Brockton Massachusetts Honored Marvin Hagler Sunday
On what would have been his 67th birthday, the state of Massachusetts and, specifically his adopted hometown of Brockton, honored legendary former Undisputed Middleweight Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler Sunday afternoon. At a ceremony at fellow boxing legend “Rocky Marciano Stadium,” several hundred residents and fans came to remember Hagler’s great career and impact on their community.
Hagler, who dominated as Middleweight champ from 1980 – 87, died suddenly in March from what his wife described as heart failure, amid speculation that his sudden illness was being impacted by Covid-19.
Brockton holds memorial for boxing champion 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler https://t.co/8ZRo67fTG1
— 7News Boston WHDH (@7News) May 24, 2021
That included the man who battled Hagler for two and a half rounds in both of their most famous fight, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns. The epic three round Hagler-Hearns battle is still regarded 35 years later, as the greatest short fight in championship boxing history.
Former, Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champ, Bernard Hopkins, also spoke, as did Hall of Fame boxing analyst Al Bernstein. Bernstein covered the Hearns bout and many of Hagler’s other greatest fights on TV and pay-per-view and he spoke for several minutes about Hagler’s legacy. Fellow legend, Sugar Ray Leonard, who defeated Hagler in his final pro bout in 1987, also appeared via a video tribute during the two plus hour ceremony.
Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker had previously designated May 23, 2021, as “Marvelous Marvin Hagler Day” throughout the state.
The Newark, New Jersey born Hagler’s menacing style that had him win 12 straight Undisputed Middleweight Title fights that cemented his Hall of Fame career. Hagler had largely stayed away from publicity since retiring in 1987, but was still revered 30 years later as one of the “true warriors” of the 1970s and 80s on the world-wide stage.
The man, who came to Brockton as a teenager, had felt so disrespected in the early 80s that he legally changed his first name to “Marvelous” and demanded that the media and fans refer to him by his new legal name “Marvelous Marvin.” Certainly, he had all the respect the sport could offer after the epic Hearns KO, which was the Ring magazine “Fight of the Year.”
Over the past 20+ years, Hagler spent a lot of his time living in Italy, enjoying the riches of the latter part of his career. He in fact married his second wife Kay there in 2000.
Back to Sunday, Hagler’s five children, including with his first wife Bertha were in Brockton and his mother Mae spoke and thanked the gathering, as well.
Hagler finished with a career record of 62-3-2. That included a stretch in the late 70s through 1987 where he didn’t lose for 38 straight bouts. And, Marvelous Marvin was inducted into the international Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
He career stands along with the likes of Carlos Monzon and Sugar Ray Robinson, as one of the top Middleweight Champions of the 20th century.
Coming in June, Showtime Premium Cable with air a four part docu-series “The Kings” chronicling Halger, Hearns, Leonard and Roberto Duran’s legendary careers. And, the intersection of them all fighting each other in some of the greatest fights in boxing history throughout the 1980s.
Along with Sunday, it’s another way to keep the memory of Marvelous Marvin alive.