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  • NYS Writers Institute

Todd Snyder, author of "Bundini: Don't Believe the Hype"

Paul Grondahl interviews professor and author Todd Snyder, whose new book Bundini: Don’t Believe The Hype, tells the story of Muhammad Ali’s so-called “hype man” and boxing’s greatest motivator.

50 years after he coined the iconic phrase Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, Drew “Bundini” Brown remains one of boxing’s most mysterious and misunderstood figures. His impact on the sport and the culture at large is undeniable. Cornerman and confidant to two of the greatest fighters ever―Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali―Brown lived an extraordinary American life.

“I think Bundini was the source of Muhammad Ali’s spirit. I wouldn’t even call him a trainer or cornerman, he was more important than a trainer. Ali had an unmeasurable determination and he got it from Bundini.”—George Foreman

“Mr. Snyder writes lyrically, and his research appears to be impeccable: It’s hard to imagine that anyone has slipped through his interview net…When Bundini died―in September 1987, at age 59―Ali was abroad and unable to attend the funeral, but he sent flowers with a card that read: ‘You made me the greatest.’ Many members of the boxing fraternity, George Foreman and Larry Holmes included, think that Ali wasn’t exaggerating. Mr. Snyder’s affecting portrait will convince the rest of us as well.”―Gordon Marino, Wall Street Journal

On his website, Todd describes himself as "Trailer Park Kid from Rural West Virginia. First-Generation College Student. College Professor. Reader. Writer. Husband. Daddy. Boxing Aficionado. Rappalachian. Coffee Junkie. Working-Class Scholar. Not in that particular order."

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