Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran
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"A riveting read from the first page to the last."—The Ring
"An extraordinary tale."—The Times (London)
"A compelling book; at times it’s a profoundly detailed reconstruction of Duran’s world."—Gerald Early, Belles-Lettres
Now the subject of a major motion picture, Roberto Duran is a sporting legend. Often called the greatest boxer of all time, he held world titles at four different weights and is the only man in history to have fought in five different decades. His bouts with fellow greats like Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns, and Marvin Hagler have gone down in fistic folklore. When he finally retired, in January of 2002 at the age of fifty-two, his a professional record stood at a remarkable 104 wins (69 by KO) in 120 fights. They called him Manos de Piedra: “Hands of Stone.”
Journalist Christian Giudice's definitive, critically-acclaimed biography tells the no-holds-barred of Duran’s incredible life, both in and out of the ring. Giudice interviewed the fighter, his family, his closest friends and scores of his opponents to separate truth from myth and fact from fable.
Duran was born in utter poverty in Panama and grew up in the streets, fighting to survive. His talent with his fists soon emerged, and he had his first professional fight in 1967. He grew into a fighter’s fighter, renowned for his speed, stamina, toughness and skill, but above all for his unquenchable thirst for battle. His hunger to destroy opponents and his willingness to take on anyone, anywhere, made him a huge fan favorite, while his flamboyant lifestyle outside the ring made worldwide headline news.
Duran was one of the first Latino fighters to become a mainstream sports star in the United States, and his natural talent, unprecedented achievements, and longevity have left an indelible mark on the world of sport. His life is now the subject a major film starring Edgar Ramirez as the boxer, Robert De Niro as his famed trainer, Ray Arcel, and Usher as Ray Leonard.
Christian Giudice is a freelance journalist based in New Jersey. He is also the author of The Rise and Fall of Alexis Arguello and A Fire Burns Within: The Miraculous Journey of Wilfredo Gomez.
period of factional strife emerged as the most powerful figure in the country. With the violent Noriega at the helm, Panama was soon tagged internationally as a drug-trafficking, corruption-filled country that was both politically and financially unstable. Duran, meanwhile, wallowed in self-pity. Moves were made to match him with undefeated junior welterweight sensation Aaron Pryor, and Pryor told a New York Times reporter in late February 1981 that he had signed a contract for $750,000 to face
around sold-out arenas. Even when he was only a quarter of his former self, a sad, overweight Elvis making his last call, he was still Duran. Watching those final years of futility it became clear that legends never die, they just age. So when the thought of finding and telling the Duran story crept into my head, I couldn’t resist. With the purpose of finding this man, I decided to leave my job, friends and family and head to Panama City. I had a smattering of Spanish, a laptop and some old Duran
like a brother to Barkley. They had grown up together in the South Bronx, boxed as amateurs together, sparred with and supported each other as pros. But Duran had ruined Davey’s promising career. He was never the same after that brutal beating in New York, had gone into a decline, lost fights he should have won. In June 1988, in a freak accident, Moore left his car idling in reverse when he stepped out to open his garage door; the car backed up and crushed him to death in the driveway. He was
brought more gifted fighters like Freddie Welsh, Lew Tendler, Charley White and, above all, the peerless Benny Leonard, a New York Jew of matchless guile and execution. Leonard inspired a generation of boxers from the crowded tenements of America’s biggest cities and deeply influenced trainers such as Ray Arcel. The Thirties saw a great triumvirate of box-fighters, Tony Canzoneri, Barney Ross and Lou Ambers, and the relentless Henry Armstrong, a one-man army who once held world titles at three
Commission felt they were owed due to the “dishonest act.” Don King publicist Bobby Goodman went back to a meeting with the Louisiana Commission to clarify the terms of the agreement made before the fight even started. “The commission wanted to hold up his purse. I had to run back for a meeting with the commission and I told them that the purse was already paid in a letter of credit,” said Goodman. “And the condition of the letter of credit was that we had to show them a newspaper article that