The Thrill of the Fight

May 3, 2015

Forget baseball. Boxing just might be our national sport. After all, the highest paid athlete in the country is a fighter. And a long awauted superfight between this generation's best boxers has earned millions in ticket sales. This hour, we explore the popularity and enduring appeal of combat sports.

  1. The Ecstasy of the Fight

    Writer Kerry Howley spent months travelling through the Midwest, following two mixed martial artists as they tried to make a living through fighting. She writes about the experience in her book, "Thrown." Howley sees mixed martial arts as an ecstatic, transcendent, experience -- both for the fighters and the audience.

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  2. Inside the Mind of a Fighter

    Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a fighter in the moments before a fight? Here's one take, courtesy of writer Jonathan Gottschall.

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  3. The Professor Who Became a Cage Fighter

    As he was nearing forty, English professor Jonathan Gottschall took up an unlikely hobby: mixed martial arts. He writes about the experience in his book, "The Professor in the Cage," in which he explores the enduring appeal of fighting. He tells Steve Paulson what led him to step inside the cage with an expert mixed martial artist. 

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  4. The Toughest Teen in the World

    Claressa Shields is one of the highest ranked fighters in the world. At the age of 17 she became the first American to win gold in Olympic Women's Boxing. To date, she has more than fifty victories and only one loss. So what's it like to be one of the toughest teen fighters in the world? Charles Monroe-Kane called Claressa to find out.

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  5. Dangerous Idea: Can Real Life Superheroes Fight Crime?

    Journalist Jon Ronson recounts his memorable night out with a real life superhero named Phoenix Jones. 

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  6. 'The Hunger Games' Meets Ancient Rome in 'An Ember in the Ashes'

    This week we're thinking about the much anticipated debut novel by Sabaa Tahir. Called "An Ember in the Ashes," it's an epic fantasy set in a world reminiscent of ancient Rome. Sabaa Tahir tells Charles Monroe-Kane how her background as a newpaper editor influenced the book.

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