23 January 2012
Fight Knight’s Minnie Monarca talks to Brin-Jonathan Butler, the director of “Split Decision,” the Guillermo Rigondeaux Story. And other honorable mentions…
Brin-Jonathan Butler casually says that he doesn’t often remember his dreams…but there was one dream he remembered. It was that Guillermo Rigondeaux would knock out Willie Casey (Ireland, 03-19-11).
Maybe having his camera and half of his footage stolen from Rigondeaux’s team van that afternoon had something to do with lucid R.E.M. or maybe it was just a lucky premonition. Either way, Rigondeaux actually did knock out Casey…and Butler won fourteen grand.
“Where’s my cut?” says Rigondeaux, immediately, holding out his glove.
“I did it for you. Finish your film.” Rigondeaux was the only one in the camp who encouraged Butler to bet his lifeal savings on him. He has a serious sense of humor. He’s the same fighter who said the gold grill in his mouth is the melted gold from the medals he won in the Olympics. It’s hard to know when he’s joking.
Butler then took his $14,000 and traveled through Cuba on a drive. A drive in which he had no idea would lead him through the Everest of human experience. Talking to Butler made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. Everything he’s telling me keeps opening more and more questionable doors & NOTHING seems to make humane sense.
For instance, Rigondeaux’s money problems contradict his abundant success. He can never go home. Freddie Roach calls him the most talented boxer he’d ever seen. Butler laughed and remarked, “and no one can even pronounce his name.” The director further adds that the strongest image he has of Rigondeaux is his face the first time he saw him. “It was the saddest face I’d ever seen.”
In fact, the most intriguing of all in this story is that according to Butler who was ringside when Rigondeaux won his interim title in Dallas on the Manny Pacquiao undercard back in November of 2010, “his face looked even sadder when he won”. Butler’s tone had so much sincerity that it made the sadness sound beautiful.
The recent belt winner came to America on a smuggler’s boat after winning two Olympic gold medals for his country, but now can never legally return to Cuba. His wife and two sons are still in Havana. He’s been arrested. He’s begged to go home. He’s begged to be able to stay in Cuba to fight only to have Castro personally declare him a traitor to his people. But now he’s fighting in America winning championships and doing so faster than almost anyone in history ever has.
Considered a traitor and a hero, the film Split Decision respectfully forages through the battlefield of “happiness versus suffering” via the love of victory. Rigondeaux’s story is one that the protagonist himself is afraid to tell due to potential consequences. The story is the power of now…because as Butler perfectly puts it, “the only way to get out is to succeed.” Good advice…in or out of the ring.
The working title of Split Decision is “Hero, Traitor, Madness: The Guillermo Rigondeaux Story.” Go to www.herotraitormadness.com to learn more about the film & funding. Believe it or not, this film needs your support. It’s in post-production, though, so the sooner you help the sooner you can see it.
Speaking of Rigondeaux’s belt…
Ever been to www.masisboxingbelts.com? This 100% family owned business makes 98% percent of the WBA belts. The father of the empire started his leatherwork career working for companies such as Coach and LV…which explains the master craftsmanship.
The process can take months: customizing the medallion, engraving the photo, plating with pure 24 karat gold, setting the diamonds, and doing some things like chemical analysis. When the mold is already cut, though, it only takes about two weeks (as is the case for the WBA).
In other news, check out this from the BBC. LINK . Apparently AIBA met this past weekend, in Thailand, to talk more about women’s skirts in the Olympics (so we don’t confuse the women for the men?)
A few more things:
-Boxing: A Worldwide Record of Bouts and Boxers, by Goldman is most likely set for spring release date. You can pre-order it on amazon, though. LINK $195, 4 volumes (size 8 ½ x 11) and approximately 2,000 pages.
-We understand if you want to get this Rigondeaux tee. It’s only 9.99 LINK
-But Ramos looked pretty good in his walk-in gear and Inraged has some pretty cool stuff LINK and it’s only $20.