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All Quotes by author - Brin-Jonathan Butler
" Ali vs. Stevenson would have served as a symbolic battle between the United States and Cuba, capitalism and communism: Castro's values instilled in his boxers pitted against the values of 'merchandise' boxers from the rest of the world. "
" As far as cities go, Havana is a festering treasure chest, a primary color. "
" At the heart of all romanticism is suffering. "
" Both for Havana's beauty and decay, it's very hard to restrain yourself from staring everywhere you look. "
" Boxing distills and illuminates the essence of an athlete. There's nowhere to hide. Boxers live and perform at the extremes. They provide us with answers about a given contest, but more important, they ask us fundamental questions about human narratives. What does this person really stand for? How far will he go to defend it? "
" Bullfighting is every bit as ghoulish and savage as its critics warn, but it is equally as powerful and moving as its supporters insist. Perhaps the most vexing aspect about it is that neither group is wrong: they are both telling the truth. "
" Cuban eyes often look close to tears. Tears never seem far away because both their pain and their joy are always so close to the surface. "
" How much abuse is a fighter expected to endure before he can be allowed to show some concern for his own welfare? Anyone who has been around fighters knows they all share the same secret: They are more afraid of embarrassment and humiliation than injury. Do fans and writers use this fact against them in what we celebrate or criticize? "
" Hundreds of years ago, the most beautiful women of Havana were only glimpsed stepping in or out of carriages on this street. The first foreign writers who arrived and saw this could never get past just how incredibly beautiful their feet were. "
" In Old Havana, the names of the streets before the revolution provided a glimpse into the city's state of mind. You might have known someone who lived on the corner of Soul and Bitterness, Solitude and Hope, or Light and Avocado. "
" In the documentary 'Facing Ali,' nearly half the fighters involved required subtitles despite speaking English, their speech slurred by the physical toll of their ring lives. This was their reward for testing their furthermost physical and mental boundaries. "
" Is Duran's 'No Mas' a more defining moment in his career than his victory over Sugar Ray Leonard in their first fight? For many, it is. "
" I traveled to Cuba with the intention of speaking with boxers who had turned down enormous offers to leave. When explaining my project to people, again and again I was met with amusement and skepticism. "
" I've been going to Cuba since the Elian Gonzalez affair. "
" Many of the greatest Cuban boxing champions since the revolution triumphed on the island resisted the temptation to leave Cuba and, in some cases, defied any suggestion they were tempted in the first place. Most famously, Teofilo Stevenson rejected multi-million dollar offers to leave his island to fight Muhammad Ali. "
" Mike Tyson notoriously looked for a way out against Evander Holyfield when it was clear Holyfield had his number. Suddenly, Tyson's cowardice in gnawing off Holyfield's ear overshadowed nearly everything he had accomplished as a fighter. "
" My documentary 'Split Decision' examines Cuban-American relations, and the economic and cultural paradoxes that have shaped them since Castro's revolution, through the lens of elite Cuban boxers forced to choose between remaining in Cuba or defecting to America. "
" Punching your weight is one of boxing's most sensible rules. It's a handy one to abide by whether your battles lie in or out of a ring. "
" Rigondeaux was Cuba's answer to Bobby Fischer who transformed into a kind of Lee Harvey Oswald traitorous creature in that society. He escaped on a smuggler's boat and toppled one of the best fighters in the world in 2013 with his obliteration of Nonito Donaire at Radio City Music Hall. He made it look so easy, his career has never recovered. "
" Teofilo Stevenson won his first Olympic gold medal in 1972 and his last world amateur championship in 1986. He won 302 fights and once went an unbelievable 11 years without a loss. Had Cuba not boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics, many think Stevenson would have won an unmatched four gold medals in boxing. "
" Trejo is one of the oldest boxing gyms in Cuba; it's outdoor, and every great champion the country has produced has passed through and was forged in the open air. "
" Trusting the world is a risk, while not trusting it is a guarantee you'll be left with nothing. "
" 'What comes next?' is the constant question I'm asked by outsiders eager to travel to the island. During the eleven years I traveled to Havana, very few Cubans I met on the island ever bothered to verbalize this question. "
" When Castro was put on trial in 1953 by Batista's government and asked who was intellectually responsible for his first attempt at insurrection, he dropped the name of the poet Jose Marti. "
" Where the 'Bay of Pigs' invasion failed, undoubtedly the tourist invasion will succeed in forever changing the landscape of island. What comes next in Cuba? The answer is that many Cubans aren't waiting around to find out. "
" While Fidel Castro used to deliver his marathon seven-hour speeches in Havana, Cubans used to joke that if Spanish lacked a future tense, their leader would be speechless. He was only fluent in broken promises, they lamented. "
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