Alexis Argüello

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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 Bayamón 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 The Ring writers) consider one of the most brutal fights in history, Escalera had his eye, mouth and nose broken 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" Limón, Ruben Castillo, future champion Rolando Navarrete, and Diego Alcalá, beaten in only one round.

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