i wanted more boxing talk.

1 person found this helpful

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Very listenable. If you like the topic, go for it!

As one might expect, at every turn there are colorful characters and tragic stories. All the familiar names are here, and well fleshed-out. You would feel you knew Arnold Rothstein, Jake LaMotta, "Mr,. Grey," and the rest, and had rubbed shoulders with them in their times and places.

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Very good for the real Boxing Fan

Excellent story-telling, tho the narration was a bit stilted at times. Learned things I NEVER KNEW about folks I thought were stand-up guys. The treatment of the subject is limited by its VAST scope, but the biggest influences are dealt with well and thoroughly. For the die hard boxing fan and historian this is required reading. Now I know how and why Sonny Liston REALLY died, and the ugly truth about the Raging Bull and not-so-prime Primo. Treat yourself, it’s worth it!

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okay book

the book is okay. nothing is in depth, and it is fairly scattered throughout the decades

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  • J
  • 10-09-19

Brilliant

I loved this book. It presents an objective and historically encompassing view of a fascinating, semi-hidden force, pulling the strings behind curtains that we all suspect know are there but cannot articulate clearly. The author is not pretentious or presumptive and clearly states when he doesn’t know something. I truly appreciate this account of the last century of a sport that continually influences our culture.