By Brin-Jonathan Butler
THE tale OF CUBAN BOXER AND POLITICAL PARIAH GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX'S HARROWING determination TO disorder IN HOPES OF REAPING THE REWARDS OF the yankee DREAM
"What is a million funds in comparison to the affection of 8 million Cubans?"
This used to be the query posed via mythical boxer Teofilo Stevenson within the Seventies, topped by means of many because the Muhammad Ali of Cuba, in keeping with a suggestion of 5 million funds to depart his island to struggle Ali. yet now not all Cubans have come to an analogous end, not to mention with such obvious ease. Guillermo Rigondeaux, two-time Olympic champion and inheritor to Stevenson's throne, sacrificed every thing he had in his domestic country—his spouse, his son, his government-subsidized motor vehicle and residence, in addition to common reverence between his fellow citizens—to try and make it within the mecca of big-money boxing, the us of the USA. yet has the opportunity to make stable in the United States been well worth the lack of his nationwide id and the affection of his countrymen? And to what volume has he been corrupted via the promise of untold riches?
In A Cuban Boxer's Journey, writer, filmmaker, and journalist Brin-Jonathan Butler chronicles the attention-grabbing and tumultuous occupation of Rigondeaux—moody, pushed, and nearly mythically talented––as he makes an attempt to seize the elusive and infrequently punishing American dream. See how this athlete's so much daunting problem turns into how he can live to tell the tale the advanced forces outdoors of the ring.
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Extra resources for A Cuban Boxer's Journey: Guillermo Rigondeaux, from Castro's Traitor to American Champion (Kindle Single)
Estimates of 70,000 humans attending have been floated round within the press. It was once far from Tijuana or even further from Havana. It used to be Rigondeaux’s most sensible likelihood at vindicating all his purposes for escaping Cuba. while I inquired approximately press credentials for the struggle i used to be laughed off the telephone by way of the 1st individual I talked to. I known as again and a special girl courteously expert me that the struggle had got extra requests for press credentials than any struggle within the background of the game. I referred to as Pacquiao’s coach, Freddie Roach, and he advised me an analogous factor. yet this used to be boxing, in the end, and the nearer you get to it, the extra you find that no-one who makes a residing off of it entered throughout the entrance door. there is not any legislation, no oversight, and nil demonstrated must haves for purchasing in. even if via corruption or shortsightedness, boxing had by no means modernized like several the opposite activities. while its relevance in pop culture persisted to decrease, it remained simply as rebelliously the Wild West of activities. there has been continually a manner in; you simply needed to locate it. That rule approximately inquiring for forgiveness instead of permission gave the impression of the simplest position to begin. I confirmed up with Mucho Macho to fulfill Gary Hyde and Rigondeaux for Press Day on the Gaylord Texan, the inn the place everybody linked to the struggle was once staying. Bob Arum, best Rank’s CEO, the main robust promoter in boxing, had scheduled a tremendous press convention to introduce the massive struggle and everybody at the undercard. The Gaylord used to be the scale of a urban: Fifteen hundred rooms opened up past the foyer, misplaced someplace in the back of the “Lone famous person Christmas” reveal, which established on a six-story tree decorated with 12,000 embellishes and status less than the gleam of one. five million lighting. I sniffed round and snuck into the click room on the lodge, which was once greater than the sector in Tijuana the place Rigondeaux had simply fought. A dozen radio indicates have been being broadcast right away. there have been rows of desks for the clicking corps and warring parties milling round, posing. on the grounds that no one was once more likely to supply a fuck if a few unknown was once engaged on a booklet, I advised most sensible Rank, the promoters of the struggle, that we have been engaged on a documentary approximately Rigondeaux. I’d heard that Bob Arum had simply come again from a humanitarian stopover at to Cuba and that he used to be considered one of a speedily diminishing, dying-off staff who’d visited Cuba pre-Fidel additionally. The documentary attitude provided loose exposure for a fighter Arum had simply signed. I’d gotten the assumption a couple of documentary from a letter a stranger had written me. I’d written a couple of issues for small guides on Cuban boxers through then and had given a few interviews approximately Rigondeaux. I requested Israel activities Radio, a radio application to which I’d given an interview approximately Cuban boxers, to checklist me on their website as their reputable “boxing correspondent” and to pester most sensible Rank for credentials. A photographer and filmmaker from Queens named Brett Garamella, who had simply gotten again from a visit to Havana, had learn a few articles of mine and used to be rather drawn to Rigondeaux’s tale because the defection.