Aaron Pryor – The Hawk Highlights & Knockouts (Tribute)

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A tribute to one of the greatest Junior Welterweights of all time, Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor who fought professionally from November 1976 to December 1990. Pryor was renown for his relentless pressure and all-action fighting style.

He also had unstoppable stamina coupled with good punching power in both hands coupled with a granite chin.

As an amateur, he competed in the Lightweight division and compiled a record of 204-16 with the following accomplishments:

1) 1973 National AAU Champion.
2) 1974 National AAU Finalist.
3) 1975 National Golden Gloves Champion.
4) 1975 Pan American Games Silver Medalist.
5) 1976 National Golden Gloves Champion.
6) 1976 United States Olympic Trials Finalist.
7) 1976 United States Olympic Box-Offs: alternate for the U.S. Olympic team.

Pryor’s best win as an amateur was a decision over future 5 weight world champion, the legendary Thomas Hearns in the 1976 National Golden Gloves Lightweight Finals.

Pryor made his pro debut in November 1976 and racked up an impressive record of 24(22)-0 before earning his first world title shot in August 1980; knocking out “Kid Pambele” Antonio Cervantes in 4 rounds to win the WBA and The Ring Super Lightweight Titles. He made 8 successful defenses of both titles, notably twice against the Nicaraguan legend “El Flaco Explosivo” Alexis Arguello.

Pryor retired in 1983 after beating Arguello for the second time, but the retirement was short lived as he announced his comeback in March 1984. He claimed that his retirement was merely to rest as the WBA insisted that he defend the title once every 6 months thus he did not have enough recovery time between bouts.

The newly formed IBF immediately recognized him as their Light Welterweight Champion in Jun 1984 and The Hawk successfully defended his IBF Crown twice; against Nicky Furlano and future IBF Light Welterweight Champion, Gary Hinton.

In 1985, Pryor was embroiled in a life of drug abuse and failed to make a 3rd defense of his IBF strap, thus he was stripped of the title in December 1985.

After being out of the ring for nearly 30 months, Pryor made another comeback taking on journeyman Bobby Joe Young in August 1987. The Hawk was merely a shell of his former self by that time and would suffer his 1st and only career loss in bizarre fashion; he was knocked down with a right hand early in the 7th round and got up quickly albeit unsteadily. However, he would strangely go down on one knee to cross himself and was counted out while he was at it.

Pryor would win 3 more fights between 1988 and 1990, and one of them was his former sparring partner Darryl Jones before a permanent retirement with a final record of 39(35)-1.

During his career, Pryor was at one time or another in position (or at least discussed) for potential big fights against Ray Mancini, Saoul Mamby, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard. However, none of these fights materialized due to a variety of reasons.

Pryor had notable victories over Akio Kameda, Sang Hyun Kim, Miguel Montilla, Lennox Blackmoore, Dujuan Johnson, Gary Hinton, Nicky Furlano, Alfonso Fraser, Antonio Cervantes & Alexis Arguello (2x).

On October 9th 2016, Aaron Pryor tragically passed away from heart disease at 60 years of age.

Rest in peace champ! You will NEVER be forgotten!

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