Originally Posted by Surf-Bat
A great post, Duo. One so well thought out that I won't even offer a rebuttal. But one thing to remember--Alexis had that long, skinny upper body and you could count those ribs right through his skin. Petrolle liked nothing better than to apply rib-crakkers and was known for his debilitating body attack. I wonder how long Arguello could take those body clouts, which Petrolle is sure to land on him (as he did everyone else)?
Certainly guys like Mancini, Ganigan and Elizondo attempted this (Boom-Boom over the long haul, only to fade himself), but Arguello's thinness was as deceptive in discerning susceptibilities as a muscular physique can be in predicting physical strength, punching power and durability. The man was wiry and extremely TOUGH. Ganigan wailed him with a tremendous right hook to the side immediately preceding Andy's straight left knockdown, but Alexis got right back up, and shortly punched out the Hawaiian with his own body assault.
Watch Mancini's fourth round knockdown of Al Clay. (This was the first time I saw Ray on television.) It came from an attack downstairs. Boom-Boom then went into crazy headhunter mode against the steel chinned Clay, and vowed in the post fight interview that from then on, "I'm going to keep on that body!" But time and again, Arguello later blunted Mancini's rush to the inside with blocks like hooks to Ray's chest and other deterrents. Getting to El Flaco's body wasn't that easy, and we're discussing a fantasy match where Alexis is ten pounds over what he was for Olivares. He was certainly far more established in his proven ability to withstand body shots than say, Marvin Johnson (Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Michael Spinks), Tommy Hearns (SRL I and Hagler), or Hilmer Kenty (O'Grady and Elizondo). During the substantive portion of his career, nobody ever defeated him on the strength of a body attack.
It's not as if Billy's own body won't be taking punishment. Arguello may have been the best tall man ever at doing this to shorter opponents. (Royal Kobayashi with the left hook, Ganigan with the right uppercut to the solar plexus, and Mancini being prominent youtube examples.) The stereotypical notion of belaboring the tall skinny guy inside didn't usually work with him, not with the hooks, lead left uppercuts and right uppercuts in his arsenal. He had Pryor on the ropes in their rematch, and was hammering him to the body. The Hawk was holding Alexis's head down, and pretending to laugh it off when the referee separated them and penalized Arguello for low blows. The camera was then on referee Richard Steele and Alexis as Steele deducted the points to the judges. Ringsider reporters though noted that while his cup appeared to afford full protection to his groin, some legal body shots appeared to hurt Aaron, and he took advantage of the penalty respite to step back and take a big deep breath. Apparently, this moment was the most serious trouble he was in during Pryor-Arguello II.
Unfortunately, Duran-Arguello never took place, or we could be able to far better assess what effect Petrolle's rib-crakkers might have worked on Alexis.