Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing

Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing


By (author) George Kimball

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  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 153mm x 234mm x 26mm | 502g
  • Publication date: 3 July 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1845963598
  • ISBN 13: 9781845963590
  • Illustrations note: 1 x 8pp colour
  • Sales rank: 65,090

Product description

By the late 1970s, boxing had lapsed into a moribund state and interest in it was on the wane. In 1980, however, the sport was resuscitated by a riveting series of bouts involving an improbably dissimilar quartet: Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran. The 'Four Kings of the Ring' would fight one another nine times throughout the decade and win sixteen world titles between them. Like Ali and Frazier, Dempsey and Tunney, Robinson and LaMotta, these four boxers brought out the best in each other, producing unprecedented multi-million-dollar gates along the way. Each of the nine bouts between the four men was memorable in its own way and at least two of them - Leonard-Hearns I in 1981 and Hagler-Hearns in 1985 - are commonly included on any list of the greatest fights of all time. The controversial outcome of another - the 1987 Leonard-Hagler fight - remains the subject of heated debates amongst fans to this day. Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran didn't set out to save boxing from itself in the post-Ali era, but somehow they managed to do so. In Four Kings, award-winning journalist George Kimball documents the remarkable effect they had on the sport and argues that we will never see their likes again.

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Author information

George Kimball was an award-winning sports writer and covered boxing from the era of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier to the present day. He died in July 2011.

Review quote

"An epic poem of a book ... a book that lifts the heart" -- Frank McCourt "A distinguished and entertaining addition to our library of classic boxing literature" -- Budd Schulberg "Kimball writes with insight and humour. The bigger the fight, the better he tells it" -- Tom Hauser, "Thrilling, insightful and often humourous ... [Kimball] captures the contests, the fighters and the period with a wonderful perception" The Independent "An intoxicating, captivating tale of great boxers in a fatally flawed environment" The Herald