With his new book released, I was granted the opportunity to ask Adam Smith a few questions about the genesis of the book and a few more in respect to his time in boxing covering it for Sky Television. I found Mr. Smith to be enlightening and entertaining with his passion for the sport, which is mirrored in the book itself which I can heartily recommend:
1. What was the idea for the book?
I am passionate about boxing and passionate about families. Always wanted to write a book – and this seemed like a different and interesting combination
2. Why did you focus on the family side mostly?
Those closest to the fighters go through so much – but are often forgotten. The relationships are fascinating…
3. Was it always your intention to make it part biographical?
I have been in the sport for 20 years, and I am also a family man. I felt that dovetailed nicely – and enabled me to tell some of the stories that I have been so fortunate to be involved in through my engrossing work at Sky
4. Where would you put the value of a good family in terms of a good boxer - along with conditioning, talent, skill?
So important. Obviously the fighter has to have talent, dedication and huge desire – but a family structure and support is, I believe, fairly crucial to success. Particularly love and guidance in those early years too.
5. Are boxers born or bred?
Both. Genes help – look at Floyd Mayweather – but talent can be honed – like Ricky Hatton, Carl Froch….
6. Who is the best boxer you have ever seen from ringside?
Floyd Mayweather. Dazzling. Brilliant.
7. What is the best contest you have ever seen from ringside?
The best fight in terms of pure drama was Naseem Hamed and Kevin Kelley’s 7 fight knockdown war at Madison Square Garden.
The greatest fight I have commentated on – Diego Corrales – Jose Luis Castillo 1.
8. Where do you sit in the Mayweather-Pacquiao debate? Will it ever happen?
Probably. But too late now. They could have had a trilogy. Always felt Mayweather would be too classy.
9. What is the current state of boxing?
Some exciting things going on as always – Froch, Khan, Brook, Price in UK and Ward, Broner, Alvarez, etc in US/Mexico.
Need more excitement in the heavyweight division. PED’s worrying, and have to be flushed out.
We are looking for bigger, deeper shows on Sky with real pick-em fights.
10. How well will Team GB do in boxing at the Olympics (male and female)?
Very well. 10 fabulous, healthy and talented athletes. All 7 men and all 3 women are primed and ready, and could each win a medal. Luck’s needed of course, but I think we are looking at at least 5 medals. Watch out for Anthony Joshua to be one of the stars of the Olympics. This will produce another great cycle for boxing here…..
Just to clarify Adam's predictions he was spot on with the prediction of 5 medals and Anthony Joshua winning Gold - under the stewardship of Rob McCracken Great Britain won three Golds - Joshua (Super-heavy), Luke Campbell (Bantam) and Nicola Adams (Women's fly); one silver - Freddie Evans (Welter) and one bronze, Anthony Ogogo (Middle) at the 2012 Olympics.
Beautiful Brutality: The Family Ties at the Heart of Boxing is out now in hardback from Bantam Press.