The baby begins to cry, and for a moment the sound washes away Pryor's anguish. "O.K., kid. O.K., kid. Shut up," he says laughing. Through an open glass door he calls to his housekeeper, "Hey, Maggie, bring a bottle for the baby."
"Are you blind in the left eye?" the visitor asks Pryor.
"I believe I am," he says. "I don't have enough vision to see. But, yet, nobody wants to talk about the bad part of me, the things that are happening in my life. All they want to talk about is that Pryor has left boxing, he's out doing something else. I'm just doing something about trying to get my eyesight."
"When did you notice the eye?"
Pryor rubs his eyes. "Just after the last fight," he says.
"Was it bothering you before?"
He nods angrily. "It's been about three years now. But nobody was interested in me. Examined in Atlantic City. They told me not to come back there anymore until I can see. That was after my last fight. And, really, you know, my last fight I had a lot of problems."
Pryor's disjointed conversation settles randomly on moments in his career. After stopping Arguello for the second time on Sept. 9, 1983, he abdicated his WBA junior welterweight championship, saying that he was tired, that he didn't want to fight anymore. He was in his prime: just 28 years old and 34-0. Just before that fight, he had been served with divorce papers by Theresa, who once, before they were married, had shot him in the right forearm. But Pryor, who had retained his IBF title, came out of retirement and fought twice, the match against Furlano and the split decision over Hinton. He gave an uninspired imitation of the real Aaron Pryor in both fights.
"I didn't get paid the first fight, [with] Nicky Furlano," Pryor is saying. "I didn't get one dime. I quit boxing and gave up my title because [they] said I was...black bottle...and preached to me about it."
The black-bottle reference is to his first fight with Arguello, when it was suspected that Pryor had taken stimulants from a bottle wrapped with black tape. The late Artie Curley, who worked Pryor's corner that night, said the bottle contained peppermint schnapps.