Friday's Heroes: Willie Pep Remembers...
This book is about some ghetto kids of the 1930's and 40's who became famous because they learned how to fight better than anyone else. We call them boxers and they came from the neighborhoods of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and other cities. The Television Set was introduced to Americans in the late 1940's as an alternative to radio. The Friday Night fights soon followed. The Friday Night fights were broadcast weekly by Gillete and Pabst Blue Ribbon from the late 1940's into the early 1960's. Along with "The Milton Berle Show" the Friday Night fights helped to sell millions of television sets during these years as families and friends gathered together to watch their heroes perform. FRIDAY'S HEROES is also about a young man from the Italian section of Hartford, Connecticut who went on to become "One of the Greatest Fighters" in the history of the sport. His name was Willie Pep. This "Will O' the Wisp" was World Featherweight Champion from 1942-1951 and campaigned for twenty-six years. Finally, this is a book about such people as Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Graziano, Chico Vejar, Kid Gavilan, Joey Giardello, Billy Graham, Rocky Marciano, Ezzard Charles, Joe Louis, Jake LaMotta, and others who are no longer the ghetto kids making a living from boxing, but middle-aged men with the "roar of the crowd" behind them. Today, the athlete - never to be confused with a boxer - is a celebrated figure. Yet as boxers these men seemed to have a different kind of respectability in our society, perhaps because they had to fight for a living. Nevertheless, no warrior that stalked the arena was more gallant than these kids. Willie Pep Remembers...Friday's Heroes is a book about people, these people.
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amateur Anyway Basilio beat Belloise Billy Graham boxer boxing Bratton Bronx called career Carmen Carmen Basilio Chalky Wright champ champion championship Charley Chico Vejar Chuck Davey decision dollars Ernie Ezzard fans featherweight fight fighter five fought Frankie Freddie Friday Night Fullmer Gene Fullmer Ginks going Hartford heavyweight hero hospital hurt Jack Jake Jake LaMotta Jersey Jimmy Joe Louis Joey Giardello Johnny kayo Kid Gavilan knew knocked later looked lost Madison Square Garden manager Marciano Miami middleweight N.Y. Daily never picked pretty punch Ray Robinson referee stopped retired ring Rocky Graziano Rocky Marciano Rocky's round Sandy Saddler Saxton Sept shot started Steve Sugar Ray talk television thing Tiger Jones Tippy title bout told Tony Tony Zale took tough Walcott wanted welterweight welterweight title Willie Pep York