Mountain Rivera is at the end of his boxing career after a knockout by Cassius Clay in the seventh round. His left eye is one punch from permanent trauma, his ears turned to cauliflower, his speech slurred from "being hit a million times", and he slings punches anytime he hears a bell His trainer and 'cutman' Army, and Miss Miller, a manipulative social worker, support his illusion that he could be a movie usher, a camp counselor—or a romantic partner for Miller.
The story of Mike Tyson. From his early days as a 12 year old amateur with a powerful punch, to the undisputed title of "Heavyweight Champion of the World", and ultimately to his conviction for rape. The story of his turbulent life moves quickly, never focusing for long on anything in particular.
An American story. Traces the career of Joe Louis (1914-1981) within the context of American racial consciousness: his difficulty getting big fights early in his career, the pride of African-Americans in his prowess, the shift of White sentiment toward Louis as Hitler came to power, Louis's patriotism during World War II, and the hounding of Louis by the IRS for the following 15 years. In his last years, he's a casino greeter, a drug user, and the occasional object of scorn for young Turks like Muhammad Ali. Appreciative comment comes from boxing scholars, Louis's son Joe Jr., friends, and icons like Maya Angelou, Dick Gregory, and Bill Cosby.