By Brin-Jonathan Butler
THE tale OF CUBAN BOXER AND POLITICAL PARIAH GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX'S HARROWING selection TO disorder IN HOPES OF REAPING THE REWARDS OF the yank DREAM
"What is 1000000 funds in comparison to the affection of 8 million Cubans?"
This was once the query posed by means of mythical boxer Teofilo Stevenson within the Nineteen Seventies, topped by way of many because the Muhammad Ali of Cuba, according to a suggestion of 5 million money to depart his island to struggle Ali. yet no longer all Cubans have come to a similar 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 condominium, in addition to common reverence between his fellow citizens—to attempt to make it within the mecca of big-money boxing, the us of the USA. yet has the opportunity to make solid in the US been definitely worth the lack of his nationwide identification and the affection of his countrymen? And to what volume has he been corrupted through the promise of untold riches?
In A Cuban Boxer's Journey, writer, filmmaker, and journalist Brin-Jonathan Butler chronicles the interesting and tumultuous occupation of Rigondeaux—moody, pushed, and virtually mythically talented––as he makes an attempt to seize the elusive and sometimes punishing American dream. See how this athlete's such a lot daunting problem turns into how he can live on the advanced forces outdoors of the ring.
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Additional resources for A Cuban Boxer's Journey: Guillermo Rigondeaux, from Castro's Traitor to American Champion (Kindle Single)
He was once buried together with his gloves put beside a wreath atop the grave that Fidel Castro had in my view despatched. in any case, even if Teófilo Stevenson can have overwhelmed Muhammad Ali, his legacy within the minds of his humans used to be equipped way more upon the actual fact he might have been Ali. in its place, he selected to be his enigmatic self on behalf of his country’s enigmatic fight. observing the inside track pictures of hundreds of thousands who enjoyed him crying at his funeral, I couldn’t support imagining what Rigondeaux’s funeral could appear like. How wouldn't it have seemed various in Havana if he’d stayed, or in Miami considering that he’d left? In his mansion, George Foreman informed me that Stevenson’s passing deeply affected him. “He was once the simplest novice I’ve ever visible, most likely the easiest specialist additionally. He used to be the easiest heavyweight of his period. i do know what good fortune is and that i understand what failure is…. Stevenson had whatever extra friendly than we all: He consistently stood for Cuba. in case you acknowledged Cuba, you needed to say his identify. there has been continually anything spell binding and flavorful approximately that, that I trendy, or even Muhammad Ali and the area widespread. a few of us had every kind of riches, yet that didn’t suggest we came across any form of happiness. you choose your mates. yet he selected Castro. I want he may have had the simplest of either worlds. ” while I instructed Foreman approximately Stevenson no longer having sufficient cash to pay for fuel or placed tires on his vehicle, he shrugged. “When I observed him in 1992 he appeared content material. So probably there has been anything greater than fuel or tires that he used to be attempting to get out of existence. ” The Miami bring in ran a front-page function on my interview with Stevenson from the yr ahead of. It grew to become out to be Stevenson’s final. “To struggle for cash or for the Revolution,” learn the headline. The bring in was once way more attracted to the money Stevenson had requested from me for the interview than the entire riches he’d grew to become all the way down to go away. so far as i used to be involved, either realities published anything of an immensely complex legacy. making a choice on one to outline Stevenson a ways much less outlined him than outlined you. If someone I’d ever met in my existence contained “multitudes,” it was once Teófilo Stevenson. through the 2012 summer season Olympics, held in London, the newest crop of Cuban boxers competing all confronted a similar query: Who will be Cuba’s subsequent Teófilo Stevenson? It was once a hopelessly erroneous query. Stevenson’s position within the revolution and Cuba was once irreplaceable. Stevenson was once a champion of his time, which, like him, had handed. in addition to, in the event that they have been conversing strictly approximately boxing skill, the simplest Cuban fighter on the planet wasn’t on the Olympics, or in Cuba, for that topic. He were struggling with professionally given that defecting in 2009. For the final twenty months Rigondeaux have been battling in Las Vegas, steamrolling all 3 of his competitors and profitable one other global identify on his strategy to the most important prizefight a Cuban had ever fought due to the fact that Fidel Castro rose to energy. the following time I observed Rigondeaux after Miami used to be at his press convention in long island, selling his April thirteen, 2013 championship struggle.