In 1975, Norman Mailer wrote The Fight, a masterpiece of the literature of sport, which focused solely on the iconic bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Each boxer was paid a five million dollars purse and Mailer interpreted the character of these fighters and analysed their moves like no one had ever done before.
40 years after the publication of Mailer’s book, Taschen has published a new abridged edition with incredible colour and black and white photographs shot by Howard L Bingham and Neil Leifer, who both captured the fight and the moments in between.
Bingham first met Ali in 1962 and took over a million photographs of the champ, creating an intimate portrait of his life and their friendship. New Yorker Leifer was a prolific sports photographer having started as a teenager. Over 160 of his pictures have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and over 40 images have been chosen for the cover of Time.
Together these powerhouse photographers capture boxing in a way that many try to echo today. Throughout the 300-page book, the pair’s photographs sit alongside Mailer’s equally compelling words creating a narrative bursting with an energy and passion that’s almost palpable. As one of Taschen’s XXL books, the images take over the page and allow the reader to fully immerse themselves in that spellbinding moment in time.
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