On 26 July 1928 Tom Heeney entered the ring at New YorkÃ¢ s Yankee Stadium, in front of 46,000 spectators, wearing a Maori cloak. Guaranteed $100,000, he was about to fight world heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. In his hometown of Gisborne crowds cheered him on in what was described as 'the most ambitious radio station hook-up in history.' This was the golden, mafia-controlled, era of American boxing. From Poverty Bay to Broadway takes us into this world: the world of Tom Heeney. This beautifully written and extensively researched book follows the life of one of New Zealand's most colourful sports personalities from a labourer's cottage in Gisborne to the nightclubs of Broadway to fishing in Florida with Ernest Hemingway. It reveals both the infamous (he killed a man with one punch, left another for dead on the canvas and ran with gunmen, gangsters and racketeers) and the famous (he was New Zealand's first global sporting hero who became a member of the 'smart set' as the Jazz Age roared through Manhattan) Tom Heeney. The book includes photographs, illustrations and memorabilia from Tom Heeney's career, some never before published.
Born in New Zealand, Lydia Monin is a former Fellow of Green College, University of Oxford. She holds a Bachelors degree in Political Studies from the University of Otago, a postgraduate Diploma in Journalism from the University of Canterbury and a Masters degree in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin. She began her career in Auckland as a television documentary producer before becoming a network reporter for Radio New Zealand and then a reporter and producer for Television New Zealand's regional news and current affairs. She has written two books.