1. AARON “THE HAWK” PRYOR conclusively settled his rematch with Alexis Arguello with a KO victory at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. The American, who was defending the WBA world light-welterweight strap, sent the challenger to the canvas in rounds one and four, before putting him down for the count in the 10th. The bout ultimately failed to live up to the initial encounter, which was a brutal contest punctuated by controversy.
2. When the pair first locked horns in 1982, they produced one of the greatest battles in boxing history. The tone was set from round one as they met in the centre of the ring and traded blows. Momentum shifted throughout the fight, before Pryor unloaded multiple unanswered punches, blasting Arguello momentarily from the ring. The Cincinnati man, who appeared the fresher entering the championship rounds, soon after stopped Arguello in round 14.
3. Preceding the bout it was reported that a gunman had tried to force his way into Arguello’s locker room. The attacker, whose motives are unclear, was restrained before reaching the Nicaraguan.
4. Rumours of Pryor using performance enhancing drugs then began to swirl. The champion’s notorious trainer, Panama Lewis, who was already subject to allegations of illegal hand wrapping, reportedly gave Pryor a PED between rounds 11 and 12.
5. Lewis was overheard requesting a bottle of water he had “mixed himself” during the one-minute break. The camp later claimed the bottle contained a substance to settle Pryor’s stomach. It was, however, Pryor’s increased output and impressive stoppage following round 12, which fuelled rumours of foul play – allegedly, the illegal use of a stimulant to increase lung capacity.
6. Suspicions were again exacerbated after it was reported that Pryor did not undertake a drug test following the bout. For a second time, the Americans claimed innocence, insisting no one had approached them for a urine sample. The abnormal circumstances did not end there. Arguello’s camp also believed that Pryor’s fists had been wrapped with illegal bandages due to the power Pryor showcased that evening. While Pryor and Panama never received a sanction, their reputations had been tarnished.
7. By the time the two met the following year, Lewis had been banned for illegal hand wrapping during intervening fights. Pryor called on the services of Richie Giachetti to train him for the fight, but the pair fell out during camp. “The Hawk” then enlisted the help of top trainer Emanuel Steward, just two weeks from fight night.
8. Pryor, who was defending his WBA world crown for the eighth time, again proved too much for a lacklustre Arguello. Tasting the canvas on three occasions, Arguello cut a solemn figure as he was counted out with his arms draped over his knees in the 10th.
9. Following their rematch, which garnered career-best pay days, they both retired. Pryor’s leave from the ring was, however, short lived. The newly formed International Boxing Federation immediately recognised Pryor as their world light-welterweight champion on his return. He’d go on to fight six more times, one of which was an isolated defeat to Bobby Joe Young by stoppage.
10. In 2014, “The Hawk” was voted the greatest light-welterweight in boxing history by the Houston Boxing Hall Of Fame.