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Off the Ropes – The Ron Lyle Story

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by Candace Toft

With an introduction by Bert Sugar

In a life as tough and brutal as his bouts, Ron Lyle had already served hard time for second degree murder before he began his amateur boxing career. Afterwards, he was the supposedly third-rate fighter who had Muhammad Ali beat for ten rounds in the title bout; the guy who fought George Foreman in a brawl with four knockdowns, known in boxing lore as `The One For the Ages'; and the guy who was arrested for murder a second time. Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story not only explores the era of the greatest heavyweights in world boxing history, it tells an equally compelling personal tale. Paperback, 336 pages. Postage & packing free.

'How do we reconcile this soft-spoken, gentle man with the "toughest heavyweight who never won the title"?' In a life as tough and brutal as his bouts, Ron Lyle had already served hard time for second degree murder before he started his amateur boxing career. Afterwards, he was the supposedly third-rate fighter who had Muhammad Ali beat for ten rounds in the title bout; the guy who fought George Foreman in a brawl with four knockdowns, known in boxing lore as `The One For the Ages'; and the guy who was arrested for murder a second time. Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story not only explores the era of the greatest heavyweights in world boxing history, it tells an equally compelling personal tale. Ron Lyle grew up in the Denver projects, one of nineteen children in a religious family. Aged 20, he was convicted for a disputed gang killing and served several years in the state penitentiary, where he learned to box before he was paroled in 1969. After a meteoric amateur career and an executive pardon, he turned pro in 1971 and over the next six years established an outstanding record in the ring. Then, in 1978, Lyle was indicted for murder a second time and, even though he was acquitted, his career was effectively over. The years that followed were filled with struggle, a captivating love story and ultimate redemption. Today, he runs a youth centre in Denver that bears his name. Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story is the poignant, uplifting biography of a singular man.

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