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Boxing – Middleweight Title – Champ Vito Antuofermo VS Marvin Hagler – 1st Fight – Rounds 4 – 11

DOG COMMENTARY:

This world middleweight title fight was between a super great boxer (Hagler) and a great boxer (Antuofermo) during the golden age of boxing from 1964 – 1995….as this was their first fight for the middleweight title….when Antuofermo was the middleweight champion coming into the fight…..while Hagler was just coming up the ranks and this was his first title fight.

Vito Antuofermo is an Italian American actor and retired professional boxer….who was a former undisputed world middleweight champion.  Antuofermo was born in Italy in the town of Palo del Colle…whose family moved to the United States when he was 17 years old….learning how to fight in the tough areas of New York City. By his teens, he had made up his mind that he wanted to be a professional boxer.  Antuofermo won the 1970 147 lb New York golden gloves championship….defeating Thomas Chestnut in the finals. In 1971, Antuofermo was defeated by future light heavyweight champion Eddie Gregory (future Eddie Mustafa Muhammad) in the finals of the 147 lb open division….as Antuofermo trained at the Police Athletic Leagues Sweeney Center in Brooklyn, New York.

One of the things for which Antuofermo was known was his propensity to bleed easily….especially around the eyebrows….for in between rounds in his fights….more attention was given to Vito patching up cuts on his face as it was giving him advice and instructions.  In 1979, Antuofermo became world middleweight champion by beating defending champion Hugo Corro by a decision in 15 rounds at Monte Carlo.

Antuofermo defended his title against Marvelous Marvin Hagler in Las Vegas, Nevada….as seen in this video herewith…..which was a great middleweight title fight…..resulting in a controversial 15-round draw. In his next defense, against Alan Minter, also in Las Vegas….he lost the title by a 15-round split decision. They had a rematch in London….when Minter retained the crown by a TKO (on cuts) in eight rounds.

Antuofermo kept fighting and winning and after Hagler won the title from Minter in 1980….was given another chance to regain the world middleweight championship….in a full house at Boston Garden in Hagler home town of Boston….with Hagler winning this one by a TKO on cuts in the fourth round.

After several attempts at becoming a top middleweight again….Antuofermo retired from boxing in 1985…..and apart from Corro….other boxers he beat included world champions Eckhard Dagge, Denny Moyer and Emile Griffith….providing evidence of why Vito Antuofermo deserves this Chiweenie Sportsphile’s classification of being a great boxer of the golden age of boxing.

In the other corner for this fight was Marvelous Marvin Hagler….a truly super great (almost legendary) former American professional boxer….who reigned as the undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987. He made twelve defenses of the undisputed title and today holds the highest knockout percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions, at 78%….for at six years and seven months, his reign as undisputed middleweight champion is the second longest of the last century….behind only Tony Zale….who reigned during World War II. In 1982, annoyed that network announcers often did not refer to him by his nickname, “Marvelous”, Hagler legally changed his name to Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Hagler is an inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. He was named Fighter of the Decade (1980’s) by Boxing Illustrated magazine….having been twice named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). In 2001 and 2004, The Ring named him the third greatest middleweight of all time….and in 2002 named him the 17th greatest fighter of the past 80 years.  Many analysts and boxing writers, consider Hagler to have one of the best chins in boxing history.

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