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Standing Eight: The Inspiring Story of Jesus "El Matador" Chavez Paperback – Apr 10 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1 edition (April 10 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306815354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306815355
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 1.6 x 21.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 435 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,200,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Journalist Pitluk, a contributor to Time, charts Chavez's discovery of boxing while in the gang neighborhoods of Chicago's West Side, an apprenticeship that was interrupted by his imprisonment for armed robbery and later deportation to Mexico as an illegal alien named Gabriel Sandoval. (Chavez's nickname, El Matador, celebrates the Chicago gym where he learned the sport.) Born in 1972 in the Mexican town where Pancho Villa was killed and buried, Chavez was brought to the U.S. at age seven, after his father swam across the Rio Grande. Every one of the fistic life's clichés is here—starting with the inspiring immigrant parents and gruff but softhearted Irish trainer who sees the boy's promise—but that doesn't mean they're untrue. Pitluk's writing is stilted but serviceable, and he thoughtfully lays out the horrors of the Illinois prison system at the time Sandoval served his sentence. Still, the work is strictly for fans of El Matador who want to share the ride and relive the battles, especially the accounts of his tough losses to Floyd Mayweather and Erik Morales. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Chavez, a pro with more than 40 wins and fewer than 5 losses, may not be well known to any but the most avid boxing fans, but his story is compelling. After arriving illegally in the United States at age seven, he lived in Chicago and eventually fell prey to a gang. When he was 17, he began a prison term for robbing a store with friends. Upon release, he moved to Austin, TX, but was later deported to Mexico. Once he was able to return to America, further tragedy was yet to come. While Pitluk knows boxing and his subject, the narrative is never weighed down with lengthy fight descriptions or analysis. The book ends somewhat abruptly after a bout in September 2005. Though boxing fans will enjoy it most, this book will appeal to anyone interested in triumph over adversity.–Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must, Must Read Feb. 21 2006
By Sports News Guy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My friend who works for the New York Times got me an advanced copy of the book, and it was incredible. Adam Pitluk didn't fall into the trap of cliché sports writing. Instead, he walked the reader through a story of hope, despair and success. But this is not just another beat-`em-up boxing book. I discovered a great deal about the Mexican migration, which living in north Jersey, I encounter everyday but had never stopped to think about. You've got to read this book, as there aren't any others like it out there. And Chavez fights Barrera in March. I was going to cheer for Barrera ... not anymore.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book March 9 2007
By mf - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished reading your book "Standing Eight." It has left me with an indescribable feeling. I have been a Chicago Police Officer since 1987 and the last time I saw Gabriel was when he was standing on the corner of Chicago Ave. and Wood St., hanging out with the "gents." I don't know if Gabriel remembers what exactly I said to him privately but the scene is so clear in my mind. This was just about a week before his incident with Bubba and Saito. I never knew Gabriel's exact path after that but only that it would be a long, rocky one. Your book described the rest for me. The way you put down everything in words was great. You told the story straight up, you made me feel like I personally met everyone in the book (with the exception of Sean Curtin and Tom O'Shea who I know) due to the way you described everyone in the story. I am extremely happy for how Gabriel's life turned out and for his great accomplishments. Thank you for telling his story the way you did. Great book!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars face-fudging fantastic Feb. 12 2006
By Clayton Swartz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
There have been three times, in modern recorded civilization, when the world has been thrown into a frenzy the likes of which had never been seen. The Tiananmen Square fiasco, the Boston Tea Party and the Erection of George Washington, and that is it. Until now.

Adam Pitluk has come on the scene with an epic that will certainly draw the masses from all walks of life, be them anglo, jewish or white.

This tale is told with a veracity that is most typically saved for the likes of noblemen's funerals and queen's bantering, but here we feel the drip-drop of face-blood and hear the tick-tock of the ringside clock. Simply perfect, like a warm sunday afternoon spent at Home Depot and then the Container Store, if there is time.

Vanilla ice once said, "Stop, collaborate and listen." Well ladies and gentlemen, I say if not now, then when. Buy this book and it will change your whole outlook on pugulism, a.k.a. face-bashing.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing boxing and immigration story June 4 2006
By Stuie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because of the cover. Seriously. It looked really cool. But the story was amazing and it really translates to the current immigration debate today. You sould get it as a gift or just read it yourself.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American Dream realized July 9 2007
By Enrique Torres - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a gritty story of one mans hardships that he overcame to achieve the American Drean. He became the Lightweight World Champion in spite of his ordeal. Complete with many cultural and legal conflicts Jesus Chavez or Gabriel Sandoval's story is uplifting and should be required reading for many young people. The road is not always easy but hard work and perseverance will get you through even the most difficult of times. He went to prison, he was sent back to Mexico twice to truly be a stranger in a strange land both here and there. It is a remarkable story that should be told and heard by many. My only problem with the book is that it ends rather abruptly. Especially recommended for young people but all can learn from this inspiring story. This book would make a great addition to a middle school, high school or community library. Check it out, it'll knock you out.