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By Randy De La O
When Alexis Arguello moved up in weight to challenge Aaron Pryor for the WBA Junior Welterweight title on November 12, 1982. I was rooting for Arguello. I didn't think it was shoo in but I thought he would win. As it was, it turned out to be one of the great fights of the 1980's.
I was rooting for Arguello, even up to that final millisecond when Pryor stopped Arguello with a barrage of punches that left him helpless against the ropes. It was a heart breaking knockout. Arguello really looked hurt. It broke my heart and the heart of everyone at my house that night. Arguello was a beloved fighter. .Still, Pryor had proven that he was the real deal. I had to give him respect as a man and as a fighter.
The fight itself was named the “Fight of the Decade” by Ring Magazine and the eighth greatest title fight of all time. That's saying a lot when you consider all the great fights that took place in the 1980's.
The following year, September 9, 1983, Pryor gave Arguello a shot at redemption but it was not to be. Arguello never beat Pryor but they did become friends. Both men were champions not only in the ring but in life.
I consider myself lucky to have come of age at a time when even the contenders were great and the great Champions faced the very best, consequences be damned. It will be a quite a while before we see their like again.