Marvelous Marvin Hagler: Remembering A Great Champion

The sport of boxing was one of the best to watch in the 1980s and ’90s. All divisions had names that you would want to tune in to watch on any given night. Saturday night’s on PPV became some of the biggest nights to watch. HBO and Showtime became staples in the fight game. Especially with fighters like Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, and others. Another of those fighters that people would find themselves watching was “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler. Sadly, the world lost Hagler unexpectedly on Saturday. After finding that out, I thought I would put together a piece of his three best fights.

If you never had the chance the Marving Hagler fight you missed out on one of the greatest to ever grace the squared circle. Hagler’s career spanned 14 years (1973-1987). During his illustrious career, Hagler reigned as the undisputed middleweight champion. He held that title from 1980-87. In those eight years, the Marvelous one defended the title 12 times.

Some other accomplishments that Marvelous Marvin Hagler accomplished in 14 years:
  • Highest Knockout Percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions  (78%)
  • 3rd longest unified championship reign in boxing history
  • Boxing Illustrated Fighter of the Decade (1980s)
  • 2x Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year (1983, 1985)
  • International Boxing Hall of Fame (1993)
  • World Boxing Hall of Fame (1993)

Marvin Hagler was a part of some of the best fights in the history of the sport. Below we look at three of them.

Roberto Duran – November 10, 1983

Duran was the first fighter to challenge Hagler that would last 15 rounds. 15 rounds were the length of the title fights back then. Duran moved up in weight to challenge the Marvelous one. Hagler would pull out a unanimous 15 round decision after trailing in the fights through 13 rounds. The last two rounds were two of the best rounds in Hagler’s career.

Video Credit: YouTube

Thomas Hearns – April 15, 1985

This was billed as “The Fight!” However, it became known as the war. As you watch below you will see why. This fight was action-packed from the beginning. Hagler would take Hearns’ best shot early on. This would not face the champ. 

Hagler would work through a cut in rounds two and three. After the fight was paused for the ringside doctor to look at the said cut, the fight was on. Hagler was like a shark that smelled blood. Hagler would nail Tommy Hearns with a right hand on his ear and the rest of the fight history. Three of the best rounds in the history of boxing.

Video Credit: YouTube

Sugar Ray Leonard – April 6, 1987

This was a widely anticipated fight. During the lead-up, there would be several negotiations that would play into the favor of the challenger (Leonard). Leonard wanted a bigger ring. The common boxing ring runs between 16 and 20 feet. Leonard wanted the ring to be 22×22. Leonard also wanted the fight to feature 10oz gloves instead of the 8oz gloves more commonly worn. Finally, Sugar Ray wanted the fight to only last 12 rounds instead of the customary 15.

These would all play into the challenger’s favor. Sugar Ray Leonard would defeat Hagler in one of the most controversial decisions in the history of the sport. Nonetheless, it was one of the best fights ever to take place.

Video Credit: YouTube

The Leonard fight would be the last fight in the wonderful career of Marvelous Marvin Hagler. He would retire to Italy and also own a house in New Hampshire.

On March 13, 2021, Marvin Hagler’s wife, Kay Hagler would announce the unfortunate passing of this great champion. “Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire,” she would write on his Facebook page.

Do you have any memories of Marvelous Marvin Hagler? Leave a comment below.

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Sean Naylor
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