Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Knock Out! The True Story of Emile Griffith
Reinhard Kleist


The American boxing champion Emile Griffith gained notoriety in 1962 when he brutally defeated the Cuban fighter Benny Paret. Ten days after the fight, Paret, who had directed a homophobic slur at Griffith during the weigh-in, died from his injuries. Reinhard Kleist draws a powerful, emotive portrait of a bisexual black athlete who, facing racism and homophobia in 1960s America, found success in the world of boxing. This is the story of a fierce and ambitious fighter, and of a knock-out blow that ended one life and changed a second forever.

Paperback, 168pp
SelfMadeHero, 2020
ISBN 9781910593868