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on 4 January 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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on 19 February 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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on 11 January 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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on 17 December 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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on 2 March 2016
I bought Hands of Stone after reading George Kimball's Four Kings and it made a good follow up. Christian Guidice's book is well written, flowing, an indepth look at the psyche and story of one of the all time greats, the ultimate king of the come back. The book doesn't gloss over Duran's own flaws that cost him victories, but does paint the story of a man brutal with his fists, yet surprisingly thoughtful and generous. A sign of a good book is that you do not want it to end, and I didn't want Hands of Stone to end.
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on 6 February 2007
A very interesting insight of the man & sometime myth that is Roberto Duran. A good if simple read of a a simple man who just wanted to fight & to survive & eventually break free from the poverty. The details

of his Panamanion childhood growing up to adulthood & how latin culture lives & survives is a educational read. I wish there was a bit more on his fighting, training methods & how he prepared for fights, a bit more insight of his fears & feelings But again I guess,

to him it was just simple streefighting attitude. Like a previous reviewer

metioned a very supportive naration by the author. I wanted to hear more about the dark nasty side of duran that was there once, did'nt get any on this. Overall a good interesting read on one of a kind old school fighter who captured the hearts of many fans, which is now lacking in todays curcius act boxing.
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on 18 November 2008
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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on 4 January 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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on 29 December 2014
Duran obviously is one of my favourite boxers of all-time. This book gives a good account of Duran's upbringing, life and career in detail up to the 3rd fight with Leonard (the dodgy-decision winning 'superstar' who spent 90% of his career in retirement) before tailing off rapidly and giving very little detail of Duran's latter career. Well worth having but I only wish it was a bit more informative about the period after 1989.
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on 23 August 2015
Unlike other autobiographies this book is made up of quotes and stories from a variety of people encountered in Durans life including, Hagler, Hearns and Leonard so it's a different read to the normal autobiographies which are populated with facts and figures
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