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Alexis Arguello vs. Edwin Rosario

I love “fire versus ice” matchups in boxing and an Arguello versus Rosario fight would have epitomized that description. Using the simulation TITLE BOUT, I’m placing Arguello in his lightweight prime which occurred around 1980-81. I believe Rosario hit his lightweight (and career peak) in 1986 when he nearly decapitated reigning title holders Hector “Macho” Camacho and Livingstone “Pit Bull” Bramble.

Alexis Arguello...Cool as ice.

Arguello and Rosario should have fought in 1983. Rosario was an up and coming lightweight by 1982 and emerged as the top contender for the throne held by Arguello. Arguello, however, elected to move up in weight and attempt to become boxing’s first four division champion by fighting Aaron Pryor. Had Arguello remained in the division, he and Rosario would have no doubt made for a classic battle. Rosario would have had an eleven year age advantage but Arguello would obviously have the experience on his side.

Rosario could start fires with his left hook.

I would favor Arguello by the slimmest of margins in this fantasy fight. I can’t see Rosario taking him out early although Arguello was certainly vulnerable in the early rounds (Jose Luis Ramirez/Andy Ganigan). Rosario starts fast but can be outmuscled. He suffered beatdowns from Ramirez and Julio Cesar Chavez but never tasted the canvas so his toughness is underrated. I think a bout between the two would go to a decision with Arguello by a point or two.

Using strategies I believe they would employ if they had met, here is the result as simulated by TITLE BOUT.

ROUND ONE
After a brief feeling out period, Arguello surprises by opening up with power shots early. He lands a few long left hooks which force Rosario to back off. Rosario is content to probe with the jab and dance away.
ARGUELLO’S ROUND

ROUND TWO
Arguello tries to leave off where he began in round one but Rosario returns the fire. Arguello lands some big right uppercuts which have no effect on the Puerto Rican. Rosario lands a pair of big left-rights which backs up Arguello.
ROSARIO’S ROUND

ROUND THREE
Arguello is more aggressive now and lands a three punch combination. Rosario wades in and Arguello counters well. Arguello seems to have found a home for his left hook as he lands three before the bell.
ARGUELLO’S ROUND

ROUND FOUR
Arguello is simply the more precise counter puncher. He forces Rosario to lead and replies with well timed left hooks and right crosses. This is Rosario’s worst round yet as he barely lands a punch on Arguello who is boxing on a dime.
ARGUELLO’S ROUND

ROUND FIVE
Rosario tries to make up for the last round nad lands well with left hooks and uppercuts on the inside. Arguello returns the fire and controls the majority of the round with slick counterpunching. Rosario shows some life but he’s falling behind.
ARGUELLO’S ROUND

ROUND SIX
Rosario finally lands the power shot he’s been waiting for and Arguello staggers. Rosario follows up but Arguello covers well. Rosario is the aggressor throughout the round and gains some well needed momentum.
ROSARIO’S ROUND

ROUND SEVEN
The two meet at center ring and exchange power shots. Rosario goes in and out while Arguello stands stationary. It appears that Arguello’s shots have more effect on Rosario than Rosario’s have on him.
ARGUELLO’S ROUND

ROUND EIGHT
A carbon copy of the last round. Rosario starts fast but Arguello counters and by round’s end he has Rosario backing off. His experience and counter punching appear to be too much for “El Chapo.”
ARGUELLO’S ROUND

ROUND NINE
Rosario gets on his bicycle and pumps the jab in Arguello’s face. Arguello seems content to take the round off as Rosario adjusts his strategy. Rosario lands a nice combo at the sound of the bell to annex the round.
ROSARIO’S ROUND

ROUND TEN
Rosario continues his jab and move routine. He lands with some regularity, wades in and BAM! He’s floored by a beautiful Arguello right cross. It is merely a flash knockdown at the end of the round and he is up at the count of three. Arguello comes in but cannot follow up.
ARGUELLO’S ROUND by TWO POINTS

ROUND ELEVEN
Arguello looks to finish things and comes out smoking! He lands left hooks and right hands and Rosario absorbs them all. Rosario is clearly hurt and in trouble.
ARGUELLO’S ROUND

ROUND TWELVE
Rosario grabs and holds for the majority of the round. Arguello is content to throw a power shot here and there, knowing that his aggressiveness on its own will be enough to seal the round.
ARGUELLO’S ROUND

All three judges score in favor of Arguello 117-111, 115-112, and 116-111.

RESULT: ALEXIS ARGUELLO W12 EDWIN ROSARIO

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