A former professional boxer, actor, horse trainer and radio announcer, Charles Willeford (1919-1988) is best known for his Miami-based crime novels ... Show synopsis A former professional boxer, actor, horse trainer and radio announcer, Charles Willeford (1919-1988) is best known for his Miami-based crime novels featuring hard-boiled detective Hoke Moseley, including "Miami Blues" and "Sideswipe." His career as a writer began in the late 1940s, but it was his 1972 novel "Cockfighter" that announced his name to a wider audience. Of that book, Harry Crews said, "Charles Willeford renders the sport with such knowledge and attention to detail that... I had the almost inexpressible impression of being on my knees again beside the great fighting pits of the southern circuit." Considered to be Willeford's masterpiece, "Cockfighter" is a brutal and beautiful fiction of the American South, loosely modeled, according to the author, on Homer's "Odyssey." Frank Mansfield is the titular cockfighter: a silent and fiercely contrary man whose obsession with winning will cost him almost everything. Mansfield haunts the cockpits, bars and roads of the rural South in the early 1960s, adrift but always capable of nearly anything. First published in complete form in 1972, and adapted by Willeford for a Monte Hellman film in 1974 (which became infamous for its use of real animals in the fight scenes), the novel "Cockfighter" has been out of print for nearly 20 years. "Cockfighter" is issued here with an introduction by Jesse Pearson and is the second volume in PictureBox's ongoing Charles Willeford reissue series.