Thank you for your question.
I was surprised to find as much as I did on this and learned a bit
doing this research. Hemingway evidently enjoyed a good fight. Here
are links and excerpts for you:
"...Hemingway's aptitude for physical challenge remained with him
through high school, where he both played football and boxed. Because
of permanent eye damage contracted from numerous boxing matches,
Hemingway was repeatedly rejected from service in World War I. Boxing
provided more material for Hemingway's stories, as well as a habit of
likening his literary feats to boxing victories..."
"... Battles, boxing, bull fights: Ernest Hemingway was there, at
ringside, celebrating the cult of manhood and danger. When the Allies
swept into Paris and liberated the city, Hemingway, who was covering
the war for Collier's, rode in with the troops. The author carried a
pistol and was surrounded by an entourage that included a cook, a
photographer, and a public relations officer that the Army had
... In interviews, Hemingway sometimes sounded punch drunk--using
boxing or other sports analogies. On one occasion, he said: "Mr.
Rimbaud...never threw a fast ball in his life..." referring to the
19th century French poet; on another occasion, Ernest told Marlene
Dietrich, "You're the best that ever came into the ring." The novelist
was widely quoted as saying, "My writing is nothing. My boxing is
"...Hemingway vs. Callaghan chronicles the friendship between writers
Ernest Hemingway and Morley Callaghan, from their first meeting in the
early 1920s at the Toronto Star, to their days as part of Paris'
fabled Lost Generation.
When they first met in the Star's newsroom, Hemingway was a war
reporter with a grand vision of life, while Torontonian Callaghan
yearned to write novels. Their interest in writing and sports sealed a
friendship that endured until it came to an abrupt end in Paris in
The mini-series is a journey to the past that relives their
friendship. It portrays the mad exhilaration of their years in Paris
surrounded by great artists and writers, and the excitement of shared
literary struggles, romantic entanglements and an ill-fated passion
"...One day, some time in the 1930s, Shine was acting as a second to a
young boxer who was taking quite a pasting. Shine threw in the towel.
The referee refused to accept it. He did it again and once more the
referee kicked it away. Furious at his refusal to stop the fight,
Shine climbed into the ring and swung a punch at the referee. Only
after the fight was Shine told that the referee he had assaulted was
the famous writer Ernest Hemingway. He was made to go round to the
house and apologize straightaway.
Shine knocked on the door of the grand house at 907 Whitehead with
deep misgivings, but Hemingway, far from being angry, asked him and
his friends in for some sparring practice and told them to come round
Hemingway rented himself out as a sparring partner while living in
Paris to make extra money in his early days as a writer.
And they did. One Christmas, Shine recalls, they were walking up
Whitehead, short of cash, when they saw a light in the Hemingways'
house and knocked on the door. Hemingway was holding a party and the
boys earned $200 sparring by the pool as an entertainment for his
You'll find a good picture of Heminway in sparring form on this page.
"...An alcoholic, Hemingway could be vicious in his opinions, and did
not always treat his friends well. He took up boxing in his youth, and
he liked to challenge friends to fight and then knock them down. He
also used his personal and literary life as fertile ground for his
stories and novels. Even his mother received poor treatment as a
character in one of his stories. The entire cast of characters of The
Sun Also Rises is based on people Hemingway knew. Even though he
changed their names, people of the time still understood the
references, and Hemingway angered many people with this practice..."
"...Ernest Hemingway wrote his will in his own hand on September 17,
1955. He wrote it in blue ink on a single piece of his Finca Vigía,
San Francisco de Paula, Cuba stationery. He used both sides of the
stationery. The will was witnessed by George Brown, Rene Villareal and
Lola Richards. George Brown was Hemingway's close friend and boxing
coach. Rene Villareal and Lola Richards worked as servants for
Hemingway in his Cuban home..."
"...For two months each summer, Hemingway was allowed to attend a
boys' camp, where he could dress and live as a boy.
(http://www.nhti.net/library/authorresources/hemingwaybio.htm) In his
youth, Hemingway joined his father hunting; at ten, he got his first
shotgun. He enjoyed a good fight, and boxing was a lifelong passion.
(Some of his Nick stories seem partly based on his experiences at this
time.) After high school, Hemingway worked as a reporter for the
Kansas City Star. He adopted as his personal standand the main
directives of the newspaper's stylebook: "Brevity, a reconciliation of
vigour with smoothness, the positive approach"..."
"...Foreigners were unpopular in Bimini and Hemingway's victory
provoked a number of quarrels. He offered the fishermen $200 to the
man who could stay in the boxing ring with him for four rounds. No-one
won the money, Hemingway beat them all..."
"...Boxer Kermit "Shine" Forbes'account of how he met Ernest Hemingway
has been often reported, but over the course of three years I
interviewed him and his quieter friend James "Iron Baby" Roberts in
Key West to press them for details about their boxing with Hemingway-
their regimen, his fighting style, their styles, and how "he always
pulled his punches" so he wouldn't hurt them-and got some surprising
matter-of-fact descriptions of Ernest's and Pauline's separate circles
of friends as well. And how do you box Ernest Hemingway? "Hit him and
get out," Kermit Forbes said. "We'd work in on him and get a lot of
blows to the stomach. He didn't protect his middle." James Roberts
added, "Get up real close because then he can't extend his arm,
because his arm too long. Get in there, because if you slip up and you
stay on, he'll pick you off just like a chicken pickin' corn. "..."
"...But at least one resident says the official record of Hemingway's
time on Bimini is incomplete in one important detail: "I was way
smarter than him in boxing," says "Bonefish" Sammy Ellis, now 82. "I
whipped him, he didn't beat me. I refused to get beat in boxing."
A Hemingway Retrospective
In the most definitive biography of the famous American writer to
date, "Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story," Carlos Baker wrote that the
oft-told story of Hemingway offering $250 to any native islander who
could last three rounds with him is true.
Baker wrote that Hemingway's first challenger, Willard Saunders, was a
formidable opponent who could carry a piano on his head, but lasted
only a minute and a half against Hemingway, then 35 years of age and
in good condition.
Four Bimini islanders responded to Hemingway's challenge, and he
reportedly beat them all.
Ellis said Baker and other Hemingway scholars left him out, and a
photograph of Ellis as a young man lends credence to his claim. On the
wall of his home, a neat though cluttered house close to a cluster of
small churches, the photo is displayed prominently. It shows a young
Ellis with broad shoulders, huge arms and a massive chest, who looks
like he might have given Mike Tyson a good fight..."
"..."I thought he was a bully," says legendary New York Times
theatrical caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, now 96, who knew Hemingway in
Paris in the 1920s.
"I met him in 1924. There was a little gym where a lot of the artists
and writers used to come, and Hemingway was there and he was boxing
all the time. And he would always pick some fellow about half his size
and knock him down," Hirschfeld recalls with a chuckle. "He was a kind
of sadist in many ways, I thought. I never saw him box anybody his own
"I don't want to denigrate him in any way, but that was my first
impression of him in that boxing ring. I wasn't unfriendly with him,
but I just had no regard for him, except as a writer. I didn't think
he was very much as a human being."..."
"...Chris Coover, writing on "A Hemingway Discovery" in Christie's
magazine (May/June 2000), reported on a recent find of Hemingway
manuscripts, letters, and book galleys in a trunk stored by Jane
Kendall Mason, an American socialite who had been one of the many
women with whom Hemingway had romantic romps. After Hemingway lost
interest in Jane, he used her as a model for the character of Margot
in one of his most famous stories, "The Short Happy Life of Francis
...In Manhattan Jane was psychoanalyzed by Dr. Lawrence Kubie, a
prominent Freudian. He said she was the only patient he ever had who
he couldn't help. Dr. Kubie wrote an article about Jane and Hemingway
which he sent to the Saturday Review. MacLeish persuaded the magazine
not to print it because it libeled Hemingway by intimating what
everybody who knew him surmised: that "Hem" (as friends called him)
suffered from deep doubts about his manhood--doubts that explained his
mania for such macho interests as boxing, bull fighting, hunting,
fishing, boozing, warring, and womanizing..."
"...The one-acre lot (gigantic by Key West standards) includes a quest
house and swimming pool, the first in Key West. The pool, built in the
late 1930s at a cost of $20,000, is fed by two salt water wells...The
pool cost twice what the house did! At one point he even put up a
boxing ring, he became so fascinated with that particular sport,
daring his famous guests to participate in a match or two..."
Today in Literature
"...On this day in 1903 the Canadian novelist and short story writer,
Morley Callaghan was born. Though prolific and successful, Callaghan
was so overlooked by the critics for much of his career that Edmund
Wilson thought him "the most unjustly neglected writer in the English
language." Much of the attention that Callaghan did receive was not
for his twenty novels and story collections but for That Summer in
Paris (1963), a memoir of his Lost Generation days among "a very
small, backbiting, gossipy neighborhood" of Latin Quarter expatriates
-- Ford Madox Ford, Robert McAlmon, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, etc.
Callaghan's account of his boxing matches with Hemingway especially
raised eyebrows --including those of Norman Mailer in a 1963 review
entitled, "Punching Papa": "For the first time one has the confidence
that an eyewitness has been able to cut a bonafide trail through the
charm, the mystery, and the curious perversity of Hemingway's
personality." Callaghan and Hemingway had been friends since their
newspaper days in Toronto, and both liked to box. Callaghan was
considerably shorter and lighter, but more experienced, and in an
early sparring session he had "worked out a routine, darting in and
out with fast lefts to the head," while Hemingway "waited for a chance
to nail me solidly":
It must have been exasperating to him that my left was always beating
him to the punch. His mouth began to bleed.... His tongue kept curling
along his lip, wiping off blood.... Suddenly he spat at me; he spat a
mouthful of blood; he spat in my face.
When Callaghan stepped back in shock, Hemingway explained, "That's
what the bullfighters do when they're wounded.... It's a way of
showing contempt." At a later session, F. Scott Fitzgerald was
volunteered as timekeeper, charged with regulating one-minute rounds
with two-minute rests between. Fitzgerald became so enthralled with
the boxing that he forgot the clock -- until the out-of-gas Hemingway
made a desperate lunge at Callaghan, and got knocked on his back by a
hard cross to the jaw. When Fitzgerald cried out, "Oh, my God! I let
the round go four minutes!" Hemingway spat his bullfighter's contempt
in a new direction: "All right, Scott...if you want to see me getting
the shit kicked out of me, just say so. Only don't say you made a
An article by Ben Gunsberg
"...Hemingway was proud of his physical stature; he was around six
feet tall and throughout most of his life weighed between 210 and 235
pounds. He enjoyed football but never had much success at it. Early in
1916, Earnest discovered an enthusiasm for boxing. For a time he used
the music room for a ring, bringing his friends, usually smaller than
he, in to spar. Earnest often spoke in later years that he learned to
box before he was sixteen from professional fighters in Chicago. These
claims were never substantiated but he told them with such whole
hearted conviction that his listeners swallowed them whole. He liked
to support his tough kid image by implying that his bad left eye was
the result of a training injury. He was a bit of a showoff, often
inflating his stories to capture his listeners imagination. His powers
of storytelling were so honed that one could not discern Hemingway's
truth from his fiction. He used his life, specific events, friends,
wars, and lovers, to create his art. In one of his letters to Maxwell
Perkins Hemingway said "...whatever success I have had has been
through writing what I know about" (Phillips, 21)..."
As you can see, there are numerous snippets recounting Hemingway and
boxing available on the Web. Unfortuinately, there are precious few
photos. You'll note the one listed above and the following:
Funky and brightly painted, The Blue Heaven restaurant, in the heart
of Bahama Village, was the site of gamecock fights, a bordello and
Hemingway's boxing matches.
Gene Tunney with retail magnate, Bernard Gimbel, writer, Ernest
Hemingway, and Jack Dempsey.
After his success in the Joe Knapp fight Ernest started offering
$250.00 to anyone who could go three rounds with him. photo: Ernest
Hemingway A Life Story, Carlos Baker
"ernest hemingway" +boxing
"ernest hemingway" +boxing +photo
"ernest hemingway" +boxing +photo OR picture
I trust my research has provided you with numerous quotes and links
and sufficent pictures for your needs. If a link above should fail to
work or anything require further explanation or research, please do
post a Request for Clarification prior to rating the answer and
closing the question and I will be pleased to assist further.