“The Explosive Thin Man”. There have been very few so colorful and descriptive nicknames given to boxers in the secular history of the “cauliflower ears and the flat noses sports”. No one could have made it more appropriate than the three time world champion in three different divisions (featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight), the Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello, whose tragic death will be 8 years next July 1.
The alias, was a brilliant idea of his countryman and friend the chronicler Edgar Tijerino, that became popular in the late 60’s or early 70’s shortly after the publication of a book with that same title.
Later, it was known world by the hand of the boy born in a humble slum of Managua who thanks to his courage, the power in his fists and of a very strong will, became one of the most complete Latin American fighters in history and carved his place among the immortals of the sport, writing epic battles on the ring in indelible ink, ending most of them with his arms raised.
Alexis was what his nickname portrays: an explosion in the ring, an almost perfect, destructive oiled fighting machine, a real portent of the ring. In his beginning was fanciful supposing that he would go up so high in a career that begun at the age of 16 on October 26, 1968, with a retirement between 1986-95, that he definitively closed after a defeat on January 21, 1995 against Scott Walker who known only by his neighbors but who in his years of splendor would not have been for not even to spar.
After a couple of setback (3 to be precise, two of them by KO), Alexis got his first big commitment against the featherweight champion of the world, Panamanian Ernesto “Ñato” Marcel on on February 16,1974, whom beat him by points.
His executioner left the WBA title vacant and the “the Thin man” got the opportunity to fight for the 126-pound belt, he won this chance thanks to four wins in a row against another of the great Latin American boxer, Mexican Rubén “Púas Olivares, at the Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles, California, on November 23, 43 years ago.
The fight had a dramatic end. At the beginning of round (championships fights were 15 then), Alexis knocke Olivares down with one of his classic dynamite right hand punches. The Aztec got up dazed, challenged his enemy with his guard up, and the Nica unleashed all his power to finish the actions to win his first world titlee. Years later, his friend Tijerino wrote in one of his books, of the same name, that day “the mariachis went silent.”
Then came very memorable fights, one of them was the first title defense in Poliedro of Caracas on March 15, 1975 to defeat the Venezuelan Leonel Hernández with a violent 8 round ko, then were two bloody fight against Puerto Rican Alfredo “Salsero” Escalera, to win also the by KO. Then came the fight against the British Jim Watt, to win the 135 title, later, he deafeated Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, and to end this tight recount, his couple of fihgt against “the Hawk” Aaron Pryor, losing by KO 13, at the Miami Orange Bowl and the other was on September 9, and the same year, he lost again he lost for the second time against the North American. His record was 19-3, 17 kos.
It is easliy said.