Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 5, 2013

In the ring with Boston's bare-knuckle boxer

Local author pens story of America's first sports star


“Christopher Klein gives readers a ringside seat for one of the greatest boxing careers in history,” says one critic of “Strong Boy” (Lyons Press, $26.95).

Publisher’s Weekly, meanwhile, credits Klein with using his “expressive-yet-scholarly prose to tie Sullivan to the issues of the era, such as temperance, class and race relations, immigration and America’s growth into a world power.”

“In fact, if this book has a drawback, it might be that boxing sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of all Sullivan’s other activities. Still, Klein should not be faulted for his thoroughness since, even though this may not be the first book about Sullivan, it just may be the most exhaustive,” Publisher’s Weekly says.

Next Friday, Dec. 13, Klein visits the Center at Punchard, formerly the Andover Senior Center, to talk about his new book as part of the men’s monthly breakfast series.

Klein said some seniors may remember hearing their parents talk about Sullivan, whose 10-year boxing reign ended 121 years ago — in 1892.

“I thought some of the guys who regularly come for breakfast would enjoy this,” said Karen Payne Taylor, Center at Punchard program coordinator, who booked Klein for the event.

Klein is a history and travel writer and the author of two previous books, “Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands” and “The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston.” He has also written for the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Harvard Magazine, Red Sox Magazine,, and

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