Alexis Arguello: Wikis


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Alexis Argüello
Alexis Argüello.jpg
Nickname(s) El Flaco Explosivo
("The Explosive Thin Man")
El Caballero del Ring
("The Ring's Gentleman")
Rated at Featherweight
Super Featherweight
Height 5'10" (178 cm)
Reach 72"
Nationality Nicaragua Nicaraguan
Birth date April 19, 1952(1952-04-19)
Birth place Managua, Nicaragua
Death date July 1, 2009 (aged 57)
Death place Managua, Nicaragua
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 90
Wins 82
Wins by KO 65
Losses 8

Alexis Argüello (April 19, 1952 – July 1, 2009), also known by the stage name El Flaco Explosivo (lit. "The Explosive Thin Man"), was a Nicaraguan professional boxer and politician. As a boxer he was a three-time world champion. His trainer was Lupe Sanchez. After his retirement from boxing, Argüello became active in Nicaraguan politics and in November 2008 he was elected mayor of Managua, the nation's capital city. He allegedly committed suicide on July 1, 2009.

Arguello is ranked 20th on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.


Boxing career

"The Explosive Thin Man" suffered an unavenged first round TKO loss in his 1968 professional debut, but then won 36 of his next 38 bouts, which then led him to a world Featherweight championship bout against experienced WBA champion Ernesto Marcel of Panama in Panama. The young challenger lost a 15-round unanimous decision in Marcel's retirement bout.

Undaunted, Argüello began another streak of wins, and found himself in the ring with a world champion again, this time challenging Marcel's successor to the throne, Mexican world champion Rubén Olivares in Los Angeles. After Olivares built a small lead on the judges' scorecards, Argüello and Olivares landed simultaneous left hooks in round thirteen. Olivares's left hand caused a visible pain expression on Argüello's face, but Argüello's left hand caused Olivares to crash hard against the canvas. A few seconds later, Argüello was the new Featherweight champion of the world.

Argüello defended this title a few times, then moved up in weight to challenge world Junior Lightweight champion Alfredo Escalera in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, in what has been nicknamed The Bloody Battle of Bayamon by many. Escalera had been a busy champion with ten defenses, and he had dethroned Kuniaki Shibata in 2 rounds in Tokyo. In what some experts (including Ring Magazine writers) consider one of the most brutal fights in history, Escalera had his eye, mouth and nose busted early, but was rallying back in the scorecards when Argüello finished him, once again in the thirteenth round.

His reign at Junior Lightweight saw him fend off the challenges of Escalera in a rematch held at Rimini, Italy, as well as former and future world champion Bobby Chacon, former and world champion Rafael "Bazooka" Limon, Ruben Castillo, future champion Rolando Navarrete, and Diego Alcala, beaten in only one round.

Argüello suffered many cuts around his face during his second victory against Escalera. The on-site doctor wanted him hospitalized, but Argüello had a flight to catch from Rome the next day to return to Nicaragua, and he boarded a train from Rimini. The doctor decided to travel with Argüello, and performed plastic surgery on Argüello's cuts with Argüello awake.

Argüello then moved up in weight again, and this time he had to go to London, England, to challenge world Lightweight champion Jim Watt. Watt lasted fifteen rounds, but the judges gave Argüello a unanimous 15-round decision, thus making him only the sixth boxer to win world titles in 3 divisions, and the second Latin American (after Wilfred Benitez had become the first by beating Maurice Hope one month before) to do it. He had to face some less known challengers in this division, one exception being the famous prospect Ray Mancini (known as "Boom Boom" Mancini) who would later be the subject of a made for television movie. Mancini and Argüello engaged in a fight that was later showcased in a boxing video of the best fights of the 1980s, with Argüello prevailing by stoppage when he decked Mancini in round 14.

Battles with Aaron Pryor

After defeating James 'Bubba' Busceme by sixth round stoppage, Argüello decided to move up in weight class time again, and on November 12, 1982, he tried to become the first world champion in 4 different categories, meeting the heavier and future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Pryor, in what was billed as The Battle of the Champions in Miami, Florida. Argüello was stopped in the 14th round. The fight sparked controversy however, because Pryor's trainer, Panama Lewis, introduced a second water bottle which he described as "the bottle I mixed" after round 13, leading to speculation that the bottle was tainted. The Florida State Boxing Commission failed to administer a post-fight urinalysis, adding to speculation that the bottle contained an unsanctioned substance, specifically "a mixture of orange juice, honey, and cocaine." [1][2] It was later revealed in an interview with former Lewis-trained boxer Luis Resto that Lewis would break apart antihistamine pills used to treat asthma and pour the medicine into the water, giving Lewis's fighter greater lung capacity in the later rounds of a fight.[3][4][5] A rematch was ordered. This time, in Las Vegas, Arguello was KO-ed in the tenth, and stated after the fight "I'm not going to fight anymore. I quit." But he later returned to the ring for financial reasons.

Comeback and post-retirement

During the 1980s Argüello briefly fought with the Contras in his native Nicaragua, but after a few months in the jungle he retired from the war.[6] He then attempted several comebacks into boxing during the late 1980s and early 1990s and had some success, most notably a fourth round stoppage of former World Junior Welterweight Champion Billy Costello in a 1986 televised bout that put him in a position for another shot at the Junior Welterweight title. He retired for good in 1995 with a record of 82 wins, 8 losses, and 65 KO's, along with the recognition of being one of the sports most universally respected fighters among fans, experts, and boxers.

Argüello was elected to the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 1992. In 2008 he was honored by being selected as Nicaragua's flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.[7]

Argüello was an avid breeder of cats, and had several articles published in Cat Fancy magazine throughout the 1990s.

He remained very friendly with his old rival Aaron Pryor, and the pair saw each other several times a year until Argüello's death.

Political career

Argüello was actively involved in Nicaraguan politics with the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)--the same party against whom he took up arms in the 1980s—and in 2004 was elected vice-mayor of Managua. Amid accusations of vote-rigging Argüello narrowly won the mayoral election in Managua on November 9, 2008[8] elections against the candidate of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party, Eduardo Montealegre, who had come second to Daniel Ortega in the 2006 presidential election. Argüello's margin of victory was narrow as he attained just 51.30% of the vote.[9]


Argüello died around 1 a.m. local time on July 1, 2009, after allegedly shooting himself through the heart in Managua, according to a report from Channel 8 national television. Reports now say there could be some foul play involved.

The national police have confirmed the death, but are still awaiting the results of the autopsy. [10][11]

Those close to Argüello are saying that he was becoming progressively disenchanted with the Ortegistas and the Sandinista government, and was planning an imminent departure from the Sandinista political party.

See also


External links


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ruben Olivares
WBA Featherweight Champion
November 23, 1974 – 1977
Succeeded by
Rafael Ortega
Preceded by
Alfredo Escalera
WBC Super Featherweight Champion
January 28, 1978 – 1980
Succeeded by
Rafael Limon
Preceded by
Jim Watt
WBC Lightweight Champion
June 20, 1981 – 1983
Succeeded by
Edwin Rosario
Ring Magazine Lightweight Champion
June 20, 1981 – February 1983
Succeeded by
Julio Cesar Chavez

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