Panama, July 1st, 2009
TO : ALL WORLD WIDE BOXING COMMUNITY
FROM : WBA DIRECTORATE
REFERENCE: ALEXIS ARGUELLO
Early morning news confirming Alexis Arguello’s sudden death has shocked every member of worldwide boxing community especially to the directorate of this organization.
His boxing record speaks for itself as probably one of the best junior lightweights of the all times. In the ring had victories over tough world champions like: Ruben Olivares, Royal Kobayashi, Alfredo Escalera, Rolando Navarrete, Jim Watt, Claude Noel, Ray Mancini, Jose Luis Ramirez, Bobby Chacon. In each triumph dedicated to his home country Nicaragua demonstrated heart, skill, and intelligence. While many nicknamed him “the explosive thin man” we considered him as “the gentleman of the ring”. Even in his defeats showed his sportsmanship attitude congratulating his rivals, most to our memories his words to Aaron Pryor who took away his dream to become a fourth time world champion.
Outside the ring had pitfalls but his ethics combined with perseverance and heart made him overcome any obstacle during all his life. He played several roles in boxing as boxing judge but contributed more to his country serving as trainer and advisor being part of the development of world champions Roman Gonzalez (minimum) and Jose Alfaro (lightweight).
Most recently achieved by far his most important position beyond sports; he won the elections to become major of the city of Managua. It was the beginning of a new battle the he could only succeed with his humbleness, social sense and cleverness serving his fellows native Nicaraguans. I was even lucky to witness his work escorting him through several social activities and more pleasing receiving the key of the city from the own hands of one of my boxing idols. By the way a great honor in my life.
His physical disappearance is one of the toughest moments that I ever had to write about a great champion but more important friends like “el flaco” Alexis.
The last time we had a chance to share was on March in Panama Tocumen airport where we met when he was on his way to Peru to receive a well deserve recognition by the sports authority of this country and I was returning to Venezuela with my oldest son Alfredo Jose.
His last words towards me are coming back and forth in my mind “La bendicion para el Viejo mi hermanito, cuidate” in English “God bless your old man, take care”
Now partially speechless I just will add myself along with my colleagues in WBA directorate to pray for him and may god keep his soul in heaven as he truly was a champion in all the meaning of word.
God Bless you ALEXIS! We miss you!
Gilberto Jesús Mendoza
WBA Executive Vice Presindent