'Ring magic is different from the magic of the theatre, because the curtain never comes down - because the blood in the ring is real blood, and the broken noses and the broken hearts are real, and sometimes they are broken forever. Boxing is the magic of men in combat, the magic of will, and skill, and pain, and the risking of everything so you can respect yourself for the rest of your life.' In this dazzling collection of stories F.X. Toole exhibits the skill of a miniaturist: in precise and exquisite detail, he peoples a world rich in unforgettable characters. At the same time he brings a new understanding to the violence and purity of the sweet science, opening a window into the fighter's soul.