Ruben Olivares vs. Alexis Arguello

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1974-11-23 : Alexis Arguello 124¼ lbs beat Ruben Olivares 125½ lbs by KO at 1:20 in round 13 of 15

Intense fight with both fighters landing plenty of leather. In the twelth round, Olivares lands a hard punch and Arguello stumbles back as if he was hurt. Either Arguello recovered quickly, or he played possum. Either way, Olivares went for broke trying to knock his man out. He spent every ounce of energy he had left trying to knock Arguello out, but was unsuccessful, and he was very burnt out. In the 13th, Arguello dropped Olivares with a short left-uppercut. Olivares got up, signaled he was ready to fight, and the fight continued. Shortly after, Olivares found himself pummeled, and then finished off by "El Flaco Explosivo" (Explosive Thin Man).



Attendance: 14,313; Gate: 186,210
The Ring March 1975, p. 73


"After the legendary Ruben Olivares had totally dominated the opening 12 rounds in a first defense of his WBA featherweight title, one jolting left hook by rangy Nicaraguan challenger Alexis Arguello in the 13th was all that was needed to put Rockabye Ruben to sleep. Olivares, taking a knee-buckling hook in the opening stanza, then scored repeatedly with pressing tactics along the ropes in rounds 2, 3 and 4. After a careless 5th frame in which Arguello fired away up the middle with wild left uppercuts, Ruben was to take permanent command in the 6th with his aggressive two-fisted attack. Keeping with the pre-battle plan of working inside his man's guard, Olivares opened the door with paralyzing liver digs and choppy right hands. Olivares had his fans in a frenzy. In fact, when Ruben staggered his man with several combinations against the rope strands in the 12th, there was some speculation as to whether the seemingly exhausted Arguello would be able to answer the bell for the next heat. When Olivares jumped in to try and apply the finishing touches in the 13th, Arguello reeled off a perfect left hook that met head on with Ruben's jaw. Dazed, on his hands and knees, Olivares spit out his mouthpiece. By the time referee Dick Young was able to resume the action, nearly 25 seconds had elapsed. Finally, another hook far inferior to the prior punch dumped Olivares to the floor again. This time, however, he did not get up." -International Boxing, April, 1975 issue

  • Purses: Olivares - $80,000, Arguello - $15,000
  • Arguello had served as sparring partner for world bantamweight champion Ruben Olivares for Olivares' 1971 non-title match with Vicente (Yambito) Blanco in Managua.

Unofficial scorecards (through 12 rounds)

  • Pasadena Star-News - 8-3 Olivares
  • UPI - 6-4 Olivares

Post fight comments

  • "I was caught cold with that first shot. No, I have no excuses. I thought I was winning the fight, but things are never over until the final bell. I don't know what else I can say." -Ruben Olivares
  • "I was fighting for my life. Olivares hurt me in the 8th, 9th and 10th rounds. I felt like I might go down in the 10th. This is a very happy and proud day for my country and myself." -Alexis Arguello