February 10, 2017

Lone Star Book Blog Tours : West Texas Middleweight by Frank Sikes

The Story of LaVern Roach (Sport in the American West Series)


Frank Sikes

Genre: Biography
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Date of Publication: June 30, 2016
Number of Pages: 288

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LaVern Roach, a skinny kid from the small town of Plainview, Texas, rose from obscurity to become one of boxing’s most popular figures during the 1940s. Roach’s rise to prominence occurred during an era when boxing shared the spotlight with baseball as the nation’s top two professional sports. As a result of Roach’s death—which marked the first nationally televised fight during which a boxer died from injuries received in the ring—the sport of boxing came under closer scrutiny by the general public than ever before.
West Texas Middleweight is the story of Roach’s all too brief journey from a West Texas amateur, to enlistment in the US Marines, where he captained the nation’s most successful military boxing team, to becoming a Madison Square Garden main eventer. He received the distinction of being named The Ring Magazine’s “Rookie of the Year” for 1947 and was considered a top ten contender for the middleweight championship of the world. This book chronicles Roach’s road to his final fight—and it explains why, as noted by legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, “boxing changed because of LaVern Roach.”

email: ttup@ttu.edu
phone: 800.742.2982

I have to be honest and I wasn't so sure about this book since I'm not a big boxing fan but reading this book made me appreciated more about what this young man did for the boxing world than anything I have ever read or seen. Everything that LaVern accomplished in his short life was amazing even for that time period and it goes to show you what you can do if you follow your dream. Reading the part about his time in the Marine Corp, made me fall in love with this story even more, it just goes to show what kind of person LaVern was in the fact that he was willing to stop following his dream of being a boxer to serve his country in the time of need.  I loved the part in the end that had a where are they now section and it was interesting to see where everyone ended up and it makes you wonder what would have happened if LaVern survived that last fight.

Thank You to Frank Sikes for introducing people to LaVern Roach and his short but amazing life!!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours!

Frank Sikes, a third-generation West Texan, grew up in Plainview, where LaVern Roach, along with Jimmy Dean, were hometown heroes.  Sikes graduated from Texas Tech in 1967, then was a US Navy Officer proudly serving aboard the USS Little Rock stationed in Gaeta, Italy from 1968-1970.  He attended the University of Houston School of Business, from 1973 to 1975, and got his master's degree in religion from Wayland Baptist University in 2011. Frank and his wife Nancy have been married for 50 years and have two grown children out of the house, and two Boston Terriers, Molly and Maggie (or as some suggest Boston terrorists) who rule the house. Lubbock has been home for the past 30 years with stops in Newport, RI; San Francisco, CA; Gaeta, Italy; Houston, TX; and Albuquerque, NM.  West Texas Middleweight is his first book. Connect with the author on FACEBOOK.



 Each Wins a Signed Copy of the Book 
Each Wins a Signed Copy of the Book PLUS a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

   June 1 - June 10, 2016

7/1       Texan Girl Reads  – Review

7/2       My Book Fix Blog – Author Interview #1

7/3       Forgotten Winds – Guest Post #1

7/4       Margie's Must Reads Review

7/6       StoreyBook Reviews  – Author Interview #2

7/7       Book Chase Review

7/8       The Page Unbound Author Interview #3

7/9       Missus Gonzo  – Guest Post #2

7/10    It's a Jenn World Review

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