this is the highly subjective way I read and interpret literature
(the emphasis lies on literature, so you'll only find a couply of trashy readings here and there)
This book covers the basics, and when I say "basics", I mean the very hands up, chin down, eyes on your opponent and keeping the balance basics. So you’re for sure not going to be boxing like a Pro, but, I guess, you’ll be boxing after all, if you want to.
The fact that I enjoyed this one quite a bit despite it being targeted at absolute (probably pre-first boxing class) beginners shows, how much fun it is to read. Besides offering some helpful training advice, it gives good and clear explanations on why you are doing certain things the way you do them. And let’s all be honest, you can never be too advanced to work on your technique or too experienced to freshen up the basics every now and then.
Smokin’ Joe also includes a brief, but solid history on the sport itself (up to the time shortly before Tyson bit off a part of Holyfield’s ear). I highly value the fact, that he respects and treats all the weight classes evenly, so you get a balanced view beyond the prestigious heavyweight class.
But with all due respect, I absolutely disagree with one thing he emphasises: getting in shape before joining a gym. I mean, of course, you need a basic fitness level just to survive a training session, but the level Joe Frazier suggests having before even starting to box is way too ambitious, unless you are serious about it and want to turn pro asap.
Does it help to get in shape beforehand? Yes, definitely. Is it necessary? Absolutely not.
It was nonetheless reassuring to read, that even an iconic and successful boxer like Smokin’ Joe got nervous before fights (I wish I had known that before my first round of sparring), but neither Box like the Pros, nor any other book on the subject substitute going to the gym and training with a coach. Fighting is simply nothing a book can teach you, but I guess, people mostly read it for the same reason I did: curiosity about Joe Frazier and what he has to say.