Two Ton: One Night, One Fight -Tony Galento v. Joe Louis

Two Ton: One Night, One Fight -Tony Galento v. Joe Louis

by Joseph Monninger
     
 

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Beetle-browed, nearly bald, a head that rode his collarbones like a bowling ball returning on rails, his waist size more than half his five-foot-eight height, Two Ton Tony Galento appeared nearly square, his legs two broomsticks jammed into a vertical hay bale. By all measures he stood no chance when he stepped into the ring against the Brown Bomber, Joe Louis, the…  See more details below

Overview

Beetle-browed, nearly bald, a head that rode his collarbones like a bowling ball returning on rails, his waist size more than half his five-foot-eight height, Two Ton Tony Galento appeared nearly square, his legs two broomsticks jammed into a vertical hay bale. By all measures he stood no chance when he stepped into the ring against the Brown Bomber, Joe Louis, the finest heavyweight of his generation, in Yankee Stadium on a June night in 1939. “I’ll moida da bum,” Galento predicted, and though Louis was no bum, Tony, the Falstaff of boxing, lifted him from the canvas with a single left hook and entered the record books as one of the few men to put the great Louis down. A palooka, a thug, a vibrant appetite of a man, he scrapped his way out of the streets and into the brightest light in American life. For two splendid seconds he stood on the canvas at Yankee Stadium, the great Joe Louis stretched out before him, champ of the world, the toughest man alive, the mythical hero of the waterfront, of Orange, New Jersey, of an American nation little more than a year away from war. Joe Monninger’s spellbinding portrait of a man, a moment, and an era reminds us that sometimes it is through effort, and not the end result, that people most enduringly define themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On June 28, 1939, in a heavyweight title fight, a very fat man knocked down the champion Joe Louis in the third round; Louis jumped to his feet and soon dispatched his opponent. From this slender thread, freelance writer Monninger hangs the story of Tony "Two Ton" Galento, a journeyman boxer and spectacular character whose lucky punch made him a celebrity. The child of poor immigrants and a professional "ice man," Galento, in his oversized way, embodied the forces that made boxing a realistic career choice for the poor and the most popular sport in pre-WWII America. As far as underdogs go, Galento is no bout-winning "Cinderella Man" or even a Chuck Wepner (the real-life model for Rocky), but his is an entertaining story. At times, Monninger's digressions range too widely, and he has an unfortunate tendency to impart what he thinks the average guy on the street is thinking. Yet he displays a sure feeling for the eccentricities and color of the era, and he has a novelist's ability to put the reader in the moment. In Monninger's hands, all "two tons" of Tony come alive. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A championship match-up between Italian-American boxer Tony Galento and legend Joe Louis is the focus here, but also the lens through which this brisk and entertaining history looks at the state of the nation in the 1930s. The pride of Orange, NJ, "Two Ton Tony" Galento was never the glamorous sort. Squat, hairy, balding, Galento brawled more than he boxed, sporting a crushing left hook that earned him 56 knockouts in 110 career matches. Heavyweight Galento was also a media darling: Beer, cigars, late nights and large meals formed the bulk of his training regimen. He could yodel like Tarzan, and, when asked how he thought he'd do against an opponent, he answered, "I'll moida da bum." His nickname came not from his impressive girth, but from his first regular day job, hauling ice. Joe Louis-elegant and in his prime, already the undisputed champ for two years and successful six-time defender-fought Galento one June night in 1939 at Yankees Stadium. Although Galento lost in the fourth round to the fast-hitting, technically flawless Louis, Galento was "champion of the world for two seconds," having knocked Louis down in round three. Monninger traces the rise to fame of Galento and Louis, the despair and hope of the nation during the Great Depression and the impact of big money and the media on sports-as-entertainment. Most compelling throughout, however, is Monninger's presentation of the gluttonous, fun-loving Galento, who rode his two seconds of glory into a follow-up career as a professional wrestler (fighting everything from bears to, once, an octopus) and, more successfully, as a saloon owner. Monninger artfully revives "Two Ton Tony." You'll never be able to say you never hoid uh dabum.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586422097
Publisher:
Steerforth Press
Publication date:
08/21/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,219,648
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Joseph Monninger is the author of eight novels and two memoirs. He has written for Sports Illustrated, American Heritage, Scientific American, and the Boston Globe. He is a two-time recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in New Hampshire where he and his family run a dog sledding business, and he is a licensed fishing guide.

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