Brin-Jonathan Butler’s, “A Cuban Boxer’s Journey: Guillermo Rigondeaux, from Castro’s Traitor to American Champion”

Brin

“Once we got inside the lobby of the arena, fighters were scattered around waiting their turn on the scales and a once-over from a doctor to clear them to fight. Among all the reporters and entourages, I couldn’t find Rigondeaux anywhere. The atmosphere inside the room was full of canned laughter, say-cheese smiles, and backslapping. Managers and promoters mugged for cameras with their fighters and recited sound bites to reporters whose faces lit up when they heard the one they’d run with on that evening’s telecast. Hardly any Americans anywhere, mostly Mexican and Latin American fighters looking to break into the American market with a big performance. I watched teenagers with their lives in front of them and a pipedream intact avoid the sad journeymen who also waited their turn on the scales. Eager young fighters on their way up, old fighters double-parked in their careers looking for one last payday to stave off their fate of being another footnote in punch-drunk history.”

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