About the book


Kirkland Laing is the finest British boxer never to have fought for a world title.  Over four decades, he defeated champions and lost to journeymen in mercurial displays that amazed and infuriated managers, promoters and fans alike.  Throughout that time, he lived and fought as nature led him, relying on instinct in every part of his life.

From his shock ABA triumph aged just seventeen, Kirk moved on to a rollercoaster pro career marked by dazzling successes, unexpected defeats and implausible comebacks.  The flashy, fast-handed young pro ended up a fighting exile by the mid-eighties, but returned in triumph as the dreadlocked elder statesman of British boxing, calling himself “The Gifted One” as he feasted on cow’s foot and the cream of the nation’s welterweights.  Only at the age of forty did he walk away from the professional ring for the final time.  Even then, the drama wasn’t over.

Through six years of research, Oliver Jarratt has interviewed the people who took part in Kirk’s remarkable journey – school-teachers, classmates, trainers, team-mates, opponents and referees – to provide the first full account of Kirkland Laing’s career and a unique insight into British boxing’s most brilliant eccentric.


All profits from sales of the book go to Kirkland Laing.

The book has now sold out!  Many thanks to all purchasers for your support and kind words!