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On This Day: Alexis Arguello gets off the canvas to KO Andy Ganigan

Alexis Arguello was a three-division champ who scored victories over fellow hall of famers Ruben Olivares and Bobby Chacon.
22
May

Alexis Arguello may have been a dominant champion, but he was also a vulnerable one. That fact made him a must-see attraction but also kept his fans biting their nails at points in his career.

There are few better examples of this than when Arguello defended his WBC lightweight title against Andy Ganigan on May 22, 1982 at The Aladdin in Las Vegas, Nev.

Arguello, a budding legend and national hero of Nicaragua, was making the fourth defense of the belt he had won the year before with a decision over Jim Watt. Ganigan, a wild-swinging Filipino American banger from Hawaii, was coming off his biggest win yet, a second round upset knockout of former champion Sean O’Grady.

The bout started with fireworks, as Ganigan caught the taller Arguello going straight back with a hard left to the chin which put Arguello down for a count. Arguello evened the score in the third, when he caught Ganigan with a well-timed right hand that dropped the challenger. Ganigan wouldn’t go quietly, however, as he clipped Arguello several times when he tried to finish him.

Arguello’s superior boxing ability eventually widened the gap between the two, as Ganigan was bloodied and outboxed before being knocked out by a right hand to the body.

Arguello reportedly earned $400,000 for the bout, while Ganigan made $130,000.

Ganigan would fight just once more, being stopped in six rounds against Jimmy Paul the following year. That fight took place just a month after his manager, Douglas Tatting, was stabbed to death during a ringside argument at an event in Honolulu.

Arguello would move up in weight later that year and be stopped in the 14th round against Aaron Pryor in what many people consider to be the greatest fight of the 1980s.

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