Aaron Pryor Dies At Age 60
Aaron Pryor, a former World Junior Welterweight Champion, and a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, died early Sunday after a long battle with heart disease. He was 60 years of age.
Born in Cincinnati in 1955, Pryor had an outstanding amateur career, winning 204 of 220 fights, including a victory over Thomas Hearns in the 1976 National Golden Gloves finals.
After losing to eventual Olympic gold medalist Howard Davis, Jr., and missing out on qualifying for the 1976 Summer Olympics, Pryor turned pro, wining his first 24 fights, before defeating Antonio Cervantes for the WBA junior welterweight championship in 1980.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Pryor's most famous bouts were against Hall of Famer Alexis Arguello.
In their first meeting in 1982, Pryor defeated Arguello, who was attempting to become the first fighter to win titles in four weight divisions, by virtue of a 14-round TKO.
There was major controversy however, as between the thirteenth and fourteenth rounds, and after Arguello hit Pryor with a punch that rocked the latter, HBO microphones caught Pryor's trainer, Panama Lewis, telling cornerman Artie Curley, "Give me the other bottle, the one I mixed."
Pryor came out strong to start the 14th round, landing a barrage of unanswered blows, before the fight was stopped, with Arguello laying on the canvas.
The rematch between the two wasn't nearly as close, with Pryor knocking down Arguello three times, before putting him away in the 10th round.
Suffering from drug addiction, Pryor was stripped of his IBF title in 1985 for failure to defend, before returning in 1987, when he was knocked out by Bobby Joe Young, for his first and only professional loss.
Pryor fought for the last time in 1990, and finished with a career record of 39-1.
Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996, Pryor kicked his drug habit in 1993, and remained clean until his death.
Pryor who is Pryor is survived by a wife, two sons, a daughter, and three grandsons, was voted the No. 1 junior welterweight of the 20th century by The Associated Press in 1999.