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August 15, 2009, 6 pm
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. Sandanista Party's Radio Ya and other local media were reporting it appeared to be a suicide.
The La Prensa 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 with 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.
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."
Arguello turned professional in 1968 and lost his first bout. He didn't lose much after that, and six years later rallied to knock out Olivares in the 13th round and win the featherweight title.
Arguello went on to win the super featherweight and lightweight titles, his 5-foot-10 frame and long reach allowing him to move up in weight without losing his tremendous punching power. At the time, he was only the sixth boxer to win championships in three weight classes, and was considered for a while the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Arguello moved up in weight again in November 1982 to challenge Pryor for the 140-pound belt, a fight billed as "Battle of the Champions," and tried to become the first fighter to win titles in four divisions. More than 23,000 fans packed the Orange Bowl in Miami, and the two waged an epic battle in which Pryor knocked out Arguello in the 14th round.
-- Rosario Murillo, presidential spokeswoman
"It was a brutal, brutal fight," Arum said. "That was something I will never, ever forget as long as I live. That was one of the most memorable fights I ever did."
The bout was named "Fight of the Year" and "Fight of the Decade" by Ring Magazine, but was shrouded by controversy. Pryor's trainer, Panama Lewis, gave him a water bottle after the 13th round that many believe contained an illegal substance -- an accusation Pryor denies.
A rematch was ordered and they met again a year later at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. This time, Pryor knocked out Arguello in the 10th round.
Arguello was never the same fighter after losing to Pryor. He won a couple more fights, then was out of the ring from 1986 until 1994, when he made an ill-advised comeback. He retired for good the following year.
"Alexis Arguello was a first-class fighter and a first-class gentleman," Hall of Fame executive director Edward Brophy said. "The Hall of Fame joins the boxing community in mourning the loss of a great champion and friend."
Arguello fought against the Sandinista government in the 1980s after it seized his property and bank account, but later joined the party and ran for mayor of the capital last November. He defeated Eduardo Montealegre, though opponents alleged the vote was fraudulent.
Arguello had returned Sunday from Puerto Rico, where he honored the late baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente. His death prompted Nicaragua president Daniel Ortega to announce he was canceling a trip to Panama for the inauguration of president-elect Ricardo Martinelli.
"We are upset," presidential spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said. "This is a heartbreaking announcement. He was the champion of the poor, an example of forgiveness and reconciliation."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
Former UFC light heavyweight champions "Suga" Rashad Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will serve as coaches for Season 10 of "The Ultimate Fighter" premiering Wednesday, September 16 at 10:00pm, it was announced today by Dana White, UFC President. This season will showcase 16 heavyweights, the first time this weight class has been featured on "The Ultimate Fighter" since Evans himself was a cast member on Season 2.
In May 2005, Evans stepped into the UFC training facility as an unknown novice in the heavyweight division for Season 2 of "The Ultimate Fighter." Four years later, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and winner of Season 2 returns to Las Vegas to serve as coach for a new crop of aspiring heavyweights. This season marks the second time the charismatic Jackson has served as a coach for "The Ultimate Fighter" as he opposed Forrest Griffin for Season 7 last April.
"The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights" will feature the two fan favorites coaching the best up and coming mixed martial artists in the heavyweight division. Two finalists will square off in a live finale on December 5 in Las Vegas with the winner being declared "The Ultimate Fighter®" and netting a six figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship®, the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world.
Production on "The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights" begins in Las Vegas in early June and will last six weeks. The series will once again be hosted by UFC President Dana White.
"The tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter is going to be the most highly anticipated one in years, and with two of the greatest pound for pound fighters in the world today, both of which have personalities as large as their skill-sets, it promises to deliver," said White. A native of Niagara Falls, NY, "Suga" Rashad Evans was an all state wrestler in high school before moving on to Michigan State University, where he competed in the 174 lbs weight class. Shortly after graduating, Evans burst onto the mixed martial arts scene by capturing the heavyweight title on Season 2 of "The Ultimate Fighter." He has since dropped down to the light heavyweight division, and, under the tutelage of Greg Jackson, compiled a stellar record in the UFC against some of the top competition in the world, including wins against Stephan Bonnar and Michael Bisping, and a vicious knockout of Chuck Liddell. The win against Liddell cemented Evans' place as an elite light heavyweight, and earned him a title shot against another champion of "The Ultimate Fighter," Season 1's Forrest Griffin at UFC 92. Evans made the most of his opportunity, using his brutal ground and pound skills en route to becoming light heavyweight champion by defeating Forrest Griffin via TKO in the 3rd round. He lost his coveted title at UFC 98 on May 23 via a 2nd round KO at the hands of Lyoto Machida, but is eager to get back in the mix to reclaim his belt.
A native of Memphis, TN who trains in Liverpool, England with the Wolfslair Academy, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is one of the most complete fighters in the UFC®. An All-State wrestler in high school, Jackson made his UFC® debut in February of 2007 and made quick work of Marvin Eastman. The victory earned him a title shot against Chuck Liddell, and a little over three minutes into the first round of their bout at UFC 71, Jackson won the UFC® light heavyweight title with a stunning combination of strikes that caused the fight to be stopped. Jackson put his newly acquired title on the line against PRIDE champion Dan Henderson at UFC 75 on Spike TV, and won a grueling five round decision to unify the titles and become the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world. He relinquished his belt to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86, but has since defeated longtime nemesis Wanderlei Silva via KO at UFC 92 and Keith Jardine at UFC 96 to put him in line for another title shot.
Craig Piligian of Pilgrim Films and Television, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White of Zuffa, LLC, and Kevin Kay of Spike TV are the show's executive producers. Brian J. Diamond, senior vice president, Sports & Specials, Spike TV is co-executive producer and Christopher Martello is executive in charge of production for Spike TV.
Spike TV is available in 98 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International.
Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans put on a stand up fighting affair that went only two rounds. Rashad through most of the fight pity-patted his way along with Lyoto trying to feel each other out.
Evans seemed to have gotten away from his strength...grappling. As his career has grown, Rashad seems to prefer to trade punches with his opponents instead of mixing it up and causing confusion to his opponent's fight game. Machida just stood patiently and waited for a good opening before he put Rashad in dreamland. Often Evans would just stand directly in front of Lyoto without using angles, he just backed away.
As any good fighter would do, Lyoto just observed and timed Rashad until the right opening presented itself and BAM...Evans was in dreamland!
The Evans team did seem to draw up a good fighting strategy which resulted in the USA losing another belt!
Next opponent for Lyoto..."Rampage" Jackson!
My name is Michael Ballard. Since Feb 2003, I have published the BallardBoxing Websites.
I have not been active in publishing new information in my websites for the last 2 years because of domestic and occupational challenges. But now things have slowed down and I have been able to clear problems and obstacles which have kept me away from the BallardBoxing Websites.
This second round of articles and stories will begin this month, April 2009. I hope to produce the best information that will help you with your boxing and MMA careers and business development.
Again, the name of this blog is "Fight Blog News"
The blog will be a free exchange between myself and you on various issues in the fight industry.
Feel free to check out the original sites, "The Business of Boxing", http://www.ballardboxing.com and the upcoming site, "Boxing Biz", http//:www.ballardboxing.com/BoxingBiz, which will provide information on starting and operating various careers and businesses relating to the fight industry, whether its in boxing, MMA or wrestling and the new trends of the industry.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and I will restart my newsletter to give you timely information!
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