History | Jul 31 2019

On This Day: Alexis Arguello warmed up for Aaron Pryor by flattening Kevin Rooney

Alexis Arguello scored scintilating one-punch knockout over Mike Tyson's trainer
alexis arguello
alexis-arguello  |  Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports

ALEXIS ARGUELLO, the WBC lightweight champion, was an incredible fighter. And in the summer of 1982, the spidery assassin was plotting his next move. Ultimately he wanted a multi-million dollar showdown with light-welterweight leader Aaron Pryor but first he had to prove he could perform at light-welterweight. Enter 140lb fringe contender, Kevin Rooney, who challenged the Nicaraguan on July 31 in Atlantic City.

ROONEY was a welterweight, had won 19 out of 20 bouts, and only lost to future light-middleweight champion, Davey Moore. He hailed from the Catskills gym in New York where he trained under Cus D’Amato.

THE televised bout was set for 10 rounds, and Pryor – who had seen projected fights with Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns come to nothing – was ringside hoping to secure a fight with a marquee name.


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