Aaron Pryor

From BoxRec
Jump to: navigation, search
Class of 1996
Modern Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Aaron Pryor
Alias: Hawk
Born: 1955-10-20
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Died: 2016-10-09 (Age:60)
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 6″   /   168cm
Reach: 69″   /   175cm
Boxing Record: click

Aaron Pryor Gallery

Official Biography:
(As sent by Mrs. Frankie Pryor, Aaron Pryor's wife, to BoxRec.com)

Witnessing the human hurricane that was Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor was like seeing Henry Armstrong and the whirlwind has not been seen since. Pryor's frenetic, punch-a-second style endeared him to fans around the globe. To the chants of "Hawk Time, Hawk Time," Pryor brought one thrilling moment after another to the crowds who thronged to see his fights during the 1980s.

Pryor, born in Cincinnati in 1955, was a terror in the amateur ranks (204-16), culminating as an alternate on the 1976 Olympic team. He turned pro in 1976 after the Olympics and quickly tore through the lightweight and junior welterweight ranks, mowing down such seasoned contenders as Johnny Summerhays, Johnny Copeland, Norman Goins, and Alfonso Frazer. His complete domination of his competition earned him a shot at legendary Colombian champion Antonio Cervantes in August of 1980. That night in Cincinnati, at Riverfront Coliseum, Pryor dismantled Cervantes in four rounds, and a star was born.

Pryor easily moved through the Jr. Welterweight ranks, and in 1982, Pryor and Alexis Arguello would face off in what was later named the "Fight of the Decade" by The Ring magazine. Pryor and Arguello engaged in toe-to-toe warfare for 14 rounds before the great Arguello finally succumbed to the equally great Pryor. The rematch, a year later, was much easier for Pryor, and he took out Alexis in ten rounds.

The Hawk defended his title eleven times and retired in 1991 with a 39-1 (35 KOs) record. As the WBA Jr. Welterweight Champ from 1980-1983 and the IBF Jr. Welterweight Champ from 1983-1985, Pryor firmly established his place in boxing history. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996 and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001. In December 1999, the Associated Press voted Aaron Pryor as the "Greatest Jr. Welterweight of the Century."

Pryor went through some hard times due to drug addiction, but with the determination that made him a great fighter, "The Hawk" kicked his habit and is once again flying high. Pryor lives in his hometown of Cincinnati with his wife, Frankie Pryor, and their four children--Aaron, Jr., Antwan, Stephan, and Elizabeth. Pryor is an ordained deacon at New Friendship Baptist Church and travels the world making personal appearances and spreading his anti-drug message. Pryor remains active in the sport of boxing, training both professional and Golden Gloves amateur boxers. The Pryor boxing legacy continues today, with Aaron Pryor Jr. and Stephan Pryor following in their dad's footsteps.

Amateur Achievements

  • Amateur Record: 204-16
  • 1973 National AAU Champion (132 lbs) - Outpointed Robert Newton of Boston
  • 1975 National Golden Gloves Champion (132 lbs)
  • 1975 Pan American Games Silver Medalist (132 lbs)
  • 1976 National Golden Gloves Champion (132 lbs) - Outpointed Thomas Hearns of Detroit
  • 1976 U.S. Olympic Alternate (132 lbs) [1]

Professional Achievements

Career Notes

  • Pryor's manager was Buddy LaRosa, founder of LaRosa's Pizzeria. [2]
  • In 1983, Pryor signed a three-year promotional agreement with Sylvester Stallone's promotional company, Tiger Eye. [3]
  • Pryor was offered $750,000 to fight Roberto Duran in 1981, but Pryor's new attorney told him not to sign anything until he worked out a new contract with his manager. By the time a new agreement had been worked out, the chance to fight Duran was gone. Pryor also turned down $500,000 to fight Sugar Ray Leonard. [4]
  • Pryor signed to fight Sugar Ray Leonard in the fall of 1982 for $750,000, but Leonard first had to defend his title against Roger Stafford in Buffalo, New York on May 14, 1982. Pryor was driving to Buffalo to taunt Leonard to help hype their fight when he heard on the radio that Leonard had suffered a detached retina and the fight was off. Pryor said, "I pulled off to the side of the road and I cried." [5]
  • Pryor had trouble getting a boxing license late in his career because of eye problems. In 1988, Pryor underwent surgery to remove a cataract and repair a detached retina. He was declared legally blind in his left eye. The vision in his left eye was 20/400. With corrective lenses, his vision improved to 20/70. He was denied a license in California, New York and Nevada. [6] [7]

External Links

Official Web site

Preceded by:
Antonio Cervantes
WBA Light Welterweight Champion
1980 Aug 2 – 1983
Succeeded by:
Johnny Bumphus
Preceded by:
Inaugural Champion
IBF Light Welterweight Champion
1984 Jun 22 – 1985
Succeeded by:
Gary Hinton