Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Story of Boom Boom Author Mark Kriegel and Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini Will Be Meeting Readers and Signing Copies of the Book at the Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront in Homestead

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Story of Boom Boom Author Mark Kriegel and Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini Will Be Meeting Readers and Signing Copies of the Book at the Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront in Homestead

Article excerpt

Former lightweight boxing champ Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini fought his way out of Youngstown, Ohio, and into the limelight in the early 1980s.

Tonight, he will be in town to share his story.

Known for his intense fighting style, Mr. Mancini, 51, was a fan favorite, retiring with a 29-5 record. Most of his wins were by knockout, and most of his losses were close and controversial.

But one of those victories, a 1982 match at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, stands out because it resulted in the death of his opponent, 23-year-old South Korean Duk Koo Kim.

Mark Kriegel, a sportswriter from New York, was attracted to Mr. Mancini's story and set out to make it part of his "trilogy" about famous athletes with roots in our region.

"Joe Namath is from Beaver Falls. Pete Maravich is from Aliquippa. And Ray is from Youngstown," he said this afternoon from his Downtown hotel room. "And the mill town is an important presence in each of their stories."

The book is "The Good Son: The Life of Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini." Mr. Kriegel and Mr. Mancini will be meeting readers and signing copies of the book at the Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront in Homestead.

"This wasn't an obvious book, but it wouldn't leave me alone," said Mr. Kriegel, who described the work as "the story of fathers and sons."

"This was a very, very personal book for me."

Mr. Mancini said it was that connection with the author that convinced him to cooperate.

"There's been so many things written about me over the years, but this is the first book I've ever done," Mr. Mancini said. "When I was fighting, people wanted to do a book, and I would say, 'I'm only 27 years old. I haven't even lived yet. What am I gonna say? Let me live a little bit. ...

"Then, when I got older and retired, I was still being approached [by authors] years later. I was like, 'Who's gonna care now?' ... What can be told that hasn't been told? …

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