Alexis Arguello (1952 – 2009) was a Nicaraguan professional boxer who held several world championship titles. He became mayor of Managua in 2008.
Alexis Arguello was born on April 19, 1952 in Managua, Nicaragua. He became a professional fighter in 1968, and claimed the WBA featherweight title after a 13th round knockout of Ruben Olivares. When the Sandinistas took over Nicaragua, Arguello fought for the Contras. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 and became mayor of Managua in 2008. He died in 2009.
May 5, 2010
Managua, Nicaragua - - Alexis Arguello, who fought in one of boxing’s most classic brawls and reigned supreme at 130 pounds, was found dead at his home early Wednesday.
Coroners were conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Saninista Party’s Radio Ya and other local media were reporting it appeared to be a suicide.
The La Presna newspaper reported that Arguello, elected mayor of Nicaragua’s capital last year, was found with a gunshot wound to the chest.
The 57 year old Arguello retired in 1995 with a record of 82-8 and 65 knockouts and was a champion in three weight divisions. He was perhaps best known for two thrilling battles with Aaron Pryor and fights with Ray Mancini, Bobby Chacon and Ruben Olivares.
“I’m kind of in a daze right now,” Pryor told The Associated Press. “Those were great fights we had. This was a great champion.”
Nicknamed “The Explosive Thin Man,” Arguello was inducted in 1992 into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, where flags were flying at half staff in his honor Wednesday.
Hundreds of people lined up to say goodbye to Arguello Wednesday night at a memorial service at the Palace of Culture in the capital of Nicaragua.
Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega canceled a trip to Panama for the inauguration of President elect Ricardo Martinelli and attended the service. Ortega described Arguello as “an extraordingary human being full of truth.”
In 1999, a panel of experts assembled by the AP voted Arguello the best junior lightweight and sixth best lightweight of the 20th century. Arguello never lost a fight at 130 pounds.
His popularity in his own country was so great that he carried the flag for Nicaragua at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and led to his decision to seek public office.
“Not only was he one of the greatest fighters I’ve ever seen, he was the most intelligent fighter,” Bob Arum, who promoted some of his biggest fights, told the AP. “He was a ring tactician. Every move was thought out. And he was a wonderful, wonderful person.”