He had come here
seeking shelter from life. In the two years since he had retired he had gone
from being a millionaire to virtual bankruptcy. He had lost his family, battled
drugs and ducked Sandinista bullets in Nicaragua. He had broken with his
manager and spiritual father in Miami. Nowhere away from boxing could he find
the thing his father had ached for—a refuge from contradiction.
for the money—he's broke—sneered the media. No, he's returning for immortality,
to become the first man ever to win titles in four weight classes, insisted the
people close to him. They, too, were uncomfortable with the reality that all
human motive is a mosaic of desires and needs.
The most confused
of all was Arguello.
things are not important," he told a visitor. "You are important! We
are important! That little girl over there. That man on the bike. Why can't
people see that? I don't need money. I can pump gas. I can make plenty of money
doing appearances for Miller Lite."
His hands flailed
the air. He grabbed his visitor's wrist, spittle spraying from his lips.
"It's history, man. I want to win four! It's an adventure. That's why I'm
A few moments
later: "Boxing is the only thing I know how to do. I like nice things, nice
cars. How can I generate the money? I kick some ass, right?"
And then: "I
don't know why, but I feel fulfilled when I'm boxing. I think I am a
what else can I do? I don't want to be a doper. I don't want to poison the
boxing ring, Arguello's life was full of such fluctuation. Feelings ruled him,
they jerked him first down one path, and then down its opposite.
One night years
ago, when he was 27, Arguello was hunting in Nicaragua with a friend and a
flashlight. He loved animals. He loved to shoot them for sport in the forest,
and he loved to hold them in his arms at home. Never did he see the