Potshot’s where are they now? – “The Hawk “Aaron Pryor

Here is Potshot’s feature of “Where are they now?”  Check it out because this session is a true boxing treat!!

Aaron Pryor…. “The Hawk”….. The inventor of the phrase “what time it, Hawktime!”  He is one of the greatest junior welterweights to ever put on a pair of boxing gloves as he fascinated boxing fans with his in the ring stare downs of his opponents and his point of death that he gave his opponents during the stare downs.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Pryor started his boxing career as an amateur.  During his amateur boxing career, Pryor racked up 204 wins against 16 losses while in the process winning the National AAU lightweight championship in 1973 and 1975, and beating the great Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns in the 1976 National Golden Gloves Finals.  Pryor also won a silver medal in the 1975 Pan American Games, and participated in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada.

"The Hawk" Aaron Pryor - Potshot Boxing

Credit: aworldofboxing.com

After the Olympics in ’76, “The Hawk” turned pro and “Hawktime” was officially born.  During Pryor’s career, he would have a group a guys with him at all times screaming, “what time is it, Hawktime!”  Pryor’s professional boxing record was an excellent one stretching from 1976 to 1990 as he won an impressive 39 wins and only 1 defeat.

Pryor have great wins over fighters such as Panamanian Alfonso “Peppermint” Fraser and Columbian Antonio Cervantes, which he won the WBA junior welterweight title.

Pryor was scheduled to fight both the great Roberto Duran and “Sugar” Ray Leonard, but due to failed contract negotiations and a detached retna suffered by Leonard, the real big money fights fell through for Pryor; and here I was thinking all of these years that “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran simply ducked Aaron Pryor, but they did not.

The biggest highlight of Pryor’s boxing career came in his two legendary fights in 1982 and 1983 with another boxing great Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello, and yes, finally in the fights with Arguello, Pryor got his big money fights.  Pryor won both fights in this legendary two fight extravaganza.

The fight in ’82 between Pryor and Arguello ended in controversy as Pryor stopped Arguello in the fourteenth round and some boxing fans feel that Pryor was given more than just water by his trainer Panama Lewis as he was caught telling the cutman to give him the water bottle he mixed to give to Pryor as the so called mixed water seemed to have revived Pryor for the thirteenth and fourteenth  rounds….hmmm….suspicious, but I just do not believe that Aaron Pryor needed a boost from a bottle to finish any fighter.

The 1982 fight between Pryor and Arguello was dubbed “Fight of the Decade” by Ring Magazine.

The rematch with Arguello in ’83 was not even close as Aaron dominated Arguello from start to finish as Pryor finally put Arguello out of his misery in the tenth round when he knocked down Arguello and Arguello did not get up.

After the rematch with Arguello, Pryor went on the win the IBF welterweight title, but later battled through tough times in the mid 1980’s, including drug abuse and the first and only loss of his boxing career to American Bobby Joe Young in a fight were Pryor clearly was just not himself during that fight as he was stopped in the seventh round by the under classed Young.

Where is “The Hawk” Aaron Pryor Now?

In 1993, Pryor overcame has drug addiction for good and in 1996, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Pryor currently lives in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and four children. Pryor is an ordained deacon at New Friendship Baptist Church and he travels the world making personal appearances and spreading his anti-drug message. Pryor also has a boxing gym in his hometown where he helps children learn about boxing and stay off the streets, and he is a boxing trainer for both professional and Golden Gloves amateur fighters.

 

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