Why Alexis Arguello Was The Greatest 130 Pounder Ever
16.12.05 - By Jim Amato: On November 18, 1921, Johnny Dundee won on a fifth round disqualification over George "KO" Chaney to become the first recognized champion of the junior lightweight division.He would lose and then regain the title in a pair of 1923 fifteen rounders against Jack Bernstein. Dundee would lose the title for good in 1924 via a ten round points loss to Steve "Kid" Sullivan. In 1925, Sullivan would lose the title to Mike Ballerino. Later that year, Ballerino would be stopped by Tod Morgan.
Article posted on 17.12.2005
Morgan would reign for four years before he was halted in two rounds by Benny Bass. In the summer of 1931, Bass would lose the title to the talented Kid Chocolate. In 1933, Frankie Klick stopped the "Kid." It would be sixteen years before the title would resurface again. On December 6, 1949 in the grand city of Cleveland, Ohio the great Sandy Saddler outscored the slick Orlando Zulueta for the "vacant" title.
It would be nearly a decade before a fight for the "vacant" title would take place. On July 20, 1959 Harold Gomes outscored Paul Jorgensen and the 130 pound division has been with us ever since. Gomes would lose the title in 1960 to a wonderful fighting machine from the Philippines named Flash Elorde. Flash would go on to establish himself as one of the best little fighters of that time period. Elorde would finally lose the title in 1967 to Japan's Yoshiaki Numata. Later that year, Numata would surrender the title to fellow countryman Hiroshi Kobayashi.
A little over a year later the fledging World Boxing Council decided that they would recognize the winner of a bout between Rene Barrientos and the dangerous Ruben Navarro which was won by Barrientos. In 1970 Numata would "regain" the crown with a points win over Barrientos. Over a year later Kobayashi would lose the "real" title to rugged Alfredo Marcano. A few months later, Numata would be dethroned by Ricardo Arrendondo.
To try to keep up the the exchanging of belts between the WBA, WBC and later IBF, would be a waste of space. The division was graced by some fine fighters. There was the power punching Ben Villaflor, the slick stylist Sammy Serrano and the great Alfredo Escalera. On January 28, 1978, the game Escalera would relinquish his title to possibly the greatest 130 pounder of all time. The "Explosive Thin Man" himself, Alexis Arguello.
Why is Arguello a good choice as the best 130 pounder ever? Rafael "Bazooka" Limon, Boza Edwards, Rolando Navarette and Bobby Chacon were all defeated by Alexis while he held the crown. All four would gain title recognition after Alexis moved up go after the lightweight title. That is how dominant Alexis was at 130.
The 1980's produced some fine titleholders such as Roger Mayweather, Hector Camacho, Julio Cesar Chavez, Rocky Lockridge, Azumah Nelson, Brian Mitchell and the popular Tony "Tiger" Lopez.
The 1990's gave us Genero Hernandez, Gabe Ruelas, Jesse James Leija, Arturo Gatti, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Diego Corrales. The new millinium has produced Acelino Frietas and Joel Casamayor for starters. Still no one with the possible exception of Flash Elorde dominated the weight class like Alexis Arguello, the greatest junior lightweight of all time!
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