Long-time boxing writer T.K. Stewart has published his first book The Fight Racket: Inside the World of Professional Boxing. It was released on February 20, 2014 and published by CreateSpace an Amazon company.
Stewart has chronicled the fight game for nearly two decades for websites such as BoxingScene, Max Boxing, FOX Sports and The Ring magazine. T.K. has been ringside for some of the most legendary bouts in boxing history and always likes to tell people that he saw all three of the epic fights between Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward.
“It was a great thirteen months of fights,” says Stewart of the Gatti-Ward battles. “I was lucky enough to see all of them and they were like something out of a Hollywood movie. I proposed to my wife on the beach in Atlantic City the night before the third fight and we spent the night celebrating with some boxing guys at The Irish Pub just off the Boardwalk, so that’s always memorable, too!”
The book is a compilation of what T.K. refers to as “stories” and it’s a big book of 575 pages. “There are stories in there that go back ten or eleven years,” says Stewart. “I included as the prologue the column I wrote in 2010 that won first place in the boxing column category in the annual Boxing Writers Association of America writing awards. There’s a neat story at the end in Chapter 25 which I entitled ‘The Greatest Fight I Ever Saw’ and I think people will be surprised by that one.”
Stewart has had the idea rolling around in his head to publish his work since about 2010 and says he has plans for another. “You know, this process was an awful lot of work, but it was also an awful lot of fun at the same time,” he says. “The creative process is something I really enjoy going through. I have a good idea for another book on boxing, not a compilation of my work, but I have a certain subject and a certain fight in mind that nobody else has done. It’s a secret for now, but I’d like to get to work on it right away.”
Stewart says the book is geared toward boxing fans and there are chapters in the book on certain fighters such as Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao. There are also chapters on Don King, Bob Arum and Freddie Roach.
“I think people will enjoy the stories and going to the places I have been lucky enough to go,” says Stewart. “I’ve been to Vegas for several fights, Madison Square Garden, hung out at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood and have been to the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos so many times that the security guys used to joke I needed my own parking space! I ‘ve even been to the Copacabana that Barry Manilow sang about for a boxing related affair!”
More than anything, Stewart says he just wants the folks that read the book to enjoy losing themselves in the stories about the fights and the fighters.
“It’s all about the fighters and their stories,” says T.K. “They have the most interesting stories and backstories of anyone. You really couldn’t make some of the stuff up and you couldn’t write a screenplay that would be any funnier, outrageous or sad than some of the stories these guys have – so I want people to have fun with it when they read it.”