It is a sad day within the boxing community as it was announced earlier from his family members that Hall of Fame and legendary prizefighter Aaron Pryor, also known by "Hawk", passed away at the age of 60 early Sunday morning due to complications from heart disease. Pryor had a very acclaimed career at both the amateur and professional levels. He was a 2-time national AAU lightweight champion, winning in 1973 and 1975. His win over Thomas "Hitman" Hearns at the 1976 national Golden Gloves tournament is still highly publicized among boxing historians and purists.
He would garner more accolades at that professional level, making the jump to professional after the 1976 Olympic games, in which he was named a team alternate. He campaigned in the super lightweight division as a pro and won both the WBA and IBF world titles in the weight class. He is most known for his career-defining knockout victories over fellow hall of famer Alexis Arguello. Many had hoped a fight between Pryor and Sugar Ray Leonard would happen, but the fight never materialized due to financial differences during negotiations.
Pryor would finish his career with a record of 39 - 1, (35 KOs) and would retire from the sport in 1990 after battling substance abuse throughout his career. In his post-boxing life, he strived to keep others from going down the same road he did and aimed to steer them away from substance abuse. The boxing community celebrated Pryor’s decorated career as he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996 and the World Boxing Hall of Fame a few years later in 2001. Our team at HoopJab sends its condolences and well wishes to the Pryor family, as he will truly be missed by the boxing world.