And between fights, mostly in the tropical heat and humidity of the Fifth Street Gym in Miami Beach, he works, works, works with Kahn. The wildness has been replaced by a steely, almost inhuman, dedication. "Look at that," Futch said in the dressing room before the Busceme fight. "Twenty-five minutes to bandage his own hands," Futch said, "and I could have done it in three."
But that's the way Arguello operates. "Everybody say he's a slow starter," Kahn says. "He takes two or three rounds to see what you got. Then"—Kahn's fingers click—"he starts to work on you. He's too smart to take a chance until he sees you are gone. He don't throw punches crazy until he see the open space. He is always calm. He don't go after a man throwing punches. He knows, in every three minutes all you must do is hit the guy two or three times good, so when you hit you hurt.
"To hurt somebody, he knows you have to hit the right place, that is all. The punch that finished Escalera the second time, it was a left hook from just there"—shoulder level. "I didn't see power in the punch, but it was to the right place, the side of the chin. Escalera couldn't stand up for about 15 minutes. They lifted him up and he fell down again twice."
Should all go well in the Ganigan defense, the 5'9½" Arguello hopes to move up to junior welterweight (140 pounds), which shouldn't prove difficult, for a shot at Pryor's title. The glory of four separate world titles could then be his. Possibly before that he could meet WBC featherweight champ Salvador Sanchez for a prize that has so far eluded Arguello: a $1 million purse.
That could lead to a match with Leonard and a $5 million purse. And if the comandantes don't arrange for that one to go on television, they may have another revolution on their hands.