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Roberto Duran, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns all formed the pantheon of boxing greats during the late 1970s and early 1980sbefore the pay-per-view model, when prize fights were telecast on network television and still captured the nation's attention. Championship bouts during this era were replete with revenge and fury, often pitting one of these storied fighters against another. From training camps to locker rooms, author George Kimball was there to cover every body shot, uppercut, and TKO. Inside stories full of drama, sacrifice, fear, and pain make up this treasury of boxing tales brought to life by one of the sport's greatest writers.

Their names are legendary: Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hit Man Hearns, and Roberto Duran. They were exceptional boxers with unique combinations of power and speed. In another era, with few rivals of equal caliber, each might have held championship belts for years on end. But as it was, they matured together in the 1980s and fought each other as middleweights. With unforgettable courage and skill, they ruled the ring and ushered in the last Golden Age of boxing.

George Kimball takes an authoritative look at the rivalries that fueled this great era in sports history. Veteran sports journalist Kimball reported on every one of the Four Kings’ nine internecine fights. Here his eye-witness coverage is enhanced by recent interviews with each of the boxers and other seasoned analysts. The result is a fast-paced, blow-by-blow account of four extraordinary adversaries and a remarkable boxing epoch.

Published: McBooks Press an imprint of Independent Publishers Group on
ISBN: 9781590132777
List price: $9.99
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This book about the fab four of an exciting, yet twilight, era of boxing is informative. At times, Hamill forgets those who may be marginal fans of the sport, focusing too much of statistics rather than the nuances of the sport. The story weaves together the complicated lives of fame and ultimate downfall due to social pressure. A good book for anyone who lived through that era.more
In the late 60's and 70's I grew up in a boxing town. My grandfather was a great fan and often took me to the fights on a Saturday night. And on Saturday afternoons we would watch Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Jerry Quarry, etc pummel whichever unlucky sap happened to be in the ring with them... and on rare occasions watch them fight each other. Then boxing went into a decline, both nationally and in my own interest. The story of how the "Four Kings" brought it back into the national spotlight is a good one. These were classic fights and fighters. And I thank Mr. Kimball for bringing them back to life for me. I recommend this book for anyone who loves boxing and those who wnat to know more about the sports world through the 80's. Good stuff.more
George Kimball's Four Kings fruitfully conveys the story of "the last great era of boxing" as it could only be told by an eyewitness. By centering his book on the nine fights between members of the four kings- Duran, Hagler, Hearns and Leonard- Kimball captures the excitement of the bouts which attracted millions to follow the sport. In addition, the author does a great job in telling the story of each boxer's career, training and dealings with managers and promoters. Kimball uses his vantage point as a reporter covering boxing to great effect, giving the reader a ringside seat to the fights that electrified the world.more
Four Kings is a journalistic account of the boxing careers of 4 boxers who were prominent in the 1980's. Each fought the other at least once, and they were the most famous boxers of their time. George Kimball covered boxing for the Boston Herald American/Boston Herald so he attended all the big fights and many others. He retains many contacts in the boxing world and was able to interview many people and draw on his own extensive notes for this book. Mr Kimball also apparently was close to Marvin Hagler, who came out of Brockton (near Boston) and was a major figure in Boston.The book is reasonably well written and readable. I felt it went into too much detail and got overwhelming at times. Also, it didn't go very deeply into the subjects. It takes as a given that the reader is interested in boxing and either already knows or doesn't care about the history or sociological implications of the sport. Attempts to put the 4 boxers into their own historical context are pretty limited. Nothing really is learned which is why the details get tedious. I also had some trouble keeping the characters straight. There were a lot of characters and not a lot of difference between one and another. The book tells you who was in the corner of each boxer in each fight, and it isn't clear why it matters.This book would be most interesting to a fight enthusiast or maybe a big fan of one of the boxers.I wondered, while reading it, if Roberto Duran was drawn as more animalistic than he was, but the book draws on a big biography of Duran & it might all be true. It is nice to think of Marvelous Marvin at La Scala. The book also included a couple of negative stories about Howard Cosell which indicated, I thought, that either Mr. Kimball didn't like Mr. Cosell or (and?) Mr. Kimball thinks Mr. Cosell's reputation is over-rated. (which may be true.)more
Four Kings by George Kimball is a must read if your a boxing fan, or just want to learn about a great time in the sport. Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, and Duran, are names known to every boxing fan, You will learn about their fights and their lives, and all that went into their careers. I highly recommend this book to any sports fan.more
This book is about the last great era of boxing, when there were four superstars fighting at or near the same weight class. Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran will go down in history as four of the greatest boxers of all time. This book covers all four in equal measure. If you remember the great fights that these men had against each other, or if you want to learn more about them, this will be a great book for you to read. It is well written, factual with a lot of interesting anecdotes about the four boxer’s fights and their lives. Even though I was able to watch these four men fight, I learned many things about them and their fights by reading this book. I really enjoyed this book. It was hard to put down.more
Boxing as a sport is at an ebb in the US. It has been chased from popular culture by such things as MMA and Professional (?) Wrestling. However there were times that boxing was a major draw in America. Starting at the turn of the twentieth century boxing grew to be the pre-eminent sport by the time that Jack Dempsey fought Gene Tunney to break the one million dollar threshold.Boxing continued to be popular through the 1960s but in the late 70’s with the retirement of Muhammad Ali interest fell and the title holders that followed were known only to a few. But in 1980 the sport once again jumped to public view. Four Kings by George Kimball chronicles the events that made up what has been called the last great era of Boxing. With a foreword by Pete Hamill Kimball tells the stories of Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hit Man Hearns, and Roberto Duran.Ray Lenard – who unretired himself for a split decisionMarvin Hagler who lost one of the most disputed fights in boxing Thomas Hearns who may have had a fight taken away by the referee but still shared in the largest split in sports history at that time.And finally Roberto Duran who may or may not have said one of the most disputed statements in boxing.And all the stories are tied together as the kings are matched and rematches against each other in nine of the best fights in US boxing history. If you ever loved boxing or have even wondered about boxing you will love this book.A copy of this book was provided free by the publisher for the purposes of this review.more
The Four Kings is the story of Roberto Duran, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns. They were the preeminent boxers of the 1980's whose paths crossed in nine fights between the members of the group. The author worked for 25 years as a sports columnist for the Boston Herald and has begun his retirement with the writing of this book. He shows a great love of boxing and a thorough knowledge of the sport and the four fighters. His afterword and acknowledgment show that he was thorough in his research for the book. The book is a biography of the four men told through a chronological account of the nine fights that made the 80's a decade of glamor and big money in the boxing world. The author covers all aspects of boxing and the people involved in these events. The promotion, training regimen and the constant hype that went into each fight are thoroughly covered.As the author relates the stories of the fights themselves we get literally a blow by blow description of the events. There is a thorough examination of the famous "no mas" fight and an attempt to answer the question of what really happened. The author's conclusion is that Duran quit out of frustration because Leonard danced and boxed and refused to fight.At the conclusion of the narrative of the fights there is a where are they now chapter on the fighters and the author's thoughts on why boxing has virtually disappeared as a sport in America.The author blames the demise of boxing on the epidemic of the use of crack cocaine. Users of crack end up on a one way street to oblivion that eliminates the path of hard work and discipline required to become a fighter. The crack dealers have found a quicker and easier way to make a good living than getting beat up for a living. I think the author misses the fact that the violence of boxing has also contributed to its demise. Other sports, primarily basketball and football, find plenty of participants, but boxing has lost its audience. No longer do many Americans enjoy a sport where the primary goal is to inflict a physical beating on your opponent.This book does succeed as an interesting biography of the four individuals. Roberto Duran was a tough street kid from Panama with no education. In his prime he lived up to the image of a barely civilized man of violence. That is also the way he fought, little style but tough and strong. Now he lives quietly in Miami enjoying what is left of the money he made. Sugar Ray Leonard was probably the most intelligent of the fighters. He was able to adapt his style to what was required to win a fight more effectively than the other fighters. He was a natural celebrity and as the book points out saved his money from the beginning of his career. Thomas Hearns was at 6"1" the tallest of the four. That gave him a consistent advantage in the ring but he did not show the intelligence of Leonard in making use of it. He now lives the life of a rich man enjoying his money. Marvin Hagler was an old fashioned warrior in the ring. He always trained and fought hard. He could fight from both the right and left side making him a difficult opponent. He now lives in Italy and has appeared in a number of films. This book was well written and edited. The author's journalistic background is evident in his writing style. I would recommend it for anyone who is a fan of boxing. A copy of this book was provided free by the publisher for the purposes of this review.more
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Reviews

This book about the fab four of an exciting, yet twilight, era of boxing is informative. At times, Hamill forgets those who may be marginal fans of the sport, focusing too much of statistics rather than the nuances of the sport. The story weaves together the complicated lives of fame and ultimate downfall due to social pressure. A good book for anyone who lived through that era.more
In the late 60's and 70's I grew up in a boxing town. My grandfather was a great fan and often took me to the fights on a Saturday night. And on Saturday afternoons we would watch Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Jerry Quarry, etc pummel whichever unlucky sap happened to be in the ring with them... and on rare occasions watch them fight each other. Then boxing went into a decline, both nationally and in my own interest. The story of how the "Four Kings" brought it back into the national spotlight is a good one. These were classic fights and fighters. And I thank Mr. Kimball for bringing them back to life for me. I recommend this book for anyone who loves boxing and those who wnat to know more about the sports world through the 80's. Good stuff.more
George Kimball's Four Kings fruitfully conveys the story of "the last great era of boxing" as it could only be told by an eyewitness. By centering his book on the nine fights between members of the four kings- Duran, Hagler, Hearns and Leonard- Kimball captures the excitement of the bouts which attracted millions to follow the sport. In addition, the author does a great job in telling the story of each boxer's career, training and dealings with managers and promoters. Kimball uses his vantage point as a reporter covering boxing to great effect, giving the reader a ringside seat to the fights that electrified the world.more
Four Kings is a journalistic account of the boxing careers of 4 boxers who were prominent in the 1980's. Each fought the other at least once, and they were the most famous boxers of their time. George Kimball covered boxing for the Boston Herald American/Boston Herald so he attended all the big fights and many others. He retains many contacts in the boxing world and was able to interview many people and draw on his own extensive notes for this book. Mr Kimball also apparently was close to Marvin Hagler, who came out of Brockton (near Boston) and was a major figure in Boston.The book is reasonably well written and readable. I felt it went into too much detail and got overwhelming at times. Also, it didn't go very deeply into the subjects. It takes as a given that the reader is interested in boxing and either already knows or doesn't care about the history or sociological implications of the sport. Attempts to put the 4 boxers into their own historical context are pretty limited. Nothing really is learned which is why the details get tedious. I also had some trouble keeping the characters straight. There were a lot of characters and not a lot of difference between one and another. The book tells you who was in the corner of each boxer in each fight, and it isn't clear why it matters.This book would be most interesting to a fight enthusiast or maybe a big fan of one of the boxers.I wondered, while reading it, if Roberto Duran was drawn as more animalistic than he was, but the book draws on a big biography of Duran & it might all be true. It is nice to think of Marvelous Marvin at La Scala. The book also included a couple of negative stories about Howard Cosell which indicated, I thought, that either Mr. Kimball didn't like Mr. Cosell or (and?) Mr. Kimball thinks Mr. Cosell's reputation is over-rated. (which may be true.)more
Four Kings by George Kimball is a must read if your a boxing fan, or just want to learn about a great time in the sport. Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, and Duran, are names known to every boxing fan, You will learn about their fights and their lives, and all that went into their careers. I highly recommend this book to any sports fan.more
This book is about the last great era of boxing, when there were four superstars fighting at or near the same weight class. Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran will go down in history as four of the greatest boxers of all time. This book covers all four in equal measure. If you remember the great fights that these men had against each other, or if you want to learn more about them, this will be a great book for you to read. It is well written, factual with a lot of interesting anecdotes about the four boxer’s fights and their lives. Even though I was able to watch these four men fight, I learned many things about them and their fights by reading this book. I really enjoyed this book. It was hard to put down.more
Boxing as a sport is at an ebb in the US. It has been chased from popular culture by such things as MMA and Professional (?) Wrestling. However there were times that boxing was a major draw in America. Starting at the turn of the twentieth century boxing grew to be the pre-eminent sport by the time that Jack Dempsey fought Gene Tunney to break the one million dollar threshold.Boxing continued to be popular through the 1960s but in the late 70’s with the retirement of Muhammad Ali interest fell and the title holders that followed were known only to a few. But in 1980 the sport once again jumped to public view. Four Kings by George Kimball chronicles the events that made up what has been called the last great era of Boxing. With a foreword by Pete Hamill Kimball tells the stories of Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hit Man Hearns, and Roberto Duran.Ray Lenard – who unretired himself for a split decisionMarvin Hagler who lost one of the most disputed fights in boxing Thomas Hearns who may have had a fight taken away by the referee but still shared in the largest split in sports history at that time.And finally Roberto Duran who may or may not have said one of the most disputed statements in boxing.And all the stories are tied together as the kings are matched and rematches against each other in nine of the best fights in US boxing history. If you ever loved boxing or have even wondered about boxing you will love this book.A copy of this book was provided free by the publisher for the purposes of this review.more
The Four Kings is the story of Roberto Duran, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns. They were the preeminent boxers of the 1980's whose paths crossed in nine fights between the members of the group. The author worked for 25 years as a sports columnist for the Boston Herald and has begun his retirement with the writing of this book. He shows a great love of boxing and a thorough knowledge of the sport and the four fighters. His afterword and acknowledgment show that he was thorough in his research for the book. The book is a biography of the four men told through a chronological account of the nine fights that made the 80's a decade of glamor and big money in the boxing world. The author covers all aspects of boxing and the people involved in these events. The promotion, training regimen and the constant hype that went into each fight are thoroughly covered.As the author relates the stories of the fights themselves we get literally a blow by blow description of the events. There is a thorough examination of the famous "no mas" fight and an attempt to answer the question of what really happened. The author's conclusion is that Duran quit out of frustration because Leonard danced and boxed and refused to fight.At the conclusion of the narrative of the fights there is a where are they now chapter on the fighters and the author's thoughts on why boxing has virtually disappeared as a sport in America.The author blames the demise of boxing on the epidemic of the use of crack cocaine. Users of crack end up on a one way street to oblivion that eliminates the path of hard work and discipline required to become a fighter. The crack dealers have found a quicker and easier way to make a good living than getting beat up for a living. I think the author misses the fact that the violence of boxing has also contributed to its demise. Other sports, primarily basketball and football, find plenty of participants, but boxing has lost its audience. No longer do many Americans enjoy a sport where the primary goal is to inflict a physical beating on your opponent.This book does succeed as an interesting biography of the four individuals. Roberto Duran was a tough street kid from Panama with no education. In his prime he lived up to the image of a barely civilized man of violence. That is also the way he fought, little style but tough and strong. Now he lives quietly in Miami enjoying what is left of the money he made. Sugar Ray Leonard was probably the most intelligent of the fighters. He was able to adapt his style to what was required to win a fight more effectively than the other fighters. He was a natural celebrity and as the book points out saved his money from the beginning of his career. Thomas Hearns was at 6"1" the tallest of the four. That gave him a consistent advantage in the ring but he did not show the intelligence of Leonard in making use of it. He now lives the life of a rich man enjoying his money. Marvin Hagler was an old fashioned warrior in the ring. He always trained and fought hard. He could fight from both the right and left side making him a difficult opponent. He now lives in Italy and has appeared in a number of films. This book was well written and edited. The author's journalistic background is evident in his writing style. I would recommend it for anyone who is a fan of boxing. A copy of this book was provided free by the publisher for the purposes of this review.more
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