Originally published in 1986 (McGraw-Hill), The Black Lights was the first book that fully explored the sport and business of professional boxing. Upon joining the training camp of superlightweight Billy Costello, Thomas Hauser was given unprecedented access to the fighter, his manager, and trainer as well as to the real heavyweights of the boxing world, promoter Don King, and World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman. The result, according to Playboy in their review of the original, is a book that "explains why fighters fight, what they go through to win, and how they feel when they lose. It is a great book."
In this gracefully written, fast-paced narrative, the author slips quietly into the background and gives us a firsthand look at a business that is often cruel and exploitative and a sport that is at once violent and beautiful. As the San Francisco Chronicle points out, The Black Lights provides ammunition for both sides in the debate over boxing: "Hauser has written what is clearly the most complete and fairminded work on the subject to date." In an age when the controversy surrounding the evils and merits of boxing still rages, this classic account is more timely than ever.