The Pryor-Arguello fight was easily the greatest sporting event I have seen in my lifetime. No Super Bowl, World Series or Final Four ever came close to matching it. Two of the All-Time Greats beating the hell out of each other for 14 rounds.
Now I read the news that Alexis Arguello is dead, and most reports indicate suicide, a gunshot wound to the chest. I vaguely recall Arguello had a drug problem, and he admitted contemplating shooting himself. Supposedly he also suffered from *depression.*
We can bring up all the clichés, how life is the toughest opponent and all that. . . for a long stretch, Arguello was considered the greatest fighter in the world. . .we can watch his fight clips from now until the end of technology, see his wars with Pryor, the bloody battle with the Snake Man, Alfredo Escalera. . .he’ll live on in these clips. . .live on in glory. . .if the suicide reports prove true, he wanted to free himself from this life, where he had the world’s glory.
Over and over again, in the broken lives of the great, we see the ultimate worthlessness of fame and fortune. Life for Arguello, like so many countless of the nameless, faceless mass, was a dark corner from which he couldn’t punch or drug his way out. He had to take a shotgun and kill his body to free his broken soul.
Now he is on the Other Side. . .this means nothing to most people. . .it probably meant nothing to the great Alexis Arguello. . .nothing. . .and that is probably what he wanted to escape to: nothing. . .an eternal rest of nothingness, after getting KO’d by this side of life. . .but I suspect poor Arguello, in that instant he crossed over, heard the bell ring for Round One of Eternity. . .a fight he cannot win. . .a fight he cannot even compete in. . .the horror of the total hopelessness of his situation. A crushing defeat without end. . .
Our denial has no bearing on the reality which awaits us. . .
May God have mercy on the soul of Alexis Arguello.