a silhouette of a boxer

Bamboozled: An Incarcerated Boxer Goes Undercover for John McCain's Boxing Bill

by Joe Biel Author

In this introspective exploration of former boxer Joey Torrey's life, his past, his murder conviction, and his more than 30-year incarceration in a California state prison are each fine-tooth combed. Nearly five years after his original memoir, this new edition is re-written as a biography and delves deeper into circumstances surrounding Torrey’s alleged murder of his boxing coach, the lengthy prison sentence handed down, his undercover collaboration with the FBI on “Operation Matchbook” in support of John McCain’s proposed Professional Boxing Amendments Act, and the inner workings of the prison system in general. From his days as a Compton gang leader and an Olympic boxing hopeful to being tried as an adult rather than a 17-year-old minor, this compelling narrative reflects on his life as a parable as well as examining the strategies used in his conviction, such as establishing the motive as robbery despite a lack of evidence linking the opening of safe to the murderer. And after more than three decades as a model prisoner—and saving the life of a prison guard—Torrey has prolifically written hundreds of letters to Joe Biel, who finds himself in the unlikely situation of being able to share this unique story.

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Comments & Reviews


"Everything is here, every imaginable seedy mainspring, a fountain of bathos and pathos, sybaritism and solipsism, vice and violence and sport and sex, and Biel draws up the cup and offers up a cold, clear sip."

B. David Zarley - Verbicide Magazine


"it keeps you wanting more and more"

Antonio Santiago - Doghouse Boxing