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Biography Chronicles First Native American World Champion Boxer, A Montanan

Helena, Montana, author Brian D'Ambrosio talks about his book Warrior in the Ring: The life of Marvin Camel, Native American world champion boxer.

About the book:

In the Golden Age of boxing, Marvin Camel, from the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, defied all obstacles of race, poverty, and geographical isolation to become the first Native American to win a world boxing title.

Complex and wildly charismatic, Camel combined tremendous physical talent with staggering self-discipline—forged by the sting of his father’s belt—to claw his way to the top, twice winning world titles in the newly minted cruiserweight division and fighting on the same cards as boxing icons Roberto Duran, Larry Holmes, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Bob Foster.

Camel’s journey was an amazing example of gritty determination: punishing runs on Montana’s back roads, relentless training in make-shift gyms, sleeping in beat-up cars before fights in glittering Las Vegas, and even training and fighting for a world championship in a foreign country, alone.

Always, Camel willingly represented his state and his people, proudly wearing his eagle-feather headdress into the ring. Yet with success came sacrifice and pain, both physical and personal, but in life as in the boxing ring, Camel emerged bloody but unbowed.

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About the author:

Brian D'Ambrosio

Brian D’Ambrosio is a Helena, Montana, writer, instructor, and media consultant. D’Ambrosio’s recent articles have been published in local, regional, and national publications, including Cowboys and Indians, Wisconsin Trails, Bark Magazine, Montana Magazine, and Backpacker Magazine. His most recent ebook chronicled the trial and conviction of exonerated murderer Ryan Ferguson, 101 Reasons Why Ryan Ferguson Should Be Released . D’Ambrosio is a frequent contributor to, among other sites, The Huffington Post, where he profiles an eclectic assortment of people. He is currently completing a first volume of in-depth profiles of ex-entertainment wrestlers, football players, and boxers called Life in the Trenches.

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
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