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THE DAY I MET ALEXIS ARGUELLO


PhilBoxing.com




The morning of Friday the second of May 2008 was cold but the sun started to shine. Everything indicated that it was going to be a great day. It was the weigh-in for the super welterweight fight between Oscar de la Hoya and Steve Forbes, the media and the fans were excited to be at Pershing Square to witness the traditional weigh-in.

My great friend and better person Ramiro Gonzalez, Public Relations Director for Golden Boy Promotions invited me to a coffee so we went to Starbucks and right after we return to Pershing Square. The show was about to start, one by one the celebrities were arriving, from Marco Antonio Barrera, Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Nacho Beristain, among others, but there was one celebrity that shine among all and as soon as Michael Buffer introduced his name to the audience, the crowd was cheering and chanting his name, Alexis Arguello answered them back with smiles and waving his hand at his fans.

I went closer to the former world champion in 3 different weight classes, and I was a bit shy to ask him for a little interview and if i could take a picture with him. In an educated and kind way he accepted and he did remember that the night before we exchange word in the dinner of the boxing writers. I asked him at the dinner how did he feel that so many of his fellow boxing champions and writers loved him so much and asked him for pictures.

"It's an honor and I feel proud, that means that they liked what I accomplished in my career and I am grateful for that," said Arguello.

People like James Toney, Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather, Israel Vazquez, Bernard Hopkins, as well as writers and fans wanted that pictures with Arguello. He was happy to see all the love and support.

After talking that night to Alexis Arguello I realized that the greatness of "El Flaco Explosivo" wasn?t in his quality as a fighter, or in how many world titles or how many battles he won. The greatness of Alexis was as a human being, his simplicity, his kindness, and he was humble, he wasn?t just a personality, he was a true person and a real gentleman. That was his greatness was all about.

The morning of July the first I recieved a phone call and a friend told me that Alexis Arguello was dead. I was in shock, I couldn?t believe it. I was sad and realize how short this life is. He was still young and many more years ahead of him, but then as I was thinking and feeling the sadness, I realize that nothing can take away that moment when I met Alexis Arguello and all I could think was that I am lucky and fortunate to have shared with him a few words and a wonderful time, he was happy. And that is the way i want to remember him.

Thank you champ. Rest in peace.

Top photo: Alexis Arguello (L) with the author.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Hesiquio Balderas.


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