Leamington writer’s book tells tale of legendary bouts

By delving into the histories of one of boxing’s most controversial fighters and also the sport’s most famous champion, author Bob Mee has made the shortlist for a national sports writers prize.

Mr Mee, who has contributed athletics reports to the Courier, has made the 16-name longlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year for his work Liston and Ali: The Ugly Bear and the Boy Who Would Be King.

The book follows the contrasting paths of Muhammad Ali and Charles ‘Sonny’ Liston, focusing on their world heavyweight championship fights in 1964 and 1965.

A boxing commentator and analyst for Eurosport, who has also written for several national publications, Mr Mee has drawn from his wealth of experience to offer a fresh account of the matches and the competitors’ lives.

Mr Mee said: “I’ve written six or seven books and this was the most demanding and the most fascinating of them all.

“Liston was like a brooding ugly monster of a man and people created this myth about him which he played up to.

“It was fascinating to find out what he was really like.

“There was a lot more to him in my view and that is what the book deals with in a lot of ways. He had a lot of disadvantages.”

Read the full story in this week’s Courier.

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