University Press Book Wins Bronze INDIES Award

“West Texas Middleweight” by Frank Sikes is the 2016 Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Bronze Winner for sports-nonfiction.

West Texas Middleweight

Texas Tech University Press published book, “West Texas Middleweight,” was selected as the 2016 Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Bronze Winner for sports-nonfiction.

The award recognizes the best books published in 2016 from small, independent and university presses as well as self-published authors. More than 2,000 entries were submitted for 66 categories, with Foreword’s editors choosing the finalists and a panel of more than 150 librarians and booksellers acting as judges to pick the winners.

Courtney Burkholder, director for the University Press, says award finalists and winners can count on being seen by the librarians, booksellers, industry professionals and book lovers who read Foreword Reviews.

“Receiving a finalist award for ‘West Texas Middleweight’ is a great honor for the author, for the University Press and for Texas Tech as an institution,” Burkholder said.

In the book, Frank Sikes tells the story of LaVern Roach, a skinny kid from Plainview, Texas, who was named The Ring’s Magazine Rookie of the Year for 1947. Roach was remembered for his death, which marked the first nationally televised fight in which a boxer died from injuries received in the ring. This book chronicles the tragic story of Roach’s journey from being a West Texas amateur to a top-10 contender for the middleweight champion of the world.

“Although the title, ‘West Texas Middleweight: The Story of LaVern Roach,’ suggests a regional story,” Sikes said, “the nationally acclaimed INDIES Award will help promote the book across the country with appeal to readers of all ages and genders who are looking for a story of inspiration, patriotism, romance, history and heart-breaking tragedy.”

The book is available for purchase through the Texas Tech University Press website.


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TTU Press

Texas Tech University Press (TTUP) publishes a variety of titles each year ranging from nonfiction titles in natural history and the natural sciences to works in costume and textile history and all aspects of the Great Plains and the American west especially biography, history, memoir and travel. The press also publishes fiction, young adult and childrens titles, a mystery series and an annual poetry selection.


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