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  • Published: 16 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781775534396
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 560

Fighting Talk

Boxing and the Modern Lexicon



From 'A Low Blow' to 'Went the Distance', a fascinating and lively examination of the regular use of terms from the boxing ring in our everyday language.

From 'A Low Blow' to 'Went the Distance', a fascinating and lively examination of the regular use of terms from the boxing ring in our everyday language.Have you ever stopped to notice how often your local newspaper or favourite magazine uses the terms 'On the Ropes', 'The Gloves Are Off' and 'Knockout Punch'? How often TV newsreaders will say that a politician has "Thrown His hat in the Ring', is a 'Big Hitter', is 'Taking it on the Chin', is 'Down for the Count' or has the 'Killer Instinct'?

Knight of the realm, leading businessman, colourful and controversial commentator, and boxing aficionado Sir Robert — Bob —Jones certainly has. Over a period of years he made careful note of how often terms cropped up and then retraced their etymological origins in boxing history.

The result is a lively, entertaining, and thought-provoking miscellany of boxing terms that are now part of our everyday English language. Some have strayed far from their original meanings, others are more frequently in use now than at any other time. Jones asks why that might be, and his answers are, well, a knockout.

  • Published: 16 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781775534396
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 560

About the author

Bob Jones

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney, totalling in excess of a billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

Jones has published widely in non-fiction and fiction, and is an accomplished essayist. His novels include: The Permit (1984); Full Circle (2000); Ogg (2002); True Facts (2003); and Degrees for Everyone (2004). His essay collections include: Wimp Walloping (1989); Prancing Pavonine Charlatans (1990); A Year of It (1991); Punch Lines (1992); and Wowser Whacking (1993). Hi non-fiction tiles include: New Zealand’s Boxing Yearbook (1972 and 1973); Jones on Property (1977); New Zealand the Way I Want It (1978); Travelling (1980); Bob Jones Letters (1990); Prosperity Denied (1996); Memories of Muldoon (1997); My Property World (2005); and Jones on Management (2007).

Praise for Fighting Talk

The book will become a classic, or deserves to become a classic, in this long and distinguished literature....A long essay on the zen of boxing, which complements the lexicon, is a tour de force of insight, scholarship and wit rather like a combination of the Ah "rope -a- dope" tactics and the great fighter's penchant for punching to the head ... "It's a knockout."

Spiro Zavos, New Zealand Books

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