Upperkut launches a knock-out book on the future of boxing

Passion. Determination. Cool. That’s what allowed Alexandre Choko — boxer, trainer, and fight promoter — to get exclusive interviews with 55 stars of the ring, among them Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson  and Joe Cortez, and to put together,  in collaboration with Upperkut, a stunning, 324-page coffee table book with 600 photos illustrating great moments in the history of professional boxing.

Upperkut’s mandate was to handle the artistic direction and the production of this immense project that took several months to complete. To write The Future of Boxing, the author travelled the globe for several years in order to meet with boxers, trainers, referees, and other major figures in the world of boxing.

For its part, Upperkut deployed an organizational strike force and set up a well-oiled production machine so that Choko’s dream could become a reality. The result packs a real punch. Fabulous photos, slick layouts, typography (named “Knock-out”) inspired by boxing posters both present and past, and a stunning souvenir box. Boxing fans and commentators were wowed. So was the client.

“When Alex Choko arrived in our offices one morning in 2011, we knew after a few minutes we were going to get onboard with this crazy project,” remembers a smiling Marc Hallé, Upperkut’s studio director, who directed the entire artistic team and supervised everything down to the smallest details.

“The client’s enthusiasm was infectious, and this larger-than-life project could not have been taken on by anybody else than this pillar of Quebec boxing,” recalls Serge Leathead, Upperkut’s president. “We already had significant experience with large-scale mandates, but I have to say that having the opportunity to work on a project that would allow us to shake hands with a legend like Jake LaMotta, the Raging Bull of Scorsese played by Robert de Niro, and even Sugar Ray Leonard, was impressive. All the more so because the agency bears the name of a boxing punch. We just had to jump into the ring, as it were.”