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Boxing gyms are uncovered in all of their glorious grunge in these photographs and essays that reveal both the stark reality of success and the possibility of promise in the sport of boxing. This intimate look at the fighters, trainers, and hangers-on who inhabit these gyms brings to life the toughand surprisingly tenderworld of American boxing. Evocative images reveal the pain, sacrifice, and discipline of the "sweet science" as well as the triumphs, tragedies, and big dreams of the men and women who practice it. A dozen essays by veteran boxing writers such as Katherine Dunn, Carlo Rotella, Kate Sekules, F. X. Toole, Lucius Shepard, Robert Anasi, Loic Wacquant, Joe Rein, and Ralph Wiley explore the community and culture of boxing gyms, an endangered American institution that serves not only as the training ground for the next generation of great fighters, but as a sanctuary in tough neighborhoods, a lifeline for troubled kids, and a repository of a centuries-old tradition of pugilistic knowledge.