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Unformatted text preview: In his excellent critical biography, Presenting Robert Lipsyte , Michael Cart repeats Lipsyte's account of how the sports journalist first got his idea for The Contender. Lipsyte was in Las Vegas to cover a heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Floyd Patterson, scheduled for November 22, 1965. The night before the fight, he had a conversation with legendary boxing manager Cus D'Amato, then in his late fifties. D'Amato reminisced about the days when he worked in his gym on New York's Lower East Side. As with Donatelli's Gym in the novel, a prospect had to climb three flights to present himself. D'Amato had a special interest in the kids who, like Alfred, came running up the stairs afraid and alone. He compared that fear to fire, which can "burn you or keep you warm; it can destroy you or make you a hero, a contender in the ring and in life." The keep you warm; it can destroy you or make you a hero, a contender in the ring and in life....
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This note was uploaded on 12/06/2011 for the course ENG 3320 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at University of Houston.
- Fall '09
- The Contender