I had never heard of Kevin 'The Look' Lueshing before, having never followed boxing, so when I was asked to read his autobiography I wasn't sure what to expect. But the first few lines of the introduction alone had me hooked and I couldn't stop reading until the end. 'The Belt Boy' is the harrowing story of a boxing champion's rise to fame and success and the awful past he kept hidden.
The first thing you read in this book is the terrible abuse that Lueshing suffered as a child. The account is truly disturbing and sets the tone for the rest of this book. What is refreshing is the complete openness and honesty he has about everything that has happened in his life. Nothing is held back and you learn all about the brutal multiple abuse he faced as a child and how it shaped him in his career and as an adult.
The book doesn't just focus on the difficulties Lueshing had as a child, despite being a champion boxer he still faced hidden problems and has been very candid about everything. This isn't a light hearted read. Though I don't want to give away spoilers (this might be considered one), he speaks openly about himself and some of the people he has met and there is mention of sex and drug use. There is also regular use of the f word.
Despite all the problems he faced though it is wonderful to read how Lueshing overcame all this and this book isn't just an account of his life but a truly inspiring read. As someone who knew very little about the sport of boxing I've come to understand it better and this story had a deeper effect on me personally as I know quite well the area where Lueshing grew up. As with autobiographies/biographies there are some great photos of Lueshing both as a child and as an adult, with his family, various friends and several photos of his boxing career.
Although this is a dark read, the whole book is actually quite gripping too and I certainly feel oddly compelled to read it again after just putting it down. I would recommend this book to everyone, whether you know the world of boxing or not, it is after all a story of a man who overcame a horrible past to become a great champion.