1980sBoxingHBOInterviewsLarry MerchantLight Welterweight BoutsLight Welterweight Title FightsLight Welterwt Champions

Boxing – 1982 – Larry Merchant PostFight Interview Of Aaron Pryor After TKO Of Alexis Arguello To Retain Light Welterwt Title

Alexis Arguello successfully defended his lightweight title four times….when after defeating James ‘Bubba’ Busceme by a sixth round TKO…..that is when he decided to move up in weight class again….and on November 12, 1982, he tried to become the first world champion in 4 different categories….while meeting a heavier and future Hall-of-Fame boxer Aaron Pryor….in what was billed as The Battle of the Champions in Miami, Florida…..as Argüello was stopped in the 14th round.

The fight sparked controversy however, because Pryor’s trainer, Panama Lewis, introduced a second water bottle which he described as “the bottle I mixed” after round 13….which led to speculation that the bottle was tainted…..and since the Florida State Boxing Commission failed to administer a post-fight urinalysis….thus adding to speculation that the bottle contained an unsanctioned substance.  Lewis claimed at various times that the bottle was filled with peppermint schnapps or Perrier to help Pryor deal with an upset stomach…..but was later revealed in an interview with former Lewis-trained boxer Luis Resto that Lewis would break apart antihistamine pills used to treat asthma….and pour the medicine into the water….which gave Lewis’s fighter greater lung capacity in the later rounds of a fight…..while others say that there was a mixture of cocaine, honey and orange juice in the bottle.  A rematch was ordered….. and this time, in Las Vegas….where Arguello was KO-ed in the 10th round….and stated after the fight “I’m not going to fight anymore. I quit.” But he later returned to the ring for financial reasons.

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