May 25, 2011
Thomas Hauser writes of The Sweetest Thing in his column “Literary Notes” from website The Sweet Science:
The Sweetest Thing by Mischa Merz recounts the author’s experiences as a forty-something amateur boxer.
Merz starts off on solid ground, noting, “The increased acceptance of female athletes in many different sports has given women the freedom to be tough and mean and ruthless.” … The most interesting passages concern former super-middleweight Ann Wolfe … Merz describes Wolfe as going through life “in what looked to be continuous staredown mode.”
“I can hit,” she quotes Wolfe as saying. “I can hit hard. I hit like a man, and I’m gonna hurt you. When you get in that ring with me, you better have your soul right, because I’m gonna destroy you. I’ll have no conscience about what I’ll do to you. I’m trying to survive, and I’ll destroy anything I come in contact with before it destroys me. I’m a natural killer. You gonna bully me? My parents died when I was a kid. I lived on the streets, eating out of trash cans. I lived with killers. How you gonna bully me in a boxing ring?”
Bernard Hopkins couldn’t have said it better.