Friday Night Fighter

Friday Night Fighter Gaspar "Indio" Ortega and the Golden Age of Television Boxing

Hardback (23 Apr 2013)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Friday Night Fighter relives a lost moment in American postwar history, when boxing ruled as one of the nation's most widely televised sports. During the 1950s and 1960s, viewers tuned in weekly, sometimes even daily, to watch widely recognized fighters engage in primordial battle; the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports Friday Night Fights was the most popular fight show. Troy Rondinone follows the dual narratives of the Friday Night Fights show and the individual story of Gaspar "Indio" Ortega, a boxer who appeared on prime-time network television more than almost any other boxer in history. From humble beginnings growing up poor in Tijuana, Mexico, Ortega personified the phenomenon of postwar boxing at its greatest, appearing before audiences of millions to battle the biggest names of the time, such as Carmen Basilio, Tony DeMarco, Chico Vejar, Benny "Kid" Paret, Emile Griffith, Kid Gavilan, Florentino Fernández, and Luis Manuel Rodriguez.

Rondinone explores the factors contributing to the success of televised boxing, including the rise of television entertainment, the role of a "reality" blood sport, Cold War masculinity, changing attitudes toward race in America, and the influence of organized crime. At times evoking the drama and spectacle of the Friday Night Fights themselves, this volume is a lively examination of a time in history when Americans crowded around their sets to watch the main event.

Book information

ISBN: 9780252037375
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Imprint: University of Illinois Press
Pub date:
Language: English
Number of pages: 274
Weight: 618g
Height: 229mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 30mm