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Bundini: Don’t Believe the Hype By Todd Snyder

Release date: 04th September, 2020
Publisher: Hamilcar Publications

List Price: £19.99
Our Price: £16.99
You Save: £3 (15%)
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Just when you thought the scintillating career and tragic later life of Muhammad Ali had been written about from every conceivable angle, along comes a classic biography to make you reconsider.

When first published in the USA, one critic wrote of Todd Snyder’s Bundini: Don’t Believe the Hype that it “didn’t just exceed my expectations, it blew them away… it deserves to be considered among the very best biographies.” It is difficult to argue with this assessment. And note: the critic refers to all biographies, not just a sporting sub-group.

Drew ‘Bundini’ Brown is perhaps best known for describing Ali’s boxing style: “floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee” as he sought to give his charge a nickname to remember, creating a prefix such as ‘Rocky’ Marciano or ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson.

Ironically, Bundini’s brilliant description wasn’t needed; Ali became known across the world simply as Ali. Not that this stopped Bundini, the ultimate man you would want fighting your corner. He did this both literally and figuratively, becoming a friend and confidante to ‘The Greatest’; indeed, after reading this compelling tale, George Foreman’s observation, that “Bundini was the source of Muhammad Ali’s spirit” sounds particularly authentic.

Snyder, son of a former professional boxing trainer, has captured Bundini’s character perfectly, acknowledging that while he was no saint, he applied all of his energies to furthering Ali’s cause and career. Often portrayed as a drug-addled ne’er-do-well, Snyder’s well-researched account of Bundini’s influence balances earlier, less flattering descriptions which focus more on Bundini’s many flaws rather than his energy and undoubted charisma.

Bundini certainly did have personal flaws (who doesn’t?) and addictions, but on balance, readers will probably concludes that his gifts outweighed a long list of negative traits, a mix that made him such a fascinating character.

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