“A Beloved Book” by Antonio Santiago

Boxing Book Review: Beloved Warrior: The Rise And Fall of Alexis Arguello

By Antonio Santiago, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 30, 2012) Doghouse Boxing

A Beloved Book by Antonio Santiago

Boxing writer Christian Giudice has written a lot about Latin American boxers, and after reading one of his recent books, I am looking forward to him writing the biography of others, such as Wilfredo Gomez, Salvador Sanchez and|or Carlos Monzon. Giuduce wrote “Hands of Stone”, about Roberto Duran (which I am about to finish also), which now has been turned into a Hollywood feature on the making. Another one of his works is Beloved Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Alexis Arguello (ISBN 978-1-59797-709-8, 2012, Potomac Books, www.potomacbooksinc.com, all rights reserved), in which Giudice gives us a fantastic view of the main topic (Arguello) as well as his surroundings.

With great sacrifice and work, Giudice introduces the reader into the world of Alexis, and the multiple personalities the champion had. He brings to live the social pressures and responsibilities Arguello assumed during his lifetime, and he introduces us to the group of people who knew Arguello best: father Guillermo Arguello Bonilla, mother Zoila Rosa Bohorquez, son Alexis Arguello Jr., wife Loretto, promoter Walter Alvarez, and rival Aaron Pryor-who needs no introduction really but whose feelings about Arguello are detailed in the book.

Giudice even traveled to Nicaragua to get more acquainted with the topic at hand. This is a sign of a great writer, like the actor or actress who visits the character’s playground in order to relate to him|her before a movie is filmed. That is one of Giudice’s trademarks, as he also traveled to Panama for the book about Duran.

So, in a way, Beloved Warrior also works as a tourist guide, and sometimes it reads better than that. At least for boxing fans it should be important also to know the places that Arguello hung out at before, during, and after his historical boxing career and when he was alongside Eden Pastora at the trenches during the Nicaraguan civil war, and when he became involved in politics with Daniel Ortega and was elected vice-mayor and mayor, successively, of Managua.

The description of the most important fights in Arguello’s career is also breath-taking in this tome, such as when he beat Roberto Elizondo (did any of you Arguello fans who remember that fight know that he broke one of Elizondo’s teeth and the Texan had to await two days before it was fixed?)

This book is the perfect gift for anyone who is a fan of traveling, boxing or history. Maybe more importantly, it’s the perfect gift for anyone who is a fan of Alexis Arguello. With a cover colored in white, black and red, and a photo of Arguello battling my countryman Alfredo Escalera in the famous “Bloody Battle of Bayamon”, it starts by painting, for us, the many different colors Arguello’s personality had.

Beloved warrior is truly a beloved book.

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