Posted on by Nile Westanderson

We all love to read books, particularly the ones which are about our favorite sport or hobby. Books not only enhance your knowledge about a specific field but also boost brainpower, offer a change of perspective, and insight on whatever topic you are interested in.

Just like other areas, there are also books based on boxing. The best boxing books motivate and inspire you and propel you to bring about a change. Many successful people claim that there were good books behind their success. Books are more than just telling a story.

Whether you are a beginner of the sport or professional, reading books is as essential as getting into training. In a sport that is as elegant as boxing, it is no surprise that there are many books that convey the legacy of the art of combat as well as the beauty of this sport. Here is the list of top 10 best boxing books that will surely influence you.

1.    Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson

Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson is recognized as a must-read book for every boxing fan and athlete worldwide. If a person has never thrown a punch in his life, he will still be going to benefit by reading this book.

This book has the ability to ignite a spark inside every reader and fire that will grow your interest in boxing. It is basically the autobiography of one of the greatest boxers in history, Mike Tyson. This book covers how the great fighter faced tons of obstacles in his boxing career.

Topic of Poverty

Undisputed Truth is one of the best boxing motivational books in which the story of Tyson begins in a dysfunctional household where he had nothing. He started his career from zero and became a hero.

His story tells us that there is more to success than just money. The story of Tyson's honesty leaves no details out. By going through this book, you will become clear that anyone can break free of whatever financial chains they think are confining them.

Life-Changing Autobiography

If you are a boxer or fan of boxing, then this book will definitely be on your must-read list. Even if you have never entered the boxing ring, it is still recommended to read this book as it holds many other lessons for professional life. The life events of the legend Mike Tyson will inspire the boxer in you and grow more determination as well as will power.

Price and Value

It is an affordable book, and you can buy it easily. The hardcover may cost you a bit more, but you can get the paperback at a low price.

2.    Dark Trade by Donald McRae

Dark Trade by Donald McRae covers a large part of the history of boxing and boxers. By reading this book, the readers will comprehend what makes other people obsessed with boxing. It is one of the best boxing books for learning in which you will get details about boxing legends like Mike Tyson, Ray Jones, James Tony, and many more.

Recognition and Award

With the marvelous efforts of Donald McRae, the book got many awards and won many prizes, including 'Book of the Year' from William Hill. In this book, there are unusual details and heavy attention to the accurate information; all this justifies the accomplishments of this book. Dark Trade is one of the staples in the modern literature of boxing, and the tremendous research of the author has paid off quite well.

Literary Memoirs

It is rare to find a book like Dark Trade that is covering so many fighters in a series and has captured all little details about their lives. The book starts with the background story of boxing in an attractive manner with some thrilling ringside tales as well as strong ambitions. McRae has given a detailed history of boxing fighters and has paid the same attention to every boxer.

Price and Value

The book is a little expensive because of the limited edition. But the book is worth the price as it portrays the entire history of boxing from the beginning. The stories mentioned in this book will change your point of view about professional boxing as well as the fighters.

3.    King of the World by David Remnick

There are many books about female boxers too; however, the top-ranked books mainly focus on the biography of male boxers. King of the World is basically a 1998 biography of the great boxer Muhammad Ali that is written by David Remnick.

This book especially focuses on the period in the life of Ali from victory he got in the Olympics to his second fight that was with Sonny Liston. It is a book that is about a boxer, not a book about boxing.

Black Is Beautiful

In this book, Remnick has explored the difference between the civil rights movements. With a special focus on the 'Black Is Beautiful' movement. Ali showed courage and refused the draft, thus sacrificed his precious championship and faced the hardship of jail for five years.

In this book, you can read all of his obstacles and struggle, how he won his case in the Supreme Court of the United States, how he made a comeback to the ring, and earned his title back again.


Remnick entitles this book as the 'King of the World' by tieing all the triumph of Muhammad Ali together along with his personal interviews. Ali had the motto to show the world that there is some new kind of black men.

Remnick has painted a vivid picture of Ali in this book, focusing on his choices, meaning behind his actions, his life outside the ring, and his personality. It is based on the rise of this American Hero from his formative years, religious tumult, early professional career, and so on.

4.    Four Kings by George Edward Kimball

If you get amazed to see a book about two legends, then Four Kings by George Edward Kimball will shock you as this book mentions four great legends. This book is highlighting the four most exceptional boxers in history named Marvelous Marvin, Thomas Hit Man Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran.

In this book, you will get more information and learn more about the personalities of these four boxers. It is no doubt a treasure of information for the athletes and boxing fans.

Nat Fleischer Award

Kimball, the author of this book, received the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism in the year 1985. He is one of the best reporters who covered about 400 world-title fights, and his book is one of the best boxing books for learning. His contributions to boxing have been remembered by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Accurate Information

Kimball is one of the veteran journalists of sports of his time. He witnessed the majesty and compelling in the rivalries between the four fighters. Kimball belongs to the era of the best boxing period, and he has tried to past down the tale to the new generations accurately and cunningly.

Price and Value

Four Kings is a pricey book, but it gives such a compelling and thrilling information about the era of boxing that had four super fighters that the price is overlooked. In this book, you get details about the four boxers from childhood to the end.

Kimball has highlighted the most important events of their lives from the perspective of first-person. This book has been entitled as one of the finest sports books ever written in history. However, this book contains a significant volume of information that might not appeal to the non-boxing audience.

5.    Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig

Ali: A Life is a respected tale; it is the story of the boxer Muhammad Ali told by Jonathan Eig. It is one of the best boxing motivational books that is covering brains, greatness, the bravery of Ali, and the key features involved in boxing.

Muhammad Ali was not only one of the most famous fighters in boxing on the planet, but also, he got to this point through sheer determination and discipline. This book is one of the must-read books that will enlighten you about the politics in the boxing world, basics, and much more.

PEN/ESPN Award 2018

Ali: A Life won the prestigious PEN/ESPN Award in 2018 for praising the ingenious in crafting an up-close and much vivid tale of the great boxer. In this book, the information about Ali will surely fascinate you from beginning to end.

Uncovered Facts

This book emphasizes a lot of the critical components of being a great boxer. Ali was one of the most respected boxers in the world who came in the city filled with segregation known as Louisville.

The details mentioned in this book will shed new light on the sport of boxing and also the politics and rules that are involved with it. This book is so far one of the best biographies of Muhammad Ali that you will find in history.

Price and Value

Ali: A Life is a newly published book. It is one of the best boxing books for learning that got awarded recently both by Times Sports and PEN for Biography of the year. Because of this, it is enlisted as a higher price book than usual. If you are a fan of boxing and the greatest people in boxing, then this book is a must to add in your collection without any doubt.

6.    Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser

Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times, written in 1991 by Thomas Hauser, is the biography of Muhammad Ali. It is one of the best boxing books that won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in the same year.

A Collage of Pieces

This book is a composite and collage of thousands of pieces and bits of observations, intimate knowledge, opinion from Ali's family, his concerns about the opponents he faced, and his mentor Herbert Muhammad.

Lifestyle of Ali

Thomas Hauser's book is more about the lifestyle of Ali outside the ring rather than his fights and performances in the ring. More particularly, this book focuses on the stories and individual tales that are given by interviewing various people who were in contact with Ali, including those who fought against him, worked alongside him, was involved in boxing, and knew him and many more.

This book of knowledge is a good choice for more insight and information about Muhammad Ali and his life. While reading this book, there will be moments when you will tear up sad, laugh out loudly, become angry, and everything else that is in-between.

7.    The Last Great Fight: The Extraordinary Tale of Two Men and How One Fight Changed Their Lives Forever by Joseph Layden

The Last Great Fight is an amazing book that takes you in the boxing world, and you will experience one of the great infamous moments in history. It is one of the best boxing books focusing on the great boxing champion Mike Tyson around the time of 1990. It includes some of the marvelous historic interviews with Mike Tyson himself and his loved one.

Douglas v/s Tyson

This is a historic fight that can be titled as one of the biggest comebacks in the history of boxing that is covered in this book. Douglas and Tyson both fought all the way courageously to the 10th round until only one would stand. The narrative structure of this book surrounds the fight, and it shows the ability of the author to highlight one of the most intense moments in modern sport.

First-Person Interviews

Joe Layden is not only one of the best-sellers but also an award-winning journalist. He interviewed the members of Tyson and Douglas's family, their children, and even the referee of the fight.

Layden also had the chance to cover professional boxing during the height of Tyson's period, and he knew everything needed to know about writing the historical tale of redemption and tragedy. His detailed interviews with fighters and research enabled him to recreate Tyson's era.

Price and Value

The Last Great Fight is one of the best boxing motivational books and is a bit more expensive as compared to other books. We recommend buying this book only if you are interested in the story of Tyson and Douglas. Otherwise, there are many other options covering a more comprehensive range of the history of boxing.

8.    The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472 by Rubin Carter

If you are looking for books about female boxers, there are many options available on Amazon. Talking about The Sixteenth Round, it is the book based on the life of the American boxer Rubin Carter. Carter was one of the top fighters in the history of boxing who got a huge success.

He was the survivor of a difficult youth who rose and became a top contender for the middleweight boxing crown. But his successful career crashed on 26th May 1967 when he and one other man were found guilty for the murder of three white people, and both of them were sentenced to three consecutive life terms.

Power of Carter's Voice

The Sixteenth Round was written by Carter from prison, and the book was first published in 1974, focusing his journey from the ring to solitary confinement. The book was Carter's cry for help addressing the public. This book was an attempt to set the record straight and force a new trial.

The power of Carter's voice through this book and his ironic humor made this book a soul-sitting account of a remarkable life. It was one of the best boxing motivational books, and Carter was released from prison in the year 1988 due to his struggles.

Carter is the author of 'Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom' along with being former chair and CEO of Canada's Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, and since 2005 he is CEO of Innocence International. He has written three books, and his life has been the subject and major motion picture of all of them.

9.    Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier by Mark Kram

Ghosts of Manila is a book written by Kram in which he has mentioned a sort of dual biography of both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. This book is centered on the third fight of both boxers, the final fight, the Thrilla in Manila.

The book starts with the presence of both fighters, their lifestyle, their careers in their own, and different ways of how both boxers deal with consequences. Then the author moves to the journey of Ali and Frazier that took both of them towards each other and the third brutal fight that changed each man forever.

The Third Fight

In the third fight, Ali and Frazier not only did physical damage to each other, but there were also emotional effects. This book will reveal how the public viewed and treated them. According to Ali, they went to Manila as champions, but they came back as old men.

In this fight, the rivalry between Ali and Frazier when out of control. This match became a madness that was inflamed by the politics of race and media.

10.                    The Greatest: My Own Story by Muhammad Ali and Richard Durham

The Greatest: My Own Story is an autobiography of heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali that was written in 1975. Muhammad Ali is known as the greatest heavyweight from all eras as he was three times World Heavyweight Champion.

This autobiography was written in collaboration with Richard Durham. This book focuses on the battles that the heavyweight champion faced both in and out of the ring. It is the multifaceted portrait of Muhammad Ali that only he could render.

An Inspiring Athlete

Muhammad Ali grew up in the south, where he was surrounded by racial discrimination and bigotry. He fought not only for living but also for respect and many other rewards that are much more prestigious than money or glory.

Ali redefined that being an athlete means to give hope to millions of people around the world and inspire others to fight for what is crucial for us. He was entitled as Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated and BBC.

Books on Female Boxers

Women have been participating in boxing as long as the sport existed, but female boxers don't get as much recognition as the male boxers do. However, there are many books about female boxers, portraying their bravery and determination.

1.     A History of Women's Boxing by Malissa Smith

‘A History of Women's Boxing’ provides details about the sport back in the 1700s through the 2012 Olympic Games until the present day. The modern-day female boxing we witness has its roots back to the early eighteenth century in London. Also, in the 1904 Olympics, there was an exhibition bout held between women.

However, 100 years later, in the 2012 Olympics, women's boxing was officially added to the Games. Throughout the history of boxing, female boxers have struggled a lot and fought not only inside but also outside the ring to attain respect in the sport that is traditionally considered only for men.

This book is a comprehensive work that is dedicated to women's boxing, and the stories of these women are enlightened for the first time. In this book, you will find extensive details about the pioneers of female boxing such as Barbara Buttrick, teenager Claressa Shields, Dallas Malloy, and famous boxing daughters Jacqui Frazier-Lyde and Laila Ali.

The actions done by female boxers inside the ring are brought to life by newspaper clippings and photographs. While stories of ladies who played a significant role outside the ring to earn respect for female boxers are acquired from judges to managers as well as trainers.

It is one of the best books about female boxers that emphasizes the obstacles, successes, and struggles of women who fought and continued fighting despite the hardships for the respect of their sport.

You will find exhaustive research and details in this book, making it a must-read book for the sports historians, boxing fans, and all those people who are interested in the history of female boxing.

2.     Without Apology: Girls, Women, and the Desire to Fight by Leah Hager Cohen

Cohen wrote 'Without Apology' alongside learning to box with four teenage girls. In this book, she has mentioned the discipline and facts that she discovered in the gym while training. This book is about herself, about girls who box and the connection and link between femininity and aggression.

Cohen has described the story of sisters Sefina, Jacinta, and Candi Rodriguez, their friend Nikki Silvano and their coach Raphaëlla Cruz who was the first amateur female boxing champion. According to Cohen, aggression is a crucial aspect of the behavior of a female.

She explains how her aggression has helped her in her issues, violence, parenting, and weight. This book is basically a detailed look at female psychology and the astonishing world of female boxing.


Whether you want to gain an in-depth and detailed understanding of the sport, or simply desire to have a good read about your favorite sport, we have got you covered with the best boxing books mentioned above. All the books on our list have something fascinating and inspiring for you.

They either tell the magnificent tales of boxing legends or offer a vivid glimpse of what put boxing into its own class. From these books, you will learn about not only the history of boxing but also the future of this sport. You can easily get the references to some of the vital moments that are the basics of the current thrills from these books.

When someone is interested in something, it natural to desire to get a keen understanding of every aspect. With the help of our 10 best boxing books for learning, you will get knowledge about the noteworthy fights and the dramatic life stories of the boxing heroes who have inspired the world.

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