Boxing aficionados are in for a double treat this week, Mark Wahlberg’s movie ‘The Fighter’ hits the big screen and Steve ‘Mr Boxing’ Bunce’s excellent thriller ‘The Fixer’ is back in the bookshops, resplendent in it’s new cover, having gone to it’s second print.
Whilst Mark Wahlberg based ‘The Fighter’ on a well documented story of ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward’s journey to the WBU World title. Steve takes a very different tack, instead of focusing on a well known boxer, his protagonist is from another realm of the sport altogether, one that I know only too well, as Steve’s hero is a boxing writer come ‘middleman’.
The Fixer , which was first published in April 2010, follows a month in the life of a
fight fixer called Ray Lester – he puts people in the fight business together and scrapes a living from a variety of legal jobs inside the boxing business.
Ray is contacted by a wayward blonde and asked to find her dad. He agrees and ends up coming close to too many nutjobs. He ends up in Las Vegas at the Hatton-Mayweather fight, on Atlantic City’s dirty boardwalk, in an East End gym and on the bleak streets of Blackpool trying to make sense of the carnage; at the same time he has to make an honest living from his list of fighters and mad contacts.
On the news that The Fixer has made a welcome return to the bookshops Steve said, “It’s a great time for the second print of the book to come out. The new film, The Fighter, just won two Golden Globes and will be a massive hit. In the USA a new boxing show on FX called Lights Out is getting rave reviews. This book fits right in there and there is clearly an appetite for an unconventional look at the boxing business.
I’ve been in the business since I was about ten at the old St.Pancras nursery near St.Pancras station, Las Vegas for over 50 fights, Olympic boxing, forgotten nights, deaths and a zillion ringsides talking cobblers. Great way to waste a life!
There is a lot of talk about journeymen boxers at the moment with all the Prizefighter buzz. Well, my book is packed with journeymen and the men that control them and use them. In the book the journeyman comes close to getting a voice – close. He’s too bashed up to speak and has to eat a kebab through a straw!
The Fixer is part of a quartet – the second book will be out next year.
A lot of fight people have called me after reading it and told me: ‘I found it, I’ve found myself. Thanks, Steve.’ That’s quality.”
Steve Bunce, better known as Buncey, has worked as a journalist and broadcaster since 1985 and is widely regarded as ‘the voice of British boxing’.
A regular columnist for Boxing Monthly, Buncey also contributes to The Independent and the Sunday Herald. He has a monthly boxing show on BBC Radio Five Live and hosts a weekly boxing chat show on BBC Radio London 94.9 & DAB on Thursdays at 8pm.
The Fixer by Steve Bunce is available now on-line at Amazon.com and all good bookshops, RRP. £9.99.
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