Marvelous Marvin Hagler Passes Away
Very few fighters have complete dominance over their respective weight division, Marvelous Marvin Hagler was one such fighter.
Hagler cleaned out the middleweight division in the 1980s, and is unquestionably one of the greatest middleweights that ever graced the sport.
The news that Hagler suddenly died on Saturday aged just 66, will hit boxing hard.
His wife Kay announced: “I am sorry to make a very sad announcement.Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire.”
Hagler was born in 1954 and turned professional in 1973, and struggled in many ways, despite being a long-time contender for the world title. A chance at world honours finally came in 1979, but despite many thinking he did more than enough to win, Vito Antuofermo kept his title on a bitterly disputed draw.
Britain’s Alan Minter relieved Antuofermo of his title, and Hagler came to London in 1980 to challenge Minter for his title. The fists of Hagler cut Minter’s face to pieces, and after 3 rounds Hagler had finally been crowned the world middleweight champion. The new champion was denied his moment, drunken hooligans threw bottles into the ring, Hagler had to flee the ring to avoid the flying debris. A night of shame for British boxing.
Hagler would defend his title 12 times, including a near perfection of a performance against Tony Sibson in 1983. Sibson met Hagler on perhaps his finest ever night, a fighter at the peak of his powers.
Despite not losing a fight since 1976, Hagler wad struggling to get the respect and the financial rewards he felt he deserved. The big fights with a true equal, failed to materialise, especially one with Sugar Ray Leonard.
But in 1985 everything changed. Thomas Hearns was coming off a stunning demolition of Roberto Duran, and challenged Hagler in one of the most anticipated fights of that incredible era.
Hagler and Hearns went to war in Las Vegas in a truly breathtaking fight. The opening round is one of the greatest rounds of all time. Three minutes of absolute mayhem as one commentator described it.
The fight with Hearns gave Hagler what he needed. But it came too late in his career, Hagler deserved better.
A tougher than expected fight with John Mugabi showed clear signs of a fighter slipping to mere normality. Leonard was ringside, and saw enough to announce he wanted to finally share a ring with Hagler.
Leonard beat Hagler via split-decision in 1987, Hagler left the sport angry and frustrated, he felt he beat Leonard, many agreed.
A final resume of 62-3-2 fails to tell the whole story. Hagler stayed hungry despite his success and frustrations with a sport that often failed him. The spartan existence he lived, served him well. The destruct and destroy mantra the perfect fit.
A true legend that will be sadly missed.