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Phil Berger; Wrote Boxing Movie, Helped on Champions’ Biographies

Phil Berger, a sportswriter, screenwriter and author who specialized in boxing, has died.

Berger died Monday of colon cancer at his home in the Queens borough of New York. He was 58.

The author of more than a dozen books on sports and entertainment, Berger collaborated with heavyweight champions Joe Frazier and Larry Holmes on their autobiographies. A boxing writer for the New York Times from 1985 to 1992, Berger also wrote for Esquire, Playboy, Sport and the Village Voice.

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He also wrote the screenplay for the movie “Price of Glory,” released in 2000. It told of an ex-boxer who channels his disappointment in a single-minded quest for boxing titles for his three sons.

In the last few months, Berger worked on the book “Total Boxing” with Burt Sugar, which is scheduled for publication later this year.

Berger’s other passion, besides boxing, was basketball. He wrote books on legendary guard Pete Maravich, coach Bob Knight and the New York Knicks’ championship season of 1969-70.

He is survived by his companion, Veronica Vera; his mother, Fanny Berger, of Delray Beach, Fla.; a daughter, Julia Berger, from a previous marriage; and his sister, Cynthia Darling.


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