The Manly Art

The Manly Art

by Keith G. Laufenberg

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The Manly Art by Keith G. Laufenberg

In every battle, every war, every trial, every tribulation and every contest, be it a sporting contest or a real-life duel, there is always a winner and there is also, always, a loser. In boxing, whenever there is a draw or one fighter loses a decision it is the trainer's, corner-men, and managers' job to scream: "We wuz robbed!" Contrary to popular opinion boxing, in today's world is not the "art of self-defense" like it once was -- like it was meant to be -- it is, like almost all competitive sports are -- in the 21st Century -- all about one thing -- winning and winning at all costs. Boxing, football, baseball, basketball, you name it, these sports are big business and -- in America -- that translates into one word money -- big money!
When I was growing up in the 1950's and 60's, sports were different. Most sports stars had to work at another job besides their sport -- in the off season -- in order to support themselves and/or their families. In boxing, where there is no season, most fighters that I knew, many of them rated contenders, had to work for a living besides boxing. And I'm talking about guys that were sometimes rated the # 1 contender for the title and/or perennial contenders and even ex-champions guys like Bobby Foster, Harold Johnson and Holly Mims, Ferd Hernandez, Andy Kendall and Freddie Little, Ralph Dupas and Luis Rodriquez, to mention only a few that I knew of.
Back in those days although money was a big factor, in sports, I believe it wasn't the primary reason for many men becoming professional atheletes. In boxing, I know, that they did so because they were caught -- caught because they were poor or unskilled and most of them were of such a rebellious nature that a real job wasn't an option -- caught because they lacked either the educational skills or the confidence in themselves to get a real job and once they had been boxing for a decade or more they had developed no skills, references, self-confidence or the ability to get a decent-paying job. I saw them for the entire decade that I boxed. I saw them in restaurants and on construction jobs and in sales jobs, dishwashers, waiters, laborers, carpenters, bricklayers, car salesmen and in as many other professions as you could name -- almost always a job that demanded more physical labor than intellect, more following orders than giving them and -- almost always -- without exception, jobs that were hit hard when the economy soured or even slowed down and the first ones laid off were these ex-athletes. I saw them for those ten years and many years after that because I am one of them.
We were considered losers -- losers because we didn't have enough -- losers because we didn't have a steady job or a skill that we could turn into money. Losers because here in America you are judged -- rightly or wrongly -- for the amount of stuff you have earned, acquired or saved during your lifetime.
Will Rogers once said: "I never met a man that I didn't like." I don't know about that but I can say that in my decade in boxing I never met a fighter that I didn't like. These stories then are stories about boxing -- even if they're more about life -- you will still see the boxing gloves lurking in the background. These stories are not about the winners or losers inside the boxing ring; they are about the perceived winners and losers outside that ring. Most of these stories are about losers -- as the World would perceive them -- for two reasons: #1- I should know about losers, I lost enough, and #2- I always found the stories of the losers more human -- more interesting -- and so here they are. If you like them I am pleased that you do and if you don't I will try to be sure to tell you when I write that other boxing book -- the one about winners.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014713320
Publisher: Royal Crown Royal LLC
Publication date: 05/30/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 306 KB

About the Author

Keith G. Laufenberg has been writing for over 30 years and has had over a hundred poems and short stories published. His work has appeared in such magazines and journals as: AIM Magazine; Amaterasu; aaduna; The Maryland Review; Spoiled Ink; Down in the Dirt; Pleaides; The Oracular Tree; Prole Magazine, Pulp Empire; NuVein;The Pink Chameleon; Mobius Magazine; The Washington Pastime; Rymfire Books; One Million Stories; Euonia Review; Short Story.Me; The Spillway Review; Author Trek; Struggle Magazine; NeonbeamMagazine; The Write Room; The Corner Club Press; Pot Luck Magazine; OMG Magazine; An Electric Tragedy; Write from Wrong Magazine; The Fine Line; Danse Macabre Magazine; The Whortleberry Press; The Ultimate Writer; Fringe Magazine; Northern Stars Magazine;The Writing Disorder;; The Phoenix Magazine; The Legions of Light Magazine; KZine Magazine; The Earth Comes First; et al, and he has also had 2 novels published: “Miami Rock” and “Semper-Fi-Do-or-Die”, both in 2007 and he now has three other novels and five books of short stories which can be assessed at his website:

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The Manly Art 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Bigjohn43 More than 1 year ago
I'm a big sports fan and love boxing as a sport. I read several of this writers short stories from his website and especially liked The Shill which led me to this book. All these stories ring true to me and I will recommend them to anyone who reads a lot. John
Francistalkmule More than 1 year ago
I read The Shill on his website and that led me to read this book, as well as Semper-Fi. Great stories and there are a lot more in this book. I liked them all and would recommend it to boxing fans and sports fans alkso. F. Lute
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would say that these stories are real. At least they seem awful real and if they aren't they are still very good writing and I thoroughly enjoyed every last one of them and I'm not really a big boxing fan. Jillian
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading these boxing stories and the way they lived their lives. I couldn''t stop reading. Read them all in about three hours. HardCore
Batman58 More than 1 year ago
I read a few of Mr. Laufenberg's other books and loved Miami Rock and Semper-Fi, because I'm an ex-marine and he always has ex-marines in his, I liked this almost as much as Semper-Fi-do-or-Die but not quite. Terry B.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was referred to this book by a friend who read a marine corps book by this writer and knew I am a big boxing fan. This book just about covers boxing as I think it is and always probably will be and I recommend it to spots fans regardless of their sport. S.B.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm reading these stories for the second time, thet're that good.
EdithPforme More than 1 year ago
I do not like sports much, especially violent sports like boxing but I like these real stories that tug at heart strings.
LarNow53 More than 1 year ago
I really liked these stories, especially the one about Sonny Liston. I read them about a year ago.
Austinthepower More than 1 year ago
I boxed amateur myself and this hits home pretty hard, realistic, gut-wrenching stories. true life. I liked them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read already several of these stories online in magazines and i am about to make a purchase of about a dozen books and this will be for sure one of them. i love this writer.