Gypsy Jem Mace: Being the True History of the Last Bare-knuckle Heavyweight Champion of the World by Jeremy Poolman (Hardback, 2008)
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- DescriptionA few miles from New Orleans stands a life-size bronze statue of two men in combat. One of them is the legendary Gypsy Jem Mace, the first Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World and the last of the great bare-knuckle fighters. This is his story.Between his first fight, in October 1855, and his last - at the age of nearly sixty - Jem Mace became the greatest fighter the world has ever kwn. The son of a Hungarian gypsy and a Norfolk cabinet-maker, he took the sport from the brutal bloody backstreets and inn courtyards to a world stage. He was a giant of the ring: his very first title fight, for the Heavyweight Championship of England, lasted 43 rounds - half of which he fought with a broken arm.But he was also much more; within the span of one life he seemed to live a dozen lives. In his youth he scratched a living playing the fiddle on a filthy coal steamer, while at his career's height he was sought after and celebrated by rich and poor alike. He was an acquaintance of Charles Dickens, and became a friend of Wyatt Earp - famous survivor of the gunfight at the OK Corral - who even refereed one of his bouts. He owned and ran a bar and restaurant in New York so swanky that even today the current owners talk about that great Englishman as if he had only just left the building. In Australia he fought an exhibition match in a silver mine and, on leaving, was presented by the miners with a silver brick inscribed This is a brick and you are ather .And in 1870 in New Orleans he fought for and won the Heavyweight Championship of the World - a fight that was the first championship fight ever to be fought in America and is remembered to this day as the greatest of sporting spectacles ever to be played out in either the rth or the south.Not simply about boxing, Gypsy Jem Mace is about the rise - and its cost - of a great man from thing. It's the story, too, of an age of rapid change - in which a man as revered as the great Gypsy Jem could collapse and die alone and be buried without ceremony in an unmarked grave. It's a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever sought to do something special.
- Author BiographyAcclaimed author Jeremy Poolman is Gypsy Jem Mace's great-great-grandson. He has written four novels, including Interesting Facts About the State of Arizona, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best First Book, and a biography, A Wounded Thing Must Hide: In Search of Libbie Custer. He lives in Surrey.
- Author(s)Jeremy Poolman
- PublisherCarlton Books Ltd
- Date of Publication04/08/2008
- SubjectBiography: Sport
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintAndre Deutsch Ltd
- Content Note8pp colour/b & w photographs
- Weight635 g
- Width153 mm
- Height234 mm
- Spine33 mm
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