Book review: “Reelin’ In The Years: Boxing And More,” by Theodore R. (Ted) Sares

By John Howard

A sophomore jinx is a term that refers to a second (sophomore) effort that fails to live up to the first effort. This can happen in ones sophomore year in college, a second year of playing professional sports, or a second attempt at writing a book. With his second book, “Reelin’ In The Years: Boxing And More,” Sares has landed a solid left hook to the body.

Sares has lived and breathed boxing his entire life. Therefore, it’s an impossible task to adequately review and do this collection the justice it deserves. Sares has a deep love for — and encyclopedic knowledge of — the fight game dating back some 60 years.

We are taken along on a historical journey though America starting with the authors humble beginnings as a young boy from the northwest side of Chicago. The reader is taken back to a time in the 1950s when boys and men bonded without knowing they were bonding. It was a time of innocence in America.
With a cult-like following on East Side Boxing, where he is respectfully known by the moniker of “Ted the Bull,” Sares, a private investor by trade and former parks district amateur boxer, describes in microscopic detail the countless fights he’s attended in person or first witnessed through the screen of a nine-inch black and white Admiral TV. With his straight-shooting, highly opinionated style of writing, the reader is taken along at full-tilt boogie through an incredible and sometimes bloody and brutal journey

With graduate degrees in both economics and business administration, Sares still maintains his roots which are firmly planted in blue-collar America. The author revisits the Golden Age of Boxing Heavyweights that included Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Norton, Quarry, Chuvalo, Lyle, Shavers and Patterson. He continues on through the era of the late 1970s with the WBC and WBA recognizing multiple champions and mandatory challengers which produced a general corruption throughout the sport.
Along with Sares, the reader feels the effects of riding the pendulum from love to hate when revisiting the dark side of boxing with the tragic bout involving Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Duk Koo Kim. You'll relive the nightmarish bout from 1962 between Benny “Kid” Paret and Emile Griffith. The reader will feel first-hand the dreaded onset of dementia pugilistica.
The author revisits the careers of the successes in the sport, yet doesn't fail to mention the fighters that aren't exactly household names. Fighters like Reggie Strickland (66-276-17) and Donnie Penelton (13-164-5) ... noble and courageous fighters that have risked their lives to entertain the fans.


About Ted Sares: If you like boxing...If you love boxing...Then you will love this book. Ted " The Bull " Sares has a way of taking the sport of boxing to it's inner core. Stripped down, mano y mano. Ask no quarter, give no quarter. This is a man who has followed boxing for years sharing his profound memories in words that make you feel that you are almost at ringside. Ted does not shy away from anything. He shares the courage of the fighters he writes about but he also shares the tragedy of some.

This is the most heart felt boxing book I've read in years. Ted's perspective on the sport is absolutely endearing. To me he is the A.J. Liebling of our era.That is the highest compliment I can pay to a boxing writer and Ted has surely earned it.
I highly recommend the book to any boxing fan. It is like walking through history, up close and personal. "Boxing Is My Sanctuary, by Theodore R. (Ted) Sares © 2007