Here is the inspirational story of Gabriel Sandoval, who grew up in the small dirt-poor town of Delicias, Mexico. Crossing the U.S. border with his family as a young boy of seven, he settled in Chicago, where he learned to speak English and to box-winning three Gold Glove championships-and where he also joined a gang, committing a robbery in his teens that landed him in one of the most violent prisons in America, Statesville. After his three-year stint in prison was up, he was met by an INS agent and put on the first plane to Mexico City with fifty dollars in his pocket. He eventually re-entered the U.S. illegally. Settling in Austin, Texas, he resumed his boxing career and changed his name to Jesus "El Matador" - after the Chicago gym in which he learned to box-Chavez, and went on to become the Lightweight champion of the world. But the story doesn't end with this crowning achievement. He applied for a driver's license, and his real name, Gabriel Sandoval, came up on the computer and he was found to be in the U.S. illegally. For the second time, he was deported to Mexico before gaining his U.S. citizenship after a long, protracted fight with the U.S. government. Standing Eight is the triumphant tale of a strong-willed fighter who refused to stay down for the count and overcame tremendous obstacles to become champion of the world.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
"Boxing, the meanest sport, has always been forced to draw its gladiators from the ranks of the poor and the disadvantaged. Jesus Chavez is a classic example. The hurdles he had to endure to become a champion are manifold. Adam Pitluk tells his story with equal parts devotion and distance, so Chavez emerges as a boxer we can honestly root for." (Frank Deford, NPR commentator on "Morning Edition" and Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated)About the Author:
Adam Pitluk is a contributor to TIME magazine and is the author of Standing Eight. He spent most of the 1990s living along various rivers in Missouri and now lives in Dallas, Texas.
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