Close Encounters With the Gloves Off is a rollercoaster ride through boxing history in the words of the boxers themselves, as they recall their highs and lows, their greatest triumphs, the background stories and many shock revelations.


Acclaimed boxing writer, author and historian Thomas Myler has interviewed every one of the pugilistic greats featured.


Close Encounters With the Gloves Off pulls together a life's work to take the reader on a wonderful boxing journey which spans almost an entire century.

  • Sugar Ray Robinson. Regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, his all-round ability made him a hero to fight fans everywhere. He tells of his big fights and how he snubbed the mobsters who wanted him to lose contests, turning down millions of dollars.
  • Muhammad Ali. Poet, preacher and puncher who took on and defeated the Establishment as well as some of boxing’s biggest hitters, he takes readers though his Olympic years and onto his professional career with many revealing insights.
  • Mike Tyson. The so-called ‘Baddest man on the Planet’ tells the full truth about his ear-biting incidents against Holyfield and the controversial long count with underdog Douglas.
  • Sugar Ray Leonard.  ‘Boxing’s Golden Boy’ of the 1980s, he was a superb boxer-puncher and he explains the real stories behind his famous battles with the likes of Hagler and Duran.
  • George Foreman.  An Olympic gold medallist and world heavyweight champion during boxing’s Golden Years, he recalls of how he astounded the fight game when on a comeback, he became the oldest man to win the title – at 45.
  • Ken Buchanan. Arguably the best British lightweight of all time, the Scot reveals how he was encouraged to be a boxer at the age of 8 when his dad took him to see a Joe Louis movie.
  • Jack Dempsey. King of the ring in the 20s and the most popular boxer of his generation, the ‘Manassa Mauler’ recalls his big fights and how he heard the cheers of the crowd for the first time.


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