Boxing Legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler Dead At 66
Shocking and sad news on a Saturday evening, as former Undisputed World Middleweight Champion and Boxing Hall of Famer, Marvin Hagler has died unexpectedly at the age of 66.
Hagler’s wife Kay confirmed his death on social media late Saturday afternoon, saying the former dominating champion of the late 70s through the mid-80s had passed away in New Hampshire,
Marvelous Marvin has passed away unexpectedly. https://t.co/6Zyvc9T1Jc
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) March 13, 2021
It was earlier this week that we commemorated the anniversary of Hagler’s last win in the ring, as he defeated unbeaten Middleweight contender John “The Beast” Mugabi in a wild brawl by 11th round KO in March of 1986. After Hagler got his hand raised that night he famously lost the mega-fight showdown 13 months later in April of 1987 to “Sugar Ray” Leonard on a still controversial 12-round split decision.
Hagler never fought again after the Leonard defeat, retiring for good just shy of his 33rd birthday.
However, prior to that Leonard loss, he was the menacing dominant Undisputed champion of a 160 lb. division, having successfully defended his title 12 times.
This included his spectacular three-round war with Thomas “Hitman” Hearns in April of 1985. In a fight that is regarded as arguably the greatest non-Heavyweight title bout ever, Hagler absorbed Hearns’ epic right hand in the first round on a couple of occasions. And, Hagler then brawled him into submission a couple of rounds later.
The indelible image of Hagler bleeding from a cut on his forehead, but landing lethal right hands to drop Hearns for the third-round KO remain, one of the iconic moments in championship fighting over the last 50 years. It was the famed Ring Magazine “Fight” and “KO of the Year” for 1985.
Hagler was born in Newark, New Jersey, but found his way to Brockton, Massachusetts and rose to prominence as a club fighter in the 1970s being trained by famed brothers Goody and Pat Petronelli who were from Massachusetts.
He finally challenged for the Middleweight championship November, 1979 in Las Vegas and was on the verge of becoming champion before he was on the wrong end of a controversial draw kept him from winning the title against then champ, Vito Antuofermo.
Hagler later captured the belts in another wild fight stopping England’s Alan Minter in September of 1980 with a barrage of punches and with Minter bleeding profusely in just the third round of their fight at Wembley Arena in London.
The partisan British crowd booed, whistled and threw debris and bottles at the ring Hagler was sent scurrying for protection unable to even celebrate his victory until back in the locker room.
Hagler went on to win title fights against the likes of Mustafa Hamsho, Fully Obel and a rematch with Antuofermo. He also decisioned fellow Hall of Famer Roberto Duran over 15 rounds in November 1983.
After the Leonard loss Hagler, dabbled in some small budget action film acting and lived the retired life of a former fighter occasionally at boxing big bouts and autograph shows.
He spent a lot of his time living in Italy, enjoying the riches of the latter part of his career. He married his second wife, Kay, in 2000 in Italy.
Hagler finished with a career record of 62-3-2 and was inducted into the international Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
And, along with the likes of Carlos Monzon and Sugar Ray Robinson, is regarded as one of the top Middleweight Champions of the 20th century