FanShot

DETOUR AHEAD: Georgie Abrams and the Middleweights of the 1940s

To begin with, he does not resemble a prizefighter. There is the receding hairline, unusual for such a young man, but you can almost imagine a puckish little cowlick plastered on his forehead whenever he is away from the gym. Then there is a hint of mischief in his look; his pursed lips almost seem to be restraining a smile. Even the bruise visible under his right eye cannot take away from a certain impishness. Finally, there is that name, of course, Georgie. Hardly fitting, it seems, for a man who makes his living hurting and being hurt. But for two or three years, before hard luck sticks out its foot and trips him up at every turn, he is one of the top middleweights in the world. In fact, they call him the "Uncrowned Champion." Years later, when his fractured, luckless fighting days are over, they forget him, and, through a haze of confusion, he rides his bicycle up and down scorched Las Vegas streets, hoping to be recognized by someone, anyone, formerly the Number One ranked middleweight in the world, the man they called Georgie. READ MORE FROM THE CRUELEST SPORT.

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