Belarmino (1964) Legendado - Subtitled

Uploaded by bgrenho on 02.05.2012

He could have been a great boxer, one of the best in Europe,
maybe even a lightweight champion, but now he's just a punching ball.
Belarmino Fragoso. Born a champion.
That's why, by the blessing or curse of birth,
he went to London to challenge Vic Andeeti, after a nasty story,
where his name appeared in place of his brother's.
With no coach, after months, years of hunger and misery, already old,
Belarmino set out with his usual confident smile.
TeII me about the fight in London.
As I told you, I was coming from Italy to get my brother;
my brother stayed in Spain, and I left.
In the meantime I came to Portugal.
Somebody told me on the phone that I had fought in London.
I was amazed. I fought in London? Impossible, it must be a dream.
Then I heard it on the radio, I saw it in the newspapers...
I made a complaint at ANI, I said it wasn't me.
I had never fought in London or ever seen London.
I'd seen London in the movies, but I had never been there.
So they said "WeII, then, we'll change that".
They showed me a photo and I saw it was my brother, like I said.
So I went to London.
In those days, Jack Salomon, one of the best managers in the world,
hired me... he called me.
I went to London without a single day of training.
Why were you massacred in London by Vic Andeeti?
I wasn't massacred. It was aII a mistake.
He didn't even hit me in the face, he just shoved his thumb in my eye,
it hurt like heII... It was a violent punch,
there isn't anybody who doesn't feel a punch in the eye.
I was on my knees, thinking I'd let him count to eight,
but when I got up on eight,
for some reason the referee ended the fight.
In the ring at Albert HaII, Belarmino only lasted 2 minutes and 5 seconds
against a second-rate boxer.
He's a desperate champion.
The referee counted to eight, and of course
I had to leave. I started to protest,
but the referee was saying "no", signaling "no" with his hands,
meaning that I hadn't lost the fight,
that the time wasn't up yet.
And suddenly... it wasn't Belarmino Fragoso fighting,
it was just the need to earn 15 thousand escudos.
Where does your mother live now, with you?
No, sir. My mother hasn't lived with me since I was 17.
I mean, since I was 15.
- And who supports her? - My brothers. And she also works.
She's 68, she works because she wants to.
I always wanted to help her, but she always wanted to work.
It's what she wanted, I didn't force her and I stiII don't.
I'm the one who gives her lunch and dinner every day.
She eats in the same restaurant as me. She goes there nearly every day.
When she doesn't go it's because she doesn't feel like it.
My mother has four other children besides me
and they can easily look after her because they have a better life than me.
My life is hard.
I started boxing as an amateur, of course.
That was my life.
I needed to earn money, I was a shoe-shine boy,
and then I started as an amateur boxer,
with a friend of mine, who was a shoe-shine boy, too.
One day we went to the "Salão Lisboa" - they called it "The Louse"...
we went for the heck of it, to get money to go to the movies.
I didn't have any money at the time, so I went to get some for the movies.
One day he said he was going to train as a boxer. That was my dream;
I saw boxing rings in the newspapers...
- I was always drawn to boxing and always dreamt of fighting...
so I asked if I could go with him, and he said: "Let's go check it out."
I got to the Albano Martins haII, which was a sports club,
and he asked me to step inside. I did, of course.
Albano Martins looked at me and said: "Did you come to train or to fight?"
And I said: "I came to train, I love to practice boxing."
I didn't know what I was talking about. He gave me some gloves and shorts
and I started boxing.
I started fighting with a guy called "Barraçal" (Sunsplat).
I was afraid of getting beaten up, so I started pounding him first.
Albano Martins made us stop the fight
and told me I had talent.
On the second or third day of training, I wanted to put the gloves on.
The other guys had more experience and so they threw a few punches
and he was knocked out. The next day, there he was again.
And when it's like that, you know you've got a boxer.
I got fuII of myself, of course, and asked a friend if I could fight him.
He punched me in the stomach and I feII down, totally knocked out.
Afterwards I started thinking that maybe boxing wasn't for me,
that I was afraid, because he had punched me
and it hurt, of course. So I started to be afraid of boxing.
But then I started thinking that my life,
the boxing and the shoe-shining, it was aII the same,
and I had to earn money to eat because I didn't have any,
so I started thinking... I had a head, two feet, two hands,
so I started to learn how to box. I did four fights as an amateur,
two fights a day.
But then I went to the gym and started thinking:
"I've got to learn more about boxing,"
so I started learning, and in the fifth fight
I won with by a KO, and I started boxing more and more,
and after a year I was the champion of Portugal.
How old were you then?
- I was only 18. - 18.
Before you became an amateur boxer, what did you do? Shine shoes?
I was a shoe-shine boy on the Avenida of Restauradores.
I used to run away from the police. That was my life, running away.
I used to leave one shoe half polished, and the other unpolished
with the police running after me.
I made my living from shoe-shining and boxing.
So what do you think of Albano?
Albano... his thing was always money,
to squeeze aII he could out of a human body - mine or somebody else's...
to do as much as he could,
to earn as much money as he could,
because that was his life, as we say, being a "pimp",
so I gave my body, I fought, and got nothing for it.
He would give me 20 escudos, sometimes 10 and that was how I lived.
I'd go to his house, eat lunch, dinner, and sleep there,
and I used to seII newspapers... I had to get up at 4 AM.
I've been a professional boxer for 35 years
and I came to the Mouraria Sports Club on a percentage basis.
Amateurs here don't make any money.
As an amateur I got beaten up a lot but I never earned a nickel.
And as managers are professionals, they have to set up
as many fights as possible so their trainees can earn money
and so they can earn something too. I don't think they work for free.
He took what he could from me, because he had to, it was his life.
He was born to be a "pimp".
- How long was he your manager? - He was always my manager.
He was my manager for three years, then I went to Porto, I came back,
and as I had no money to eat, I signed a contract with him again
and he sold me... - Sold him? I never sold him.
So we went to Oporto
and Mr. Ernesto Silva, after seeing him fight,
came up to me and said he wanted to be his manager
and could I release him. I said yes, but that I had to talk to him first.
I spoke to Belarmino Fragoso, explained the terms to him...
Ernesto Silva said he would have him educated,
because Belarmino couldn't read or write,
and he would have him taught to be a driver,
so that he could have a life without depending on boxing.
So he accepted and closed the deal with Ernesto Silva.
Of course I didn't seII him, because I lost more than I earned,
but I didn't get a thousand escudos and I sold him for a thousand.
I spent two months in Porto, fought five fights,
but aII I got from it was a pair of second-hand shoes,
a raincoat which cost 900 escudos and that was aII.
And he gave me 150 escudos on Christmas Day
so I could spend Christmas in Lisbon with my family.
I can't answer that,
because from the time I handed him over to a new manager,
I didn't see him any more.
One thing is for sure - it was around Christmas time,
he turned up in Lisbon, and even though he said I cheated him,
he was the one who wanted me to be his manager again.
now that there is almost no professional boxing in Portugal,
how do you get by?
I've got a newspaper stand in Estefãnia that my family looks after.
- I referee wrestling... - But wrestling means bluffing...
Bluffing? Honestly I can't teII you that,
because I bet you don't want to go up there,
- I don't go... - and nobody wants to...
- But is that the truth or a lie? - if anyone goes there...
it's not true. - Isn't wrestling bluffing?
- The best one wins. - The best one wins? Like in boxing?
Not like boxing, it's very different. Boxing means getting thrashed.
- In boxing, the best one wins too. - Yes, but wrestling is different.
What does Belarmino mean to you? Is he a friend, a man...?
For me Belarmino was just a boxer,
like the others who used to come here to the Mouraria Sports Club.
How did you meet and marry your wife?
That's a long story.
When Albano Martins hired me to box, I went to Oporto,
when he sold my contract, as I just explained,
I went up there, and three months later I met my wife...
- In Porto? - In Porto.
I chatted her up, and of course, started talking to her,
but I came right back to Lisbon. A few months later, I went back there,
and that's when I decided to marry her.
Now she's my wife, the mother of my daughter... That's life.
- Does she work? - Yes. And she's a hard worker.
She's a good housewife and she looks after somebody else's house.
she's hard-working, and helps me in every way she can.
She doesn't earn much, 10, 15 escudos,
but she's used to working, it's what she's always done.
What was your last fight to defend your title?
It was with Fernando Gonçalves Sotta. I won by a KO.
And then?
Then I didn't fight in Portugal any more.
- How much did you earn then? - 6 thousand escudos.
- 6 thousand. How long ago? - 6 years ago.
The day before the lightweight fight with Sotta,
he spent the whole night at Bairro Alto and got to bed at 4 AM.
He went to the weigh-in, the compulsory one at noon,
and he was a around 1 kilo and 200 grams overweight,
so, of course he couldn't go for the title,
with a kilo and 200 grams overweight. So we went to Mayer Park,
I wrapped him in some blankets, made him run, sweat...
He did everything he could to lose the extra weight.
He weighed in, fought and won.
He could have been great.
You know, he could have been really great.
Other times, not with me, but with Bomboxe,
he was training near Sintra
and in the middle of the night, he would sneak out the window
and come to Lisbon, to Bairro Alto, whenever he felt like it.
That's a lie. In fact, the room where I stayed at the hostel
didn't even have a window,
and nobody can ever stick that on me. They can teII it to whoever they wish
but nobody can say that to me,
because I was always a boxer when I was fighting and I was an idol
and I was a man who would fight any foreigner. I never did that.
I was always a man who never lost a fight.
And I've proven it! I was champion of Portugal twice
and I was always honoured and proud to be champion of Portugal.
He could have been great. But he was not up to the challenge.
It wasn't the managers' fault because he had good ones.
But was it his fault or the fact that he lived in Portugal?
Had he lived abroad, could he have been a great boxer?
Yes. But he would have had to stick to
the training schedules and everything.
- He could have been great here too. - Even if he was a bit undisciplined.
He could have been a great boxer and there was a time when he was.
- Since then... - Now he's totally washed up.
Yes, and he shouldn't think he'll be somebody again because he won't.
He had good write-ups at that time,
it was nice, because nobody had any experience.
They understood that I was a real boxer
and many times as a professional, at the hands of Albano Martins,
I went into the ring on just a doughnut and a glass of milk.
I didn't have money to eat but I managed to win the fights.
All my life I took my fights seriously.
Maybe I was the most serious boxer there ever was in Portugal.
Thank you.
Who were the great boxers at that time?
Carlos Rocha, Chico Santos,
Fernando Gonçalves Sotta, Fernando Branco...
They were good boxers.
They say you got into a fixed fight with Chico Santos.
- Never. - Never?
No, we never could've gotten into a fixed fight with him
because we couldn't stand each other from the start.
Tradition. There was always that thing of both of us wanting to win,
that was our life, playing one off the other,
and there was always rivalry. Sometimes on my side,
sometimes on his, other times on the manager's,
and other times because I had earned more than him or vice-versa.
He didn't think that I should earn more than him,
and I didn't think he should earn more than me.
A lot of times they took my winnings and gave them to him.
Once, in my last fight,
I fought Chico Santos at Mayer Park,
I earned 12 thousand escudos and they only paid me 8.
They gave him 4 thousand without telling me.
I didn't even know how to read or write,
I was illiterate and that's how they cheated me out of 4,000 escudos,
without knowing it was for him. Had I known, I wouldn't have helped him.
- How old are you now? - Me? I'm 32.
- Are you stiII illiterate? - No, I've gotten up to the third grade.
A coffee.
Listen, do you think you're a man or an animal?
- A man. A human being. - Why?
- A human being! - Listen, sometimes people say
that you're nuts and you're more like an animal than a man. Is it true?
We should compare a boxer to a human being.
A boxer is like any other man,
even though people often think that a boxer kills, flays,
does this and that. No! A boxer is a man.
And whoever thinks differently is mistaken.
Outside the ring, are you a good man or a bad man?
I don't know, only other people can say.
I can't judge my own character.
- Does your wife love you? - I think so, if not it'd be awful.
- You say you have two daughters? - Yes. One is eleven.
I didn't raise her, Agostinho da Silva did.
And I have another one who's five, she's great,
she's pretty and she's smart. But she was also really sick.
She had meningitis, and went blind for seven months.
People don't understand this. My daughter was blind for 7 months,
she had meningitis, had an operation for appendicitis when she was 3,
was blind for... WeII, that's life.
Since the doctor was green, he said my daughter wouldn't live.
But thank God, she's alive today.
How do you support your family, if you don't work?
I colour photographs. And I do this and that. It depends.
- And do you borrow money? - Sometimes.
- Often? - Yes, but I pay it back.
- To whom? - Blokes I know.
If I need five quid, I ask for it, If I need five bob, also.
It depends on my "need".
But listen, five quid isn't enough to support your family.
No, sometimes if I have dinner at a restaurant, I need another five bob
to order something cheap for the girl and for my wife
and to pay for a bread roII.
And to tip the waiter, so I won't look like an idiot.
So, do you go hungry a lot?
Three days' hunger isn't real hunger.
Often I want to have lunch or dinner, and I don't have anything to eat.
But it's not real hunger. It's a state of weakness I can put up with.
What about your other daughter?
I never raised her. I left her when she was only a year old, not even that.
Why did you leave her?
Because I didn't have any money to support her.
I wanted to box, the way I have... I was already in love with it,
and that's why some ladies asked if I would let them raise her,
so I let them, because I didn't want to ruin my daughter's happiness...
I knew she would be aII right with those ladies,
and I couldn't do anything more for her.
Good afternoon.
Amore mio.
How are you?
Do you love your wife or are you sorry you got married?
If I didn't love her, I wouldn't have married her.
I love her, I'm married, she's my kind of girl.
She's a really good girl.
She's got everything you could want from a woman.
But hang on, sometimes you run after other women,
and you've had your affairs. How's that?
All men do that.
As long as a bloke's lucky, of course. I'm not stupid.
It's so cool.
Can I go to your place tonight to talk to you?
Listen, I heard you were hired
as a bodyguard for a capitalist, weren't you?
Yes, but he started getting involved, so I let him get beaten up.
- I was the first one to run away. - Why was that? TeII me about it.
That was good. Look at him... That's a good one.
- TeII me. - I can't.
- Why? - Do you think my body's insured?
But can't you teII the story, or you don't want to?
It's a long story, It's a 47-part film, mate!
- Did he give you any money after aII? - Of course!
Is that kind of thing paid in instalments? It's cash up front.
But listen, he paid you and you let him take a beating? How's that?
Sure, he started showing off. He was on my back.
That's too much, isn't it?
Look here,
Albano Martins told us he was the only Portuguese boxer
who had the President show up at one of his matches.
And he told us he was a great boxer. What do you think?
He might have been a great boxer, but he was also a pain in the arse.
- Your fuII name? - Belarmino Fragoso Teixeira.
- Date of birth? - July 30th... 1941.
- How old are you? - 31.
- For how long were you in school? - No, 32.
- And your profession, please? - Boxer.
- Address? - Rua Barros Queirós, 31, 2nd right.
- Are you married or single? - Married.
- Do you have any health problems? - None, thank God.
- Have you always been healthy? - Always, thank God.
Even when you were a child, don't you remember being iII?
- I had measles. - Is that aII?
- That's aII I remember... - Any nodes?..
- I never had anything like that. - Nothing in particular?
- And your family? - Not that I know of,
only my daughter, she had meningitis,
but that doesn't mean that it's a family thing.
- Have you had any lung disease? - Never.
- Any blood illness? - Never.
Take that tube over there.
Blow a little.
Breath deeply, FiII your chest as much as you can,
and blow as hard as you can, please until there's no more air in your chest.
All right, you can let it out.
- Have you done any other sports? - No, sir.
- Just boxing? - That's aII.
- How long have you been boxing? - For sixteen years.
Do you remember having any injuries from fighting?
Yes, I remember,
but there were no blows or violence,
it was just cuts or I couldn't have gone on.
You're going to breath deep with your mouth open, please.
Let it out...
But after a so-called knockout,
didn't you ever have to have medical treatment?
Just lost a few teeth, that's aII.
- So you never passed out... - No, sir.
and you never had a concussion? - Never.
Cough a little.
Now turn toward me, please.
Do you think you could fight a man of your weight?
Wait a minute.
The eighth and second to last fight.
The moment of the international fight has arrived.
Tony Alonso from Spain...
against the Portuguese Belarmino Fragoso.
The fight has eight two-minute rounds,
with Joaquim Teixeira as referee.
Are you afraid when you go into the ring?
Not me. I'm just afraid like any man,
afraid of making a fool of myself, like everybody else.
Carlos Ramos, a fine fado singer, Amália Rodrigues, a great artist.
There's nobody who's not afraid. We're aII afraid.
But I mean, for example... afraid of losing.
No, no...
Afraid of looking like a fool. Winning or losing is just part of the sport.
- Is it? Do you think so? - I do.
Do you think boxing is a sport?
For me it's a type of sport it's a noble art.
All over the world it's considered a noble art because it really is.
But boxing is an ungrateful sport.
Not boxing, the people around it.
It's the same in Portugal as anywhere else in the world.
Things have happened in Portugal... It's life...
In Portugal there are lots of serious, very honest people,
who've never gone into business.
Sometimes they go into the boxing business because they like the sport,
because they're friends of other boxers, so they get involved,
and there are other blokes out there who want to make money off of boxing.
The older boxers...
So, the ones who win in boxing aren't the boxers.
- No. - Who wins?
The ones around them, in other words, the managers.
It's the people around them, like the ones who sit in the cafe
talking about boxing, and then someone serious comes in to talk about it
and they lend him money, and more and more money,
and in the end, after lending him aII this money,
that guy doesn't win or lose any money,
because the ones talking about boxing with him, start smoking cigars.
But are you saying that because usually people say
that you are undisciplined and badmouth everyone,
and you waste your nights and you drink a lot...
- Are you undisciplined? - No. I'm just... The real truth
is that I can't be cheated and I can't see anyone else being cheated.
And I can't be what they think I am.
Because a lot of times, like I said just now, I went into the ring
on an empty stomach and none of the guys who badmouth me
every gave me a penny for a soup.
Have you ever bribed a critic or your manager?
Me? Never. I feel like laughing every time people ask me that.
Critics only appreciate me when they have to.
There is this journalist, Mr... - I don't remember his name...
who writes for "Bola" and is very funny,
in an interview that he did with me...
WeII, it was not an interview, he just wrote about my life,
he said I should give up boxing, because I was already over the hiII,
because I'd already lost a lot of fights by KO.
This man says he knows about boxing, but I don't think he does.
When it comes to boxing, I'm a boxing technician,
I'm in the highest category of national boxing,
I see what's going on in boxing more than anyone else.
People used to say that when you were hit on the eyebrow
you'd become particularly violent and you used to react wildIy.
TeII me if that's a lie or not.
I only tried to defend myself.
Because the eyebrow is the most sensitive spot one has.
By hitting with your head or with a smaII open-handed slap,
you can cut someone's brow...
In boxing we usually say, the best defence is an attack...
and I would attack so that they wouldn't hit my eyebrow.
I knew if I attacked the guy first, he wouldn't hit my eyebrow.
And if I just stood there, he'd injure my eyebrow with a smaII punch.
But that's what happens in boxing...
Many, many times I get punched in boxing...
I take aII these punches but I never feel them,
but sometimes I just get a little slap and I feel it.
It depends on the situation, the place...
It depends on the situation and what kind of day you're having.
There are afternoons for an artist, for a good sportsman.
There are days, nights, afternoons... Sports are based on aII those things.
Sports are tough, but they're very good too.
When I talk about sports it makes me laugh.
- Why? - Why?
Life is like a sport, it's beautiful. We're the ones who destroy it.
- It's fantastic. - Just one thing, Belarmino
You had a punch that was considered
to be sensational, the one where you used the "one two"...
- No. - You swung a left and then a right,
but wait, people said that when you swung a left
and then a right in the "one two",
you dragged your arm, especially your right arm,
and nearly hit your opponent's jaw with your elbow.
It depends on the boxing... No, I never did that.
But in boxing, there are two methods.
Attack and defence.
The man who defends
has to be a man who only uses his left
and has to escape from the man who is an attacker
or a fighter...
I am a boxer who attacks, I'm a fighter,
so I can't throw that kind of punch,
because as a lightweight I always get taller men
and if I try for an uppercut, my punches wiII be inaccurate.
- I've never done that in my life. - Never?
- Never. - But the critics said you did.
They don't know anything about boxing. They write just for the heck of it.
Don't hold on!
Second round.
Do you think you could fight with a man of your weight?
- Yes... - How many punches could you take?
It depends on my training, my preparation and what I ate,
because I have a wife and daughter to feed and I have to win.
A man who prepares himself for 10 rounds, 3 or 4, or whatever,
has to get up at six-thirty in the morning,
run at least four kilometres,
do four kilometres of footing, and go to the gym.
After the footing, he goes home, rests, and gets up at noon,
with no commitments at aII,
he has to eat a good steak, lots of vegetables,
rare steaks, without needing the victory to eat.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ritz Club
is proud to present the second half of our variety show.
Women! Lets talk about women.
Did women have a decisive influence on your life, or not?
No. I just used to talk with them like I talk with aII my friends,
the ones that chat with me, that treat me nicely,
people that I consider to be nice people. Even if I speak to bad people,
the ones who wiII criticise me... Those are the ones I should talk to.
But when it comes to women...
I've only got my wife, and I live with her.
And before I got married and lived with my wife,
I had never been to a cabaret.
I'd never been to those kinds of bars.
I don't like wine. I never drank beer.
But beer doesn't actually do any harm to a boxer.
Beer bloats you but it doesn't make you fat.
Lots of people say that beer is bad for you, but it isn't.
I used to drink to drink beer just like any other drink.
I drink more milk now. Doughnuts were the only thing I used to eat,
because I was used to eating them
when I wasn't boxing and I was having a hard time.
Often I wanted money for a doughnut and milk and I didn't have any.
It has nothing to do with women. People always talk too much.
But listen, there are people who see you with prostitutes.
Maybe they do. It's natural. They might see me with crooks, too,
with suspicious looking men, but I'm not suspicious because of that.
They can't pin anything on me. I'm just a man, a sportsman,
a simple person. I talk to everyone, rich, poor, crooks,
prostitutes, everyone.
You said you didn't go to cabarets but people have seen you there.
Now. Since Bombox closed.
- Really? - Yes. Why?
My life has changed. Now fights are...
Before there were boxing matches every other month,
but now there's only one match a year.
There hasn't been any boxing in Portugal for six years.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Ana Maria's strip-tease.
I know you want to go and work abroad,
but you're a man from Lisbon. Won't you miss the city?
Yes, very much. Not only Lisbon,
I'll miss my friends, the people who hang out with me,
I'll miss my daughter, my wife, my house,
I'll even miss the Portuguese boxing rings, because people applaud me.
So why are you going to work abroad in spite of aII that?
Because that's what I should do. Because there's no boxing in Portugal
and I'm going abroad just to be a coach or to fight.
I can't go just to give and get a beating.
I'm too old for that, I'm already 32.
Ladies and gentlemen, the dance is next.
Do you think that when the viewers see this film,
they'll feel sorry for you?
I don't know.
It depends on how they see Albano Martins,
how they understand him and my life, when I was a simple shoe-shiner.
Of course, I wasn't an engineer, I went in for boxing.
If I were an engineer or a doctor, I wouldn't have been a boxer.
I went for it because I had to. Because in boxing,
or in any sport, there aren't any engineers or architects
who go into the sport and get their head punched in for the love of it.
It's men like me, bums.
How long do you think you'll last as a boxer?
- Until I'm 33, 34. - So you've only got a year to live?
- To work as a boxer? - Yes.
- And then? - I'll be a coach.
I have the qualifications for it.
More than the coaches I see in Portugal.
- And don't you feel sorry? - I'm very sorry...
It was the profession I held on to and wiII until my dying day.
So you're a champion who wiII remain a champion, right?
That's right.
And I'll make other champions, if my energy and health hold up,
and if my life allows it.
Translation: Jacqueline Sarbib Subtitles: CRISTBET, Lda