Off The Ropes
The Ron Lyle Story
by Candace Toft, Foreword by Al Bernstein
Pub Date 31 Oct 2018
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In a life as tough as his battles in the ring, Ron Lyle had already served hard time for second-degree murder before he started his amateur boxing career at the age of twenty-nine. After he turned pro, fans knew him as the man who had Muhammad Ali beat on the scorecards for ten rounds in a fight for the heavyweight title; as the man who fought George Foreman in a legendary brawl with four knockdowns that nearly saw Foreman knocked cold; and as the man who was arrested for murder a second time.
Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story is not your typical boxing biography, exploring not only the greatest era of heavyweights in boxing history, but also telling an equally compelling personal tale. Ron Lyle grew up in the Denver projects, one of nineteen children in a tight-knit, religious family. At twenty, he was convicted for a disputed gang killing and served seven and a half years at the Colorado State Penitentiary at Cañon City, where at one point he was nearly shanked to death, and where he learned to box before he was paroled in 1969.
After a meteoric amateur career, he turned pro in 1971, and over the next six years established an outstanding professional record, which, in addition to the near misses against Ali and Foreman, included a brutal knockout win over one of the era's most feared fighters, big-punching Earnie Shavers.
Then, in 1978, Lyle was indicted for murder a second time and, even though he was acquitted, his career was effectively over. The years that followed were filled with struggle, a captivating love story, and eventual redemption. Today, a youth center in Denver that he ran still bears his name.
Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story is the poignant, uplifting biography of a singular man.
About the Author:
Author Candace Toft won her first award in 1999 for Best Personal Essay in University Publications, Western Region; the piece, entitled Not Just Another Cancer Story had been submitted on behalf of the National University periodical Insight and was later published in Coping Magazine under the title, The Love That Sees Me Through. In 2000, her novel A Mingled Yarn won first runner-up in the San Diego Book Awards unpublished novel category. In 2002, Candace won runner-up for poetry Chapbook with Poems to My Mother, and for The Trap in the category of Novelist Grant Award. In 2004, she, along with her co-author, Gordon Ooley, won first place in San Diego Book Awards Unpublished novel category for Emergence. Candace Toft passed away in 2015.