“Boxing was the key to technique,” said Alfredo Escalera on his success against Alexis Arguello.
The Salsero missed the intelligence to his style of machismo to triumph over El Flaco Explosivo in two bouts qualified beyond instinct and susceptibility.
Alfredo Escalera was born on the morning of March 21, 1952 in Carolina, Puerto Rico His professional boxing debut was on September 4, 1970 in Portland, Oregon, dispatching Bob Payzant via knockout in four rounds.
In his is first year of professional boxing, Escalera fought off the Puerto Rican territory and had to fight for five years, reaching the opportunity to contest the World Boxing Council’s world super featherweight title against Kuniaki Shibata, who was eliminated in the fast lane in two rounds on July 4, 1975. After defending his world title against ten boxers and fostering credibility in his reign, he accepted the challenge of the Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello coming to leave with the championship of the featherweights after five attempts.
How was Alexis Arguello rooted in the sport of boxing?
Alexis Arguello, also known by the nickname “El Flaco Explosive,” was born in Nicaragua on April 19, 1952. He won 58 amateur bouts and lost 2 with 48 knockouts. He invaded professional boxing on August 1, 1968, but was knocked out by Cachorro Amaya in the first round.
Alexis Arguello’s mission to achieve a championship fight was not as feasible. He fought six years before fighting against the Panamanian Ernesto Marcel and lost a lopsided decision in 15 round. It was his first attempt to reach the world title of the featherweights. This match took place on February 16, 1974 in Panama City.
On November 23rd of the same year, he returned to earn a chance to fight for the world featherweight title, this time against the famed Ruben Olivares. The quarrel lasted 13 fateful round for the Nicaraguan, who possessed good defensively, but whose technique was very poor and did not learn to walk the ring.
Reason why any Boxer qualities technique made him suffer and Ruben Olivares was no exception, during the 13 episodes that lasted their rivalry was party with the Nicaraguan, with the disadvantage that is trusted and neglected the lances of Bionic arms of the Central American who managed to plant a right in the face of the Mexican to damage your laudable task, removing it via the knockout and snatch the title pen version World Boxing Association (WBA).
Alexis Arguello, risked his reign four times and chose to leave the crown due to weight problems in 1976. The following year 1977 competed in seven fights in the category of super featherweight (130 pounds), and was ranked in the official lists of the Council World Boxing (CMB), then first challenger champion Alfredo “El Salsero” Escalera.
Alfredo Escalera demanded promoter Larry Cruz the fighting champion against Alexis Argüello will be held at the Colosseum Ramón Loubriel de Bayamón Juan, Puerto Rico, on January 28, 1978
To present the international promoters Boxing program in Puerto Rico, they have to partner with a local promoter by the boxing Commission Regulation. For this reason it was the union of the promoters Don King with Larry Cruz.
Puerto Rican style identified it’s brash, it was Boxer offered spectacle and that fact made him equal to Arguello, favorites of fans.
In those days Escalera was selected the best man of the “island of Enchantment” and well polished came to stage Juan Ramón de Bayamón, to expose for the eleventh time its monarcado of the 130 pounds of the World Council of boxing (WBC), with the most demanding rival, the fearsome Central American with ‘punch’ of steel Alexis Argüello.
In those days there were no specialized boxing chains, as they are today: ESPN and HBO, this last, began to make first steps in boxing broadcasts. In those years was the task of the chains regular sports segment ABC, NBC and CBS, one of these ABC, households in the United States, the coverage of a boxing Brawl claimed in the amateurs took copious interest, because they were measured two men of courage and proven will and style of total delivery without restrictions.
Alexis Argüello Challenger, are presented with blue underwear, with purple and white strips with black boots. The champion with green trousers with purple and yellow stripes, with white boots. The Nicaraguan had record of 55 wins, 4 reverses with 45 knockout. The Super Featherweight champion of the world boxing Council, Alfredo Escalera, had a record of 40 wins, 7 losses, 2 draws, with 23 knockouts.
Announcement and presentation of both fighters was of general Ovation even not being Puerto Rican Alexis Argüello and Alfredo Escalera jointly with Wilfredo Benítez enjoyed the idolatry of the lovers of boxing in Puerto Rico. The contest was held afternoon exactly at 5 o’clock night time requiring regular chains to start its national sports broadcasts in the United States.
The clash of two Gladiators of prosapia not said studies the first assault, not to be neither technical styles, rather they believed and they fincaban their hopes in their beating, and no room for discussion: Arguello had better punch. Thus surrendered to provide a free fight, where referee Arthur Mercante father did not have to work so much.
They voluntarily separated and punished with synchronized rhythm. The fury of the pride of Carolina, Puerto Rico, was unstoppable, but the shotgun of the Nicaraguan gave warning of danger, since his forehand went well in the style of Escalera, also arriving more humanity Alexis, by having a little more ease by combining hits.
The first act ended and that minute rest became party. The peals of the drums and maracas along with joy that Puerto Ricans in these unforgettable battles, they transformed the show into a Carnival of creepy boxing, see both fighters advance with clenched teeth and with the courage and the rina live reflected on their faces. Assault that I qualified for the champion Alfredo Escalera.
For the second call to the center of the shed, both boxers understood that the task was difficult, Alexis Argüello forgot that he fought in Puerto Rico and answered demands and support of the Puerto Ricans to Escalera as if it were to him. Episodes were three-minute sets and answers, the Nicaraguan refuelled with powerful strokes, the invested with combinations of Escalera and so, in couple rivalry in fleeting rush of the champion Alfredo Escalera, crashed with right JAB thrown by Alexis Argüello, that he did shoot the tapestry, for the eight-second count.
To restart the combat, Escalera tried charge vindicta and you lanzabas hits which warned and not arrived at their destination with all the bad technical of the Nicaraguan who never had good defense. The battle gained importance since both wasted energy waste throwing bombings attempting to define the fray.
Alexis, planted sharp blows to the face of the champion Escalera, returned with the same energy and commitment, to connect in front of you to you. Spreading, Alexis crashed his famous right shotgun and opened a wound in the left eyebrow of Escalera, which ended the chapter receiving long straight rights of Nicaraguan. Assault that I awarded to the challenger, Alexis Argüello.
At the corners of both fighters there was plenty of water, cooling them and lubricate them with much Vaseline on the face, in the eyebrows. Of expertise almost not warned him nothing, both cantonadas were confident in the power of the blows of his protégés.
The monarch Alfredo Escalera, responded the third particular episode, throwing straight rights and hooks, as well answered El Flaco Explosivo with peal of left-wing and its famous straight right, planting hits long distance and in those moments the Congregation of fans began to encourage your favorite screaming unisons: “Escalera, Escalera, Escalera.” But nothing changed the course of combat, Alexis Argüello firm and planted in order to add to their credits and take to Nicaragua the second world Crown.
Escalera, answered frilly swinging that were lost in the void, since he announced them and Alexis, without being very defensive dodging it. Arguello, more serene, jabeaba sporadically with efficiency followed by his shotgun, trying to hunt down the man from the land of the Coqui, to highlight Escalera with two inescapable good shock of hook and straight right, that said “El Flaco explosive”, with download long distance, to deserve the domain of the assault.
The call for the fourth chapter, Alfredo Escalera, still answering the support of his compatriots, crashed two solid lashes to the face of his opponent. Neither of them worked the body properly, sought definition blows on the Chin and forgot tactics especially in medium areas.
The fearless monarch sometimes was decomposed and most poised Challenger more effectively. Ruffles of El Salsero, did not find the pace or destination and made him look bad. Arguello insisted with the punches on the left who were white in the humanity of the Puerto Rican.
Referee Arthur Mercante, drew you attention to Escalera by trying to paste champion then bring the coup fail. When you restart the third man in the ring the pendency, there were rigid backlash and came out cut right eye Alfredo Escalera, who took Alexis to crash the jab repeatedly and the crowd began to understand and mute, as well as the peals of leather (congas, bongos and tambourines). Assault that I also qualified in favor of Alexis Argüello.
The fifth episode the two already with the heat and passion of the rivalry, said taking another deep wound champion Escalera on the lower lip, and courageously living abanicaba hits swinging, announcing or Telecasting the desperation with which threw him trying to embed it El Morro Puerto Rico, to the Nicaraguan in the soul.
The left of Alexis Argüello was very effective, as Escalera developed fight wrong front fighting the Nicaraguan who eked out by applying technical boxing and by turning to the sides, because it suffered from the same evil of Félix Trinity: not learned to walk the ring canvas.
Champion Escalera, bleeding profusely from the mouth and the two eyebrows, looked like a whipped Palm by a Gale and Challenger Arguello a chicken soaked in combat raised unrestricted and both bloodied with several cuts on the face certifying the hostilities of combat without limitations.
The sixth and seventh chapter was copy of the fifth round, the Nicaraguan grew and increasingly convinced 17,000 spectators that weights Crown Super Featherweight (130 pounds), was dismissed from the “island of Enchantment”, Puerto Rico, undergoing Challenger Escalera to grueling punishment beating him in four consecutive rounds, under torture of the man known in boxing with the nicknames of “El Flaco Explosivo” and “Brazos Biónico.”
In these rounds Alfredo Escalera, in addition to receiving stiff punishment, was warned repeatedly by the arbitrator, since he threw punches and to fail it, returned it back, which is banned in boxing.
The two corners, only dedicated themselves to heal the wounds and to refresh their boxers. Technical indications are not listened to, it was the clash of two males, that little thought in the technical progress of boxing, but in their beating.
The champion Escalera responded the eighth chapter applying a bit more intelligence and time changed its tactics and began boxing around his very irate opponent recio, to penetrate the guard of the Challenger with arrogance and rhythm, taking advantage of the technical errors that perpetuated the boxing figure of Alexis Argüello.
The kickbacks were generalized, to sow Alfredo Escalera, vibrant forehand and listen once again to the massive support of the huge crowd with tambourines and peals instruments of leather. Alfredo tried to repeat the stroke and went to the canvas sliding and failing it. The referee cleared champion gloves and immediately unleashed inspired exchange of blows, for exit Escalera and strain just right which cut the right eyebrow of Challenger ringing the Bell indicating the end of the round.
The ninth round of the bout agreed to fifteen, the two blood-stained face were given to highlight the fury of the historic bout held in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
The Nicaraguan aware of the effective return to combat champion Alfredo Escalera, crashed stabbing left to the unrecognizable face of the man better dressed in Puerto Rico, who responded with a hit that got lost in the vacuum and wanted to return it with the illegality of hitting the back of the glove, to receive another warning from referee Arthur Mercanate.
In order to continue combat, Escalera exploded fulminant right hand to the right eye of Alexis Argüello, which opened over the existing wound and hurt him, acknowledging receipt of the impact faltering, to turn again to 17,000 soul who yearned «El Salsero» Escalera to win is veered without precautions and undermined the humanity of the Challenger, who was bleeding profusely by the eyebrow hits of the right eye, to beat double hook with soul and power, and erratic Alexis, to end the chapter with the time of more colorful for champion Alfredo Escalera, who dominated the assault, returning to his corner with the catalogue of scars become face, as says colleague and friend Edgar Tijerino of Nicaragua.
In the closing minute, broke Puerto Rican Carnival, the full began to sound and repetition of the surname of the chain Escalera champion reached the sky. In the surroundings of ringside public gestures was pathetic be enjoying the spectacle of the first order in boxing, and both corners didn’t know that advice.
Responding to the call of the tenth episode Alexis Argüello returned with their famous shotgun on right, which answered El Salsero with two hooks with power to send it in Puerto Rico to Nicaragua and settled closer to his challenger recio, to make vibrate the ground with explosive hits right, who likened the fibrous muscles of the Nicaraguan. Arguello’s hits were no longer as effective and it was bleeding the right surface arc and Escalera fighting with more wisdom, was imposed in this chapter boxing and confusing to his challenger to concerned returned to their corner.
The start of the 12th round, the public waited for impatient standing and expectation grew due to the sudden change in combat that in the second part the boricua, which was dominated quite hit. Escalera connected two hooks to the Middle areas and ended with solid sets the face trying to in every coup to establish robust litigation which is discussed in the stage of more chimera of Champion combat. Escalera returned to deliver powerful blow from right to the face of the Alexis to worsen the hemorrhage of the right eyebrow cut, and answer with hits that it fanned, to receive two lashes of the left, ending the episode. Chapter I also rated Pro champion Escalera.
In the thirteenth round the two left their cantons with the rather battered face and especially Alfredo Escalera with three deep cuts in the two eyebrows and the lower lip. Both bleeding and exhausted.
Escalera greeted the Nicaraguan with long left and noticed again desperate and his physical condition was tragic. Both very cautious and very aware of the seriousness of the injuries referee of the Champion Alfredo Escalera, emanating heavy outbreak of blood by both eyebrows and mouth.
Escalera insisted with a pair of left-wing and break-down of the last coup, returned to make the mistake of trying to hit back with the back of the glove, to take advantage of the third man in the ring pause and take it to the doctor in a corner to determine the physical state and the wounds of the Puerto Rican and sadly determined that it was feared: stopped the bout and with the wise action cleared the shocking state of fans of Puerto Rico and Nicaragua, who lived hours with clenched teeth to end with your fingers without nails.
Alfredo Escalera, nor the public, protested the decision of the referee and the doctor, the shed was filled with sports authorities and Nicaraguan supporters, who held all the loud triumph of Alexis Argüello. Escalera ended lacking many steps, to retain the monarcado, seemed a victim of hurricane and Alexis bantamweight plucked. It was slaughter in which is said much water, to refresh them and encourage them, and concluded the unforgettable boxing company building.
Alexis Argüello scored another qualified triumph and added her second title in different divisions in boxing. However, the champion Escalera had imposed a clause in the contract which of losing would be a fight for retribution.
The second Brawl between the two was held in Rimini, Italy, on February 4, 1979, under the promotion of Rodolfo Sabatini. The contest was a copy of the first, the Puerto Rican did not understand that to overcome the Nicaraguan, had to use the intelligence and introduce you to a battle of approach to skills, which Alexis never conceded.
The Nicaraguan took victory in the 13th round as the first Brawl, but this time, he sat down twice to the Puerto Rican on the canvas and the last which was logically in the thirteenth round, the legs did not respond you to merge and El Salsero was stewed.
Alexis Argüello, made eight exhibitions of the Super Featherweight scepter, which also vacated for the Crown of the lightweights against Jim Watt and won by decision in fifteen rounds on June 20, 2981.
Thus, with the sports shame that characterized the Paladins of the Decade of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Alfredo Escalera and Alexis Argüello, bequeathed to us two jewels to the history of this sports discipline that remember them is empathize and live the honor of those who represented us yesterday with true and faithful leadership.
Note: after 24 years they returned to reunite and made a display for the benefit of former champions of the world of Puerto Rico in 2003 and the nobility was checking two mutual respect professionals links them in cordial friendship outside of the parquet floors where there were also worthy athletes, accepting triumphs and defeats with nobility obtained champions of categories in boxing.
Alfredo Escalera, stroll the streets of Puerto Rico, with the honor of having represented world…! And how… Alexis Argüello, continues to receive the support and admiration of their own in Nicaragua, with its troubled way of living today is, citizen of respect in Nicaragua where he was Vice-Mayor… is that not flattering?