Book Review: Unclaimed Destiny

Unclaimed Destiny - The Heart of a Champion

Ever been taken for ride? Abused, misused or manipulated? We all know that greed is everywhere. It's endemic. It's a disease that cannot be treated. A sore that never heals. Gordon Gecko of Wallstreet said, "Greed is good." I doubt Gregg "Rusty" Rosenberger will agree. Rusty who? The name meant nothing to me. I'm not a boxing aficionado. The story of Unclaimed Destiny: The Heart of a Champion, however, means something.

The noble art of boxing has taken many punches to its shaky reputation. Brains have been damaged and combatants killed, fights have been fixed and shonky promoters have accumulated a wealth of sly riches. Brutality aside, the lucrative nature of pugilism is such that those unable to resist the lure of temptation will seek to gain from the exploitation of others - irrespective of the cost.

Rusty was a boxing talent. In 1979, this developing talent struck a decisive blow to the chin of the fight world when he claimed the New Jersey State Middleweight Champion. Higher honours beckoned. Committed to success, dedicated to achieve, but too trusting, the latter was a knockout punch to his blossoming career. The victim of his manager's short-term greed, Rusty accepted some pills prior to stepping into the ring. Ironically, his nickname typified his drug-infected performance. Rusty seized. Hit hard and often, he was never the same boxer again.

Unclaimed Destiny: The Heart of a Champion will never be a literary great. Don't expect a tale of epic proportions. This is not a Pulitzer Prize winner or Dickensian masterpiece. It's a sad and simple account of man whose trust sent him to the canvas of boxing oblivion. Now speech affected, suffering a punch-drunk affliction common to many aging boxers, Rusty is a sergeant working in an Ohio prison. Dreams of glove greatness long since counted out, still carrying the bruises of what may-have-been, the full force of deceit and exploitation crushed his lofty aspirations but not his formidable spirit.

The noble art of boxing? Hmmm, don't think so.


Interview - Rusty Rosenberger - 26th December 2003

Article: What Makes A Champion, by Greg Tingle

Mediaman: Sports