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Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran [Hardcover]

Christian Giudice
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Sep 2006

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 professional in history to have fought in five different decades. His bouts with fellow greats like Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler have gone down in fistic folklore and his pro record of 104 wins (69 by KO) in 120 fights puts him in an elite group of fighters. They call him Manos de Piedra: “Hands of Stone”.

Now American journalist Christian Guidice has written the first – and definitive – story of Duran’s extraordinary life both in and out of the ring. He has interviewed the fighter himself, his family and closest friends and scores of his opponents to separate truth from myth and get to the heart of one of the most intriguing sports stars of modern times.

Duran was born in utter poverty in the Panama Canal Zone, the illegitimate son of a serving US soldier and a local girl. He grew up in the streets, fighting to survive. His talent with his fists was soon apparent, and on one fabled occasion he even knocked down a horse with a single punch for a bet. He grew into a fighter’s fighter, and his willingness to take on anyone, anywhere, anytime and never take a step back made him a huge favorite.

From his wild early bouts to his stunning boxing debut in New York, Giudice traces the blazing trail of his career: the controversial title win over Scot Ken Buchanan; his unification of the lightweight crown against great rival Esteban DeJesus; his glorious defeat of Ray Leonard and the subsequent debacle of the No Más encounter; his ferocious comeback and redemption, and the long, eventful twilight of his matchless career. Here also are both the public and private sides of Duran: his volatility, his kindness and reckless generosity, his partying, his links with the notorious regime of General Noriega, and above all his chilling love of battle.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Milo Books; First Edition edition (7 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903854555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903854556
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.3 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 459,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A brilliantly detailed biography...Giudice's book has
successfully done Duran justice.'
-- The Sunday Times

'A compelling story.' -- The Sun

'A cracking new book recording Duran's glorious career.'
-- Daily Star

'The dazzling first, and definitive, account of a breathtaking
fighter and a remarkable man.' -- The Independent

A great achievement. If you only buy one boxing book this year,
Hands of Stone should be it. -- Boxing Monthly

A gripping biography. Every page will keep readers enthralled. -- Dublin Evening Herald

An absolute must for all fight fans. -- Liverpool Echo

Duran's volatile 120-bout career is vividly chronicled. -- The Independent on Sunday, Sports Book of the Week

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great effort!! 19 Feb 2007
As a Panamanian growing up in the seventies at the height of Duran's splendor, I have to say that `Hands of Stone' did not dissapoint me one bit. Well researched, with very interesting mini-bios and inside stories on Duran's opponents and associates and detailed and vivid descriptions of all fights. At times the text was a little disorganized and 90% of the names of all Panamanian towns and people are misspelled, but these details are minor compared with the work as a whole.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Fighter, so so book 11 Jan 2011
Boxing biographies, perhaps more than in other sports, suffer from subject adoration, So beloved is the individual they write about that the book looses balance and becomes more homage than journalism. So to is the case here.
Giudice is a fine writer with an eloquent turn of phrase, he has put together a well researched and detailed account of Duran's life and for once the cover quotes are accurate and do the book justice.

As a boxing fan I am delighted that a full biog of this awesome fighter is with us at last and is getting wider recognition. ( I got it via the Boxing Monthly review) but in places biography becomes more a padded chronology and immersed in too much detail. The author makes no apology for being a huge fan of his subject. The big issue here is that admiration - the truly wild manic and down right crazy side of Duran is passed over, not ignored but merely alluded to. Whatever Duran is today its because of what came before, separating the unhinged element of his personality would be like ignoring some of his less impressive ring performances.

The loss of balance is an annoyance, it doesn't alter the fact that I really enjoyed the read and felt i learned a lot about the man but I was just conscious the book was on a distinct pro Duran mission. (better than an Anti-Duran mission) and that grated a little.

Excellent fight summary at the end, good to see a whole record portrayed their and some different pictures used as illustrations. For the average fight fan this is a good read and for Duran fans a must read

The Frog and the Scorpion
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative, well written book about Duran 4 Jan 2007
I was really pleased to finally see a full biography about Roberto Duran, who must rank as one of the top 3 pound for pound fighters in the history of the sport. This book did not disappoint me. It is well researched and Duran himself often makes comments about his career. Now he has retired, Duran seems to have mellowed and is not quite as unpredictable (or frankly dangerous!) as he used to be.

I was surprised at how good a person Duran comes across as. However, my one criticism of the book is that I have heard many stories about Manos de Piedra over the years that cast him in a much more unfavourable light. These were not included in the book.

Despite this very slight oversight, I highly recommend this book to any fan of Duran, boxing or sport itself. Roberto Duran was a true sports legend and his like will never be seen again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stone me 18 Nov 2008
By Carlina
This is a really good book. Roberto Duran was just before my time and as a sports fan was someone who I had always wanted to know more about. His story is incredible - from the poverty of Panama where he was born in 1951 to to the heights of boxing fame in the late 1970s and early eighties. And like a lot of sporting heroes, he is a flawed man, which makes his story all the more interesting and moving.

What I loved about the book was that it really recaptured the big-fight atmosphere of his defining fights aginst the likes of Dejesus and Leonard. There were interviews with all the key protagonists and the author can write - you get a sense of immediacy and excitement when the fights are recounted.

I found this book a well-researched and compelling read. It is a great story, well told. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest not just in boxing, but sport and sporting icons generally.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worth the wait! 17 Dec 2006
Sports writing at its best, a throwback author who whose passion and dedication enabled him to be the first to write Duran's story. Even if you are not a Duran supporter you will be by the end of this book.

The story is written from the trenches, and there are times in which you feel as if you know Duran personally.

Well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book well worth of the legend that is Duran! 4 Jan 2008
This is truly a great book. I have followed Roberto through his career, he is one of the top five all time boxers in my view. I read this book in three days, and will no doubt read it again one day. This is the best boxing book I have read for quite some time. Boxers make such good studies, you know they all start with nothing and end with nothing, then make a comeback, but we love them just the same. Hail to Roberto Duran, a true warrior!
Buy this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brill read 10 July 2014
By Katie v
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought for my partner as a holiday book! He read it in a day! and kept reading it out to me by the pool. fab book for any boxing fan
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting 30 April 2014
By m. dosa
every thing you need to know about one of the greatest fighters ever.interesting from hids great fights to the later cash outings.sheds light on the no mais episode
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I love boxing books, but I quickly bored of this book.
Published 1 day ago by robin cheeseman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Remarkable Man
Published 1 month ago by mr andrew g angus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by alexpickles
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing as I expected a lot more depth in revealing ...
Dissapointing as I expected a lot more depth in revealing the real character of Roberto Duran. I could have learnt all that was in this book by going onto Wikipedia.
Published 1 month ago by David1947
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read, a must for all duran and boxing fans
Published 1 month ago by Matthew M.
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Interesting guy as you would expect, but I think the writer fell in love with him and panama a little too much and what you get is a book that is a little overly thorough and could... Read more
Published 5 months ago by ACN
4.0 out of 5 stars Duran book
Great read. Brings the character of 'hands of stone' to life. I would reccomend this book to any fight fan!
Published 7 months ago by M. PSALTIS
5.0 out of 5 stars Knockout!
An excellent price for a very well written book on an inspirational sportsman. No fuss purchase with one click x
Published 8 months ago by Hamishkatie
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book about a brilliant fighter
He has always been my favorite boxer, so I was really lucky to meet him shopping in Tokyo twenty years ago. Read more
Published 10 months ago by mhsras
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Liked how No Mas was explained in that he had bad management taking a fight for their own greed of money not thinking about his decline after the first Leonard. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Charlie Suku
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