Boxing champ Alexis Argüello dead at 57

Boxer Alexis Argüello was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest in his home in Nicaragua today. He was 57.

In 1999, the AP voted Argüello the top junior lightweight of the 20th century. Wikipedia has Argüello’s stats at 90 bouts, 82 wins, and 65 wins by knockout. He debuted in the boxing world in 1968, and stayed active until the 1982. Post-retirement, Argüello fought with the Contras in Nicaragua for a few months. He staged a few comebacks in the 80s and 90s before retiring from boxing permanently in 1995.

Argüello was so popular in his native Nicaragua that he carried the flag for his country in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. After this experience, Argüello decided to seek office and was elected mayor of Managua- although critics contended the vote was fradulent. It has been alleged that his suicide is due to allegations of financial impropriety with public funds.

Presidental spokeswoman Rosario Murillo told the AP:

“We are upset. This is a heartbreaking announcement. He was the champion of the poor, an example of forgiveness and reconciliation.”