New book gives ‘blow-by-blow’ account of Nevada boxing history

From a UNR news release

Davies-Boxing-Book-199x300Richard O. “Dick” Davies offers a blow-by-blow account of boxing in the Silver State in his new book, The Main Event: Boxing in Nevada from the Mining Camps to the Las Vegas Strip.

Davies was inspired to write his book after speaking with Matt Becker, senior acquisitions editor for the University of Nevada Press, and spent a few years researching Nevada’s history and culture of boxing.

The Main Event is his newest chronicle of sports history. Thus far, Davies has contributed to 15 books, nine of which he has written and many of which are related to sports, including Rivals! The Ten Greatest American Sports Rivalries of the 20th Century, Betting the Line: Sports Wagering in American Life and America’s Obsession: Sports and Society Since 1945.

Davies_470-200x300A longtime history professor, Davies was first hired at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1980 as the vice president for academic affairs. Throughout his tenure, he was named a University Foundation Professor in 1999, a Distinguished Professor in 2009 and a Distinguished Service Professor at the time of his retirement in 2011. Today, he is an appointed distinguished professor of history, emeritus and a 2013 inductee into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. His historical accounts of sports have been acclaimed by peers, Sports Illustrated and the Journal of Sports History.

In keeping with the boxing theme, Davies titled the book’s chapters “rounds.” The opening rounds discuss boxing’s origins in Nevada mining camps such as Goldfield and Tonopah followed by the first legalized boxing fight between Bob Fitzsimmons and Jim Corbett in Nevada in 1897. Several other matches are discussed, including the “Fight of the Century” between Jack Johnson and James Jeffries in 1910 and the big-name fights in Las Vegas after the 1960s.

“Boxing encompasses Nevada’s maverick spirit,” Davies said. “Many people may not realize it but boxing was engrained in our state’s culture and the University, and the boxing team even had an impact on the sport.”

The book will be available for purchase Monday, April 21. Davies is planning an author’s talk and book signing at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 1, at Sundance Books and Music on 121 California Ave. in Reno.

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