I am Returning to Run with the Bulls in Pamplona

It’s been a year since my near fatal goring July 9th 2014 in the bull run in Pamplona. I’m healed up and ready to run again. I leave July 4th for Pamplona. I will run with the bulls July 7th for the first time since the goring.

I am available for any media requests, (they are coming in from all over the world) The Australian just published a feature on my return: Pamplona bull runners must be prepared to die

I am completely accessible nearly 24 hours a day via email: billhillmann530@msn.com

I am also available via skype bill_hillmann

My USA cell is 773 793 1726

My Spanish cell is coming soon.

My memoir Mozos: A Decade Running With the Bulls of Spain, released last week and has already sold out of the first run, the second run is already available:


I welcome all media to reach out to me.

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Benjamin Miller Gored in Ciudad Rodrigo CBS & NBC National News and Fox Local in Atlanta

20 year old American Benjamin Miller narrowly survived a brutal goring this past weekend in Ciudad Rodrigo during the town’s Carnival del Toro Festival. The Bull flipped him and gored him repeatedly.

CBS contacted me and asked me into the local CBS Chicago Station to give commentary on the allure of running with the bulls in Spain.

The segment aired on National Television this morning. CBS gave my Memoir Mozos: A Decade Running With The Bulls Of Spain, big mention.


NBC The Today Show also aired a segment which included me and Mozos.


Fox News Atlanta also requested my expertise on the subject and included a photo of Mozos.


You can pre-order my memoir Mozos: A Decade Running With The Bulls Of Spain here.


You can also get my award winning debut novel The Old Neighborhood at Amazon.






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Bill Hillmann on Snap Judgment

I appeared on NPR’s Snap Judgment this week telling the story of the goring I famously survived last summer.



The story is explored at length in my highly anticipated forthcoming memoir Mozos: A Decade Running with the Bulls of Spain available for pre-order here at Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mozos-bill-hillmann/1120450582?ean=9781940430539

My award winning, internationally acclaimed, debut Chicago novel The Old Neighborhood loosely based on my rough upbringing in Chicago is available at Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble: http://www.amazon.com/The-Old-Neighborhood-A-Novel/dp/1940430003


You can find more expansive version of my story in the Toronto Star/Washington Post Op-Ed I penned from my hospital bed in Pamplona: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/07/27/a_real_bull_story_i_got_gored_in_pamplona.html

Bill Hillmann

Here’s a piece on my complex relationship with the Toro Bravo (Spanish Fighting Bull) which appeared in the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-prj-literary-allure-bullfighting-bill-hillmann-20140905-story.html


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My 2012

Sorry to any fan’s of this blog for my in-activity. I’ve been writing for money lately and this blog don’t pay.

That said, I thought I’d do a re-cap of my 2012. It was an incredible year in my life. It started out great when I landed the cover of New City Magazine in Chicago an 80K circulation weekly. I wrote the article and took the photos.

New City Cover

Later Akashic Books turned down my debut novel The Old Neighborhood by a split decision in their editorial board. It broke my heart but I refused to lay down and die.

Then the big one as far as my print-journalism career goes. I landed a gig for a feature story with the Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Journal.

Page 1 article

Bill Hillmann Chicago Tribune Article

Then it was off to Pamplona for my biggest payday to date as a writer with Outside Magazine. It was an eight post blog with two separate articles and the most comprehensive coverage of Fiesta in the English Language in 2012. Here’s my author pages at Outside.


Of course it wasn’t all fun and triumph.

Steer hits Bill Hillmann

On the second day of runs a highly aggressive Steer decided to buck me and put the possibility of my fathering children in the future in jeopardy. You can read more about that here…


But I dusted myself off again and through the high level of pain put together the best Fiesta of my life as a mozo.


Bill Hillmann Running With Bulls

It was going really good when this happened on the thirteenth.

Bill Hillmann Running With Bulls

Bill Hillmann Running With Bulls.

I ran stride-for-stride on either-horn in near perfect-sink with Jose Manuel Pereira one of the greatest Spanish runners running today, he’s also a Pastore at Sanse wich is probably the most elite run in Spain.

Bill Hillmann Running With Bulls.

I have vivid dreams about running the Callejon like this. It was the best run of my life, somewhere around 80 yards directly on the horns. It may have been on par with the runs of the all-time great American runners like Joe Distler and Matt Carney if it hadn’t ended like this…

Bill Hillmann Running Bulls

I smacked into the sand but luckily I didn’t disrupt the running of the animal and he mercifully didn’t step on me (we were pretty close friends by then).

This also marked my fiftieth run in Pamplona and it couldn’t have been more dramatic and incredible.

Then it was to the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland to complete a five-year long quest to represent Chicago against Edinburgh in a story slam. It was a sold out past-capacity event and I narrowly edged internationally renown author Jenni Fagan in our head to head heat. Amazingly I landed yet another Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Journal article, this time covering the event.

Bill Hillmann Chicago Tribune

Cool-ass tag line I know. My pal Alexander Fiske Harrison also covered the event for the Spectator an 80K circulation weekly in London.


Basically Xander raved about it and officially established me an acclaimed storyteller.

From there my lovely, talented, beautiful, generous, humorous, sweet, did I mention pretty wife Enid Maldonado allowed me a second trip to Spain. It had become quite an obbsession of mine to travel to Cuellar Spain for the oldest Encierro of all. It was complete insanity. The first morning the bulls got loose in the forest outside town. So the town of Cuellar released six fighting bulls into the street one by one. Creating one of the most legendary runs ever (in my humble and unbiased opinion) – one full hour of Suelto’s.

It came to an end when my friend Angus Ritchie and I led the final Suelto through the Callejon together.

Bill Hillmann and Gus Ritchie Running Bulls

It didn’t end there two days later during by far the greatest run of my life, the morning ended with Xander and I leading the final Suelto through the Callejon.

Bill Hillmann Encierro Cuellar

Still later I snuck over to Sanse for a couple runs and was involved in the worst pile-up of the year. After leaping the pile, I did what I’d hoped I’d have the courage to do if I ever got in the situation. I went back to help pull runners out and successfully yanked one guy out by his buttox. In a scary twist this pile-up seriously injured Jose Manuel, it hospitalized 19. I walked around in ghost-white shock the rest of the day.

Bill Hillmann Pile Up in Sanse

I came home from the trip and guess what? The Chicago Tribune was interested in a story but this time for the Tribune Travel Section and yep it ended up on the bottom cover. My new friend Nicolas Haro published his photo alongside it.

Bill Hillmann Chicago Tribune

I was in awe of everything that’d happened. I even made a good chunk of change on construction sites that summer for the first time in two years.

Things were going really good when I sat down and pounded out a re-write of my novel for an interested agent who I’d met in Edinburgh. Then, on a whim I decided to send it over to my friend Jacob Knabb over at Curbside Splendor Publishing who I’d been hearing great things about. Sure enough after about a week Jacob accepted The Old Neighborhood and we signed the contract at the Bobby Hitz fights a few days later.

Bill Hillmann Curbside Splendor

Curbside is everything I wanted in a Publisher. They’re young, smart, energetic, talented, ambitious and excited about my novel. They have a highly respectable catalog which has been reviewed frequently by the Chicago Tribune and other notable publications. They have a book coming out soon by the outstanding humorist Samantha Irby which I believe could sell half a million copies. I couldn’t be happier.

That was gonna be it but then like a last second shot in a game that’s already been won, I published a long over due interview I did with the late great George Whitman, the longtime owner of Shakespeare and Company Bookshop in Paris with legendary online news outlet Salon.com.


It was an outrageously good year and I couldn’t be more grateful.

But still, I’ve decided in 2013 that it’s time to get serious, quit screwing around and finally get on with my life.

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Fonfara on a Steady Road

8 Count Productions put on a strong night of boxing at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago Friday Night.

Chicago-based contender Andrzej Fonfara (21-2, 12KOs) stopped former world Champion Byron Mitchell (29-10-1 22KOs) in the third round to claim the USBO Light Heavyweight title. Fonfara came out in bombastic fashion. He drilled combinations through Mitchell’s guard. Everything was set-up by a Golota-esc jab and punctuated with crunching-hooks to the body. Mitchell was badly-hurt in the first thirty seconds of the opening-round and never recovered. Fonfara floored Mitchell late in the round. Mitchell beat the count and Fonfara went in for the kill. Many at ringside urged referee Celestino Ruiz to stop the bout. Ruiz likely could not hear them through the enormous and raucous Polish-American crowd. The audience did not take their seats until well into the break between rounds. Mitchell survived the second on shaky legs then was floored in the third. Corner man George Hernandez snatched the towel from another Second and furiously threw it into the ring. It sailed across the entire ring and into the ringside seats. Referee Ruiz didn’t see it so Hernandez climbed up on the apron and got into the ring before Ruiz realized the bout was over.

24-year-old Fonfara is stampeding forward in his career after some early bumps in the road. He was stopped by Derrek Findley on ESPN in 2008. Light Heavyweights hit their prime when they’re about thirty years old and Fonfara is set to be a 30 or even 40 win fighter by the time he reaches that age. It’s hard to say exactly who’s guiding this young Pole’s career but whoever it is, they have a ton of boxing wisdom.

In the co-main event Viktor Polyakov (11-0, 6KOs) defeated Derrek Findley (18-8, 11KOs ) of Indiana by unanimous decision for the USBO Middleweight Title. Polyakov is one of several foreign fighters out of Sam Colonna’s deep stable at Chicago Boxing Club. The Ukranian is a very busy boxer with good power in both hands and it showed in his steady victory over Findley. The once power-punching terror Findley has in recent fights resigned himself to a more quiet and steady boxing-pace. This seems to go against his natural-aggressiveness and the raw-physicality he possesses. It was a thunderous over-hand right that stopped Fonfara in ‘08, the punch is undeniably one of Findley’s world-class attributes. Yet, Findley did not throw the baseball-punch until desperation set in, in the final round. He caught Polyakov with the over-hand several times and hurt the Ukranian twice but it was too little too late. Scores were 99-91 twice and 96-94.

Super Middleweight Paul Littleton (3-0 3KOs) stopped Guy Packer (4-36-2, 1KO) of Michigan in the second round of their four round contest. It was the second TKO victory in under a month for Littleton who was a standout amateur in Chicago and won the Midwestern Trials in 2008 and the Chicago Golden Gloves several times. It’s vital for a young-prospect to stay busy and Littleton hopes to have eight to ten fights under his belt by this time next year. He’s definitely on pace to do that.

Featherweight Raeese Aleem (2-0, 1KO) of Michigan defeated spoiler DeWayne Wisdom (2-3, 1KO) of Indiana by unanimous decision in their four round contest. Coming off Wisdom’s upset victory over Russle Fiore many at ringside hoped he could pull off another surprise. Aleem wasn’t having it and established himself as the harder-puncher in the early rounds. In the fourth, Wisdom did find some magic and landed several potent hooks with his back to the ropes. It wasn’t enough to sway the judges but Wisdom took the bout on two day’s notice and should walk away with a moral victory under those circumstances.

Chicagoan Adan Ortiz knocked out Ricky Lacefield (0-3) of Nebraska in the first round of their Super Flyweight bout. Though it was his debut, Ortiz was dominant early. Late in the round a sneaky-left found Lacefield’s solar-plexus. Lacefield wasn’t able to beat the count.

Debut Welterweight Chad McKinney of Illinois defeated Cleveland-based Clifford McPherson (2-8-2 1KO) by unanimous decision.




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Smokin’ Joe Frazier Tribute

To Box, is to hit and not be hit. Many in the sport fail to truly understand the art of pressure-fighting. They perceive it as a brutal style—ugly and grueling. What they are un-able to see is a nuanced, strategic, and defensive display of boxing.

When Smokin’ Joe Frazier entered the ring, he never ceased moving his head. This is a defensive and elusive measure. Frazier’s style of head-movement was unorthodox; to the untrained eye it appeared herky-jerky. It was not. It was Frazier’s own inner-rhythm and he imposed it on his adversaries.

Frazier was a squat-puncher who landed incredibly-powerful, clean-blows on his opponents. All of those clear-shots set up by defense, timing and craftsmanship. He made you miss and he made you pay. Joe Frazier; in that ilk of Jack Dempsey, Jake LaMatta and Rocky Marciano, embodied the art of the pressure-fighter.

In many of those classic exchanges with Ali in their Trilogy, Frazier made his swift-handed foe miss with entire combinations. All while in close quarters. And there was Frazier’s immortal left-hook perpetually-pumping upward from those stout thighs, punishing his
opponents and dismantling their will to continue. Joe Frazier thrilled us with his determination, his heart, his skill and whether we knew it or not—his artistry.

Muhammad Ali was deeply saddened by the loss of his most colossal opponent. A family member told me, Ali and Frazier planned to team up to put on a benefit for both Cancer and Parkinson’s research February 18th at the MGM Grand. Ali released this statement: “The world has lost a great Champion. I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.”

Great fighters draw out the immortality in their rivals. Frazier and Ali brought it out of each other in a way that will never be duplicated. Boxing has lost one of its most profound warriors of all-time and possibly the finest-tuned pressure-fighter ever to step through the ropes—Smokin’ Joe Frazier.

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Donovan George set to Face Librado Andrade.

The IBF Super Middleweight Title Eliminator bout between Donovan George (22-1-1,
19KOs) and Librado Andrade (30-4, 23Kos) is set to take place on December 17th in Mexico. The bout will be televised in Mexico as well as the US. Fight venue TBA.

Before Chicagoan Donovan George gets his shot at Lucian Bute’s IBF Title he’ll need to
exorcise a demon in his career. George’s sole defeat was at the hands of a big Mexican Super-Middleweight with long-arms named Francisco Sierra in 2010 on ESPN Friday Night Fights. Francisco Sierra was a last second replacement for George. Sierra came in well over the weight limit. George made a gutsy decision and chose to take the fight anyway. There’s a rule in boxing, never give up weight to a heavy-handed fighter and Sierra is a knock out artist.  George was hurt several times in the bout, knocked down then dropped again after the bell in the seventh. The fight ended in a technical decision in favor of Sierra. Six months later George obliterated undefeated-prospect Cornelius White inside of one round. It began with crackling George right-cross which floored White. George then bombarded White putting him down twice more before the bout was called. In April, George dominated Maxwell Taylor for 7 rounds before stopping him in the 8th to claim the USBA Super Middleweight title. In many ways George is resurrected. He’s riding a two fight KO streak and ranked #4 in the world by the IBF.

Enter Librado Andrade. Andrade is a big Mexican Super-Middleweight with long-arms, good power and a granite-chin. Andrade has been to the mountain-top. In 2007 he battled Mike Kessler in an action-packed title-fight—losing a unanimous decision. Many in the boxing world believe Andrade knocked out Lucian Bute in their 2008 title-fight. Bute was given 18 seconds to recover after being battered around the ring and collapsing into the corner. The bout concluded before Andrade could finish the job. Yet, in their 2009 rematch Bute devastated Andrade in the 4th round—knocking him down with a perfectly timed left cross. Later in the round Bute KO’d Andrade with a beauteous left upper-cut to the liver. Since then Andrade has been defeated by journeymen Aaron Pryor Jr. though more recently Andrade KO’d the limited Matt O’Brien.

The winner of the Donovan George Librado Andrade title eliminator will ascend to
challenge Lucian Bute for his coveted IBF world title. The definitive questions entering the contest are: at age 33, does Andrade have enough left in the tank to contend for another world title? Or, can George exorcise this sole demon in his career and defeat the only man to have a claim at beating Lucian Bute?

Tune in December 17th to find out.

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