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Boxing – Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Middleweights / Champions – L E’s Stories Special – “From Humble Beginnings To Being The Marvelous One” – The Life And Story Of Marvelous Marvin Hagler

From 1975 to 1991, Bone Daddy recorded over 750 boxing championship title fights during an era that we refer too here at ImaSportsphile as The Golden Age of Boxing….which really ran from 1964, when Cassius Clay took the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston….and ran through the 1999 heavyweight title fights between Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis…. during which time there were multiple legends of boxing throughout virtually every major weight class except the midlleweight division….which only featured one legend….and he was referred too as Marvelous….who just happened to be one of Bone Daddy’s very favorite fighters….for Marvin Hagler was a warrior of a different breed….as a fighter who was dedicated to being honed in body and mind….who was mentally strong…..with an iron chin….and was so incredibly disciplined….cus he never let himself get out of shape….he continuously trained.  All that being said, it explains why we have such an extensive Marvelous Marvin Hagler boxing library already posted here at ImaSportsphile….and explains why I am so delighted to post this story and salute to one of boxing’s true legends….as well as one of Bone Daddy’s favorite fighters of all time….so, here’s to the one and only Marvelous Marvin Hagler.                                                                                              


Boxing – 1954 To 2021 – ESPN Sports Century Documentary – “The Life And Career Of Marvelous Marvin Hagler”                                                                                    

Marvelous Marvin Hagler (born May 23, 1954 – March 13, 2021) was an American professional boxer and film actor….who competed in boxing from 1973 to 1987….while reigning as undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987…..during which time he made twelve successful defenses of that title….and holds the highest knockout percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions at 78%….while also holding the 2nd-longest unified championship reign in boxing history at twelve consecutive defenses. At six years and seven months, his reign as undisputed middleweight champion is the 2nd-longest of the last century….which is only behind Tony Zale….whose reign included several years of inactivity during his service in World War II…..as overall, Hagler defeated 11 opponents, 10 of them by knockout, for the world middleweight title.   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”.                                               


Boxing – 1973 To 1987 – Bushido Boxing Special – Marvelous Marvin Hagler Tribute – “Rest In Peace”                                                                                                    

Hagler is an inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame…..and he was named Fighter of the Decade for the 1980’s by Boxing Illustrated magazine….as well as twice being named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America…..when in 2001 and 2004, The Ring named him the 4th greatest middleweight of all time…..and in 2002 named him the 17th greatest fighter of the past 69 years…..while the International Boxing Research Organization rates Hagler as the 6th greatest middleweight of all time….and  BoxRec rates him the 29th greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound.  Many analysts and boxing writers consider Hagler to have one of the most durable chins in boxing history….while having been knocked down only once during the entire professional career….and the scored knockdown is still being disputed.


Boxing – 1980 To 1987 – Special – “4 Minutes Of Undisputed Middleweight Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s Best Sound Bites”                                                  

Hagler spent his early years in the Central Ward of Newark, New Jersey, , United States.  Former middleweight southpaw boxer Robbie Sims is Hagler’s brother.  Following the Newark Riots of July 12–17, 1967….in which 26 people were killed and $11 million in property damage was caused….as it included the destruction of the Haglers’ tenement….so, his family moved to Brockton, Massachusetts.



Boxing – 1973 To 1987 – ESPN Special – Teddy Atlas Pays Tribute To Marvelous Marvin Hagler


In 1969, Hagler took up boxing after being roughed up on the street by a local boxer….whom he later defeated….with his friends were watching….so, the very next day after being roughed up, Hagler, determined to become a boxer himself, walked into a gym owned by brothers Pat and Goody Petronelli….who became his trainers and managers.  Since Hagler needed to be 16 in order to enter some amateur tournaments, he lied about his age, saying that he was born in 1952 instead of 1954.  Hagler’s real birth year publicly came to light in 1982….when he had to state his date of birth in order to change his legal name from Marvin Nathaniel Hagler to Marvelous Marvin Hagler.  In 1973, Hagler won the National AAU 165-pound (75 kg) title after defeating a U.S. Marine from Atlanta, GA, Terry Dobbs….as he completed his amateur career with a 55–1 record.                                                         


Boxing – 1974 – 10 Rnd Middleweight Bout Highlights – Tracy Morrison Vs Marvin Hagler


Boxing – 1975 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout Highlights – Johnny Baldwin Vs Marvin Hagler


Hagler was a top-ranked middleweight boxer for many years before he fought for the title….when he struggled to find high-profile opponents willing to face him in his early years….that’s when Joe Frazier told Hagler, “You have three strikes against you, You’re black, you’re a southpaw, and you’re good.”  The truth be known, he often had to travel to his opponents’ hometowns to get fights.  His first break came when he was offered on two weeks’ notice, a chance against Willie ‘the Worm’ Monroe….who was being trained by Frazier…..as Hagler lost the decision but the fight was close….so Monroe gave him a rematch…..and this time Hagler knocked out Monroe in 12 rounds…..then in a 3rd fight, he defeated Monroe in two rounds.


Boxing – 1976 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout Highlights – Marvin Hagler Vs Willie “The Worm” Morrison – Fight 1


Boxing – 1977 – 12 Rnd Middlewt Bout Highlights – Marvin Hagler Vs Willie “The Worm” Morrison – Fight III


Boston promoters Rip Valenti took an interest in Hagler….and began bringing in top ranked opponents for Hagler to face…..and that is when he fought 1972 Olympics gold medalist Sugar Ray Seales….when Hagler won the 1st match….as the 2nd was a draw….and then Hagler knocked out Seales in the 3rd fight…..then # 1 ranked Mike Colbert was knocked out in the 12th and also had his jaw broken by Hagler…..after which Briton Kevin Finnegan was stopped in eight….as afterwards Finnegan required 40 stitches in his face.  He dropped a controversial decision to Bobby ‘Boogaloo’ Watts….but knocked out Watts in two rounds in a rematch…..then Hagler won a ten-round decision over ‘Bad’ Bennie Briscoe…..after which promoter Bob Arum took notice and signed him.


Boxing – 1979 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout – Sugar Ray Seales Vs Marvin Hagler – With Tim Ryan + Gil Clancy


Boxing – 1977 – 12 Rnd Middlewt Bout Highlights – Mike Colbert Vs Marvin Hagler


Boxing – 1976 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout – Marvin Hagler Vs. Bobby Watts – Fight 1


Boxing – 1980 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout Highlights – Bobby Watts Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Fight II – With Keith Jackson


Boxing – 1978 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout Highlights – “Bad” Bennie Briscoe Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler


In November 1979, Hagler fought World Middleweight Champion Vito Antuofermo at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada…..and after 15 rounds…. when most ringside observers thought that Hagler had won….even though Antuofermo had been closing the gap in the 2nd half of the fight…..as  Hagler claimed that referee Mills Lane said he won….but Lane denied ever saying it…..while Hagler claimed that he and many others were surprised when the decision was announced as a draw…..as Judge Duane Ford scored the fight in Hagler’s favor, 145–141….however, judge Dalby Shirley scored the bout for Antuofermo, 144–142…..while judge Hal Mller scored the fight even, 143–143.  This result only added to Hagler’s frustrations, as Antuofermo retained his title with the draw…..when Hagler had the boxing skills and killer instinct to knock his opponent out….but instead he played it safe as Antuofermo closed the gap late in the fight….and it cost Hagler the title.


Boxing – 1979 – 15 Rnd World Middlewt Title Fight – Marvelous Marvin Hagler Vs Vito Antuofermo – Fight I – With Howard Cosell



Boxing – 1980 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout – Loucif Hamani Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Tim Ryan + Gil Clancy


Boxing – 1980 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout – Marcus Geraldo Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Tim Ryan + Gil Clancy

Antuofermo lost his title later to British boxer Alan Minter….who gave Hagler his 2nd title shot….so, Hagler went to Wembley Arena to face Minter….where the tense atmosphere was stoked further when Minter was quoted as saying that “No black man is going to take my title”….as Minter later insisted he meant “that black man”…..as Hagler took command….and his slashing punches soon opened up the cut-prone Minter…..so, with Hagler dominating the action, referee Carlos Berrocal halted the fight during the 3rd round to have the four glaring cuts on Minter’s face examined…..and that is when Minter’s manager, Doug Bidwell, almost immediately conceded defeat.  Once Berrocal waved the bout off, a riot broke out among the spectators.  Clive Gammon of Sports Illustrated described the scene as “a horrifying ululation of howls and boos.”….as Hagler and his trainers had to be escorted to their locker room by a phalanx of policemen….while enduring a steady rain of beer bottles and glasses.  After seven years and 50 fights, Hagler was the World Middleweight Champion.                                                         


Boxing – 1980 – ABC Wide World Of Sports – 15 Rnd Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Marvin Hagler Vs Alan Minter – With Howard Cosell

Hagler proved a busy world champion….as he defeated future world champion Fulgencio Obelmejias of Venezuela by a knockout in eight rounds …..and then former world champ Antuofermo in a rematch by TKO in four rounds…..as both matches were fought at the Boston Garden near Hagler’s hometown….which endeared him to Boston fight fans.  Syrian born Mustafa Hamsho, who later defeated three-division world champion Wilfred Benítez and future world champion Bobby Czyz…..also became Hagler’s next challenger….while putting up a lot of resistance…..but being finally beaten in 11 tough rounds…..then Michigan fighter William “Caveman” Lee lasted only one round….and in a rematch in Italy, Obelmejias lasted five rounds…..which was followed by British Champion (and mutual Alan Minter conqueror) Tony Sibson landed on Hagler’s ever-growing list of unsuccessful challengers. Sibson provided one of the most entertaining fights up to this point of Marvelous Marvin’s career….but he ultimately fell short….while lasting six rounds…..and next came Wilford Scypion….who only lasted four rounds….so, by this time in his career, Hagler was a staple on HBO, the pay-per-view of its time.                                                                                                                                 


Boxing – 1981 – 15 Rnd World Middlewt Title Fight – Fulgencio Obelmejias Vs. Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant


Boxing – 1981 – 15 Rnd World Middlewt Title Fight – Vito Antuofermo Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Fight II – With Barry Tomkins + Don Dunphy + Larry Merchant


Boxing – 1981 – 15 Rnd Undisputed Middlewt Title Fight – Mustafa Hamsho Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Fight II – With Barry Tompkins + Larry Merchant + Sugar Ray Leonard


Boxing – 1982 – 15 Rnd Undisputed Middlewt Title Fight – Caveman Lee Vs Marvelous Marving Hagler – With Keith Jackson


Boxing – 1982 – 15 Rnd World Middlewt Title Fight – Fulgencio Obelmejias Vs. Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Fight II – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant


Boxing – 1983 – 15 Rnd Undisputed Middlewt Title Fight – Tony Sibson Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Larry Merchant + Sugar Ray Leonard



Boxing – 1983 – 15 Rnd Undisputed Middlewt Title Fight – Wilford Scypion Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Larry Merchant + Sugar Ray Leonard


A fight against Roberto Durán followed on November 10, 1983….as Durán was the 1st challenger to go the distance with Hagler in a world title bout….. when Durán was the WBA Light Middleweight Champion….and went up in weight to challenge for Hagler’s middleweight crown…..when Hagler won a unanimous 15-round decision….albeit after 13 rounds, Durán was ahead by one point on two scorecards and even on the 3rd…..as Hagler, with his left eye swollen and cut, came on strong in the last two rounds to win the fight. Judge Guy Jutras scored the bout 144–142. Judge Ove Ovesen scored it 144–143. Judge Yusaku Yoshida scored it 146–145 in the unanimous decision.                 


Boxing – 1982 – Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Roberto Duran Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant

Then came Juan Roldán of Argentina….who became the only man to be credited with a knockdown of Hagler…..when he scored the knockdown just seconds into the fight…..when Hagler protested bitterly that he had been pulled/pushed to the canvas…..then Hagler cut Roldan’s left eye….and  brutalized him over ten rounds….as the fight was finally stopped him in the middle of the 10th round.  Sugar Ray Leonard was calling the fight ringside with HBO analyst Barry Tompkins…..and he noted to Tompkins between rounds that Hagler looked older and slower. “Marvin might finally be slowing down, Barry,” Leonard remarked.  Many people believe this is the fight that gave Sugar Ray Leonard the idea that he could actually win a fight with the aging Hagler.  Hamsho was given a rematch….but the Syrian was again TKO’d….and this time in only three rounds.  Hamsho angered Hagler with a trio of intentional headbutts in the 2nd round….and a 4th early in the 3rd….while goading the normally patient and cautious Hagler into a full-out attack that left Hamsho battered and defenseless in a matter of seconds.               


Boxing – 1984 – Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Juan Domingo Roldan Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant

Boxing – 1984 – Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Mustafa Hamsho Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – Fight II – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant


On April 15, 1985, Hagler and Thomas Hearns met in what was billed as The Fight…. it became known as “The War”…..when in round one the fight crowd was treated to three minutes of violence…..for within the first fifteen seconds, Hearns landed his best punch, a straight right, onto Hagler’s chin…..and at that point, the champion stepped back, then came forward….. when he began walking through Hearns’ power punches…..then in round two, Hagler was cut on his head from an unintentional elbow or headbutt…. and despite the blood, the champion continued to push the fight forward…. whereas Hearns was fighting hurt as well….after suffering a broken right hand in the last minute of the 1st round.  The pace continued as before, but now Hearns was backing up/….and trying to move around the ring.  Hearns’ trainer Emanuel Steward later revealed Hearns had a leg massage, much to his dismay, before the fight….and therefore, Hearns’ legs were weakening by the end of the round.                                                                                                       


Boxing – 1985 – Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Thomas “Hitman” Hearns Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant

In round three, the pace of the fight slowed until Referee Richard Steele called a time out to have the ringside doctor examine the cut on Hagler’s head.  The crowd was on its feet for the next ten seconds….before the doctor allowed the fight to continue…..and when it did, Hagler charged the much taller Hearns….while drilling an overhand right behind Hearns’ ear….as the challenger’s legs wobbled….which Hagler saw and he literally when on the attack very quickly…..as Hearns toppled to the canvas….then rose at the count of eight….but collapsed into Referee Steele’s arms…..and the fight was then halted.  The fight lasted only eight minutes and one second….but it was  regarded as a classic rightfully so….for Bone Daddy was in Las Vegas for the fight….as he sat in the 3rd row….and by his first hand observation has commented often saying….“Hagler vs. Hearns was without a doubt the most riveting eight minutes of sports that I have ever seen in my life.  the action was so intense and exhilarating that my heart was literally pounding in my chest.”  Commentator Al Michaels uttered the famous line, “It didn’t go very far, but it was a beauty!”….which was a significant understatement from Bone Daddy’s perspective.  The fight was named “Fight of the Year” by The Ring.



Boxing – 1985 – Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Thomas “Hitman” Hearns Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant – Round 1 – “Greatest ound In Boxing History”


Boxing – 1985 – Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Thomas “Hitman” Hearns Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Sugar Ray Leonard + Larry Merchant – Round 1


Boxing – 1985 – Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Thomas “Hitman” Hearns Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – “The War – The Most Explosive Fight In Boxing Explained”


Boxing – 1985 – Special – Joe Rogan Looks Back on Hagler Vs Hearns

Next was Olympic silver medalist John Mugabi of Uganda….who was 26–0 with 26 knockouts….and was ranked the # 1 contender by all three major bodies (WBC, WBA and IBF).  This fight took place on March 10, 1986…..as Hagler had hurt his back and could not fight on the 1st date booked in 1985. Hagler stopped Mugabi in the 11th round of a brutal fight…..when many ringside observers, including analyst Gil Clancy, noticed that Hagler was showing signs of advanced ring wear and age.  He was much slower of hand and foot….and seemed much easier to hit…..plus, he had also completely morphed his ring style from a slick, quick-fisted, boxer/puncher to a strictly flat-footed, stalking, slugger to compensate for his loss of speed and reflexes.  Hagler was now said to be seriously considering retirement….as his promoter Bob Arum was quoted as saying he was expecting Hagler to retire in the face of being challenged by Sugar Ray Leonard.



Boxing – 1986 – Undisputed Middleweight Title Fight – John “The Beast” Mugabi Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Tim Ryan + Gil Clancy + Al Bernstein


However, Hagler’s next challenger was indeed Sugar Ray Leonard….who was returning to the ring after a three-year retirement (having fought just once in the previous five years).  During the pre-fight negotiations, in return for granting Hagler a larger share of the purse….that is when Leonard obtained several conditions which were crucial to his strategy….with a 22-by-22-foot (6.7 m × 6.7 m) ring instead of a smaller ring….10-ounce (280-gram) gloves instead of 8-ounce (230-gram) gloves…..and the fight was to be over 12 rounds instead of the 15 rounds favoured by Hagler.  Leonard was two years younger, had half as many fights, and unbeknownst to Hagler, had engaged in several ‘real’ (i.e. gloves, rounds, a referee, judges and no head gear) fights behind closed doors in order to shake off his ring rust. 



Boxing – 2018 – ESPN Classics Special – “Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Blame Marvelous Marvin Hagler” – With Brian Kenny


The fight took place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on April 6, 1987…..and Hagler was the clear betting favorite after a dominant six and a half years as the reigning undisputed middleweight champion of the world….while having knocked out all opponents as champion except in winning a very close unanimous decision over 15 rounds against Roberto Durán.  It was Leonard’s 1st fight as a middleweight (160 lb or 73 kg weight limit)…..and the fight was to be for Hagler’s WBC, Lineal and Ring middleweight titles only….as the WBA stripped Hagler of their belt for choosing to face Leonard instead of WBA mandatory challenger Herol Graham.  The IBF, while keeping Hagler as their champion, refused to sanction his fight against Leonard….and said that the IBF middleweight title would be declared vacant if Hagler lost to Leonard.                                                                                                                            


Boxing – 1987 – Undisputed World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Leonard Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler – With Barry Tompkins + Larry Merchant


Hagler, a natural southpaw, opened the fight boxing out of an orthodox stance…..and after the quick and slick Leonard won the 1st two rounds on all three scorecards….that’s when Hagler started the 3rd round as a southpaw…. and did much better….albeit Leonard’s superior speed and quick flurries kept him in the fight…..but by the 5th, Leonard, who was moving a lot, began to tire….and Hagler started to get closer…..then as Leonard tired he began to clinch with more frequency….when in total referee Richard Steele gave him over 30 warnings for holding….although never deducted a point.  Hagler buckled Leonard’s knees with a right uppercut near the end of the round….. which finished with Leonard on the ropes.  Hagler continued to score effectively in round six.  Leonard, having slowed down, was obliged to fight more and run less.



Boxing – 1987 – Special – The Debate Continues – Leonard Vs Hagler – “Who Really Won?”


In rounds seven and eight, Hagler’s southpaw jab was landing solidly and Leonard’s counter flurries were less frequent.  Round nine was the most exciting round of the fight….as Hagler hurt Leonard with a left cross and pinned him in a corner….for Leonard was in trouble…..then furiously tried to fight his way out of the corner.  The action see-sawed for the rest of the round….with each man having his moments.  Round ten was calmer even as Hagler continued to press forward….and Leonard slowly got a second wind…. as the pace slowed after the furious action of the previous round.  Clearly tiring, Leonard boxed well in the 11th…..and every time Hagler scored, Leonard came back with something flashier, if not as effective.  In the final round, Hagler continued to chase Leonard….when he hit Leonard with a big left hand….which backed him into a corner….but Leonard responded with a flurry and danced away….with Hagler in pursuit.  The fight ended with Hagler and Leonard exchanging along the ropes.  As the fight ended, Hagler began dancing in celebration of his performance…..while Leonard collapsed to the canvas and raised both his arms in triumph…..as Leonard threw 629 punches and landed 306….while Hagler threw 792 and landed 291.  From our perspective here at ImaSportsphile, the 291 punches that Hagler landed had far greater affect of Leonard than the 306 punches that Leonard landed….as evidenced by the physical condition that each fighter was in at the end of the bout….cuz Hagler was dancing around like a “young buck who had just outfought the best looking buck in the forest”….while Leonard could barely stand on his own two feet…..for he was totally spent.  Simply put, Hagler was robbed by judges who were impressed by “flash and dash” instead of by real boxing artistry.                                                                                                                    


Boxing – 1987 – Modern Martial Artist Special – “The Super Fight Explained” – Sugar Ray Leonard vs Marvin Hagler Fight Breakdown

Hagler later said that, as the fighters embraced in the ring after the fight, Leonard said to him, “You beat me, man.” Hagler said after the fight, “He said I beat him and I was so happy.” Leonard denied making the statement and said he only told Hagler, “You’re a great champion.” HBO cameras and microphones supported Hagler’s version of events.                                                      


Boxing – 1987 – Special Boxing Tribute – Sugar Ray Leonard Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler


Leonard was announced as the winner and new middleweight champion of the world by split decision (118–110, 115–113, 113–115)….which was a result that remains hotly disputed to this day.  The Hagler vs. Leonard fight divides fans, pundits, press, and ringside observers arguably more than any other fight in boxing history….with scorecards varying as widely as 117–111 Hagler to 118–110 Leonard….and everything in between.  The only near universally agreed views about the fight are that Hagler was foolish for starting the fight in an orthodox stance…..that Leonard won the first two rounds…..and that Hagler won the fifth round…..while every other round in the fight divides people as to who actually won it….or if the rounds were even.                      


Boxing – 1987 – Undisputed World Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Sugar Ray Leonard Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler


Official ringside judge JoJo Guerra, whose scorecard of 118–110 in favor of Leonard was derided in many quarters, commented that Leonard outpunched, outsmarted him, outboxed Hagler.  He looked just great.  Sugar Ray Leonard was making him miss a lot, and then counterpunching him. Sugar Ray Leonard was beating him to the punch. They should call him Marvelous Sugar Ray Leonard.  Boxing is the art of self-defense, and Sugar Ray was in command at all times. He was very fast and he was very clever. He made Marvin Hagler come to him. He dictated the fight.”  Upon a second viewing of the fight, while maintaining his belief that Leonard won the fight, Guerra acknowledged that he made a mistake and should have scored two more rounds for Hagler.  Duane Ford, chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, commented that Guerra probably would not be invited back to Las Vegas to judge a fight in the near future.  Judge Dave Moretti, who scored it 115–113 for Leonard, said Obviously, Hagler was the aggressor, but he was not the effective aggressor. You can’t chase and get hit and chase and get hit, and get credit for it. Besides, the hardest punching was by Leonard.”  Judge Lou Filippo, who scored it 115–113 for Hagler and felt that Hagler’s bodyshots and aggression earned him the nod, said Hagler was doing all the work. The referee, Richard Steele, warned Leonard at least once every round about holding.  Leonard fought in spurts.  Leonard would run in and grab and hold.  He did what he had to do.  But I can’t see a guy holding that much and getting points for it.”  Hugh McIlvanney, commenting in the British Sunday Times and Sports Illustrated said “What Ray Leonard pulled off in his split decision over Hagler was an epic illusion. He had said beforehand that the way to beat Hagler was to give him a distorted picture.  But this shrewdest of fighters knew it was even more important to distort the picture for the judges.  His plan was to “steal” rounds with a few flashy and carefully timed flurries and to make the rest of each three-minute session as unproductive as possible for Hagler by circling briskly away from the latter’s persistent pursuit.  When he made his sporadic attacking flourishes, he was happy to exaggerate hand speed at the expense of power, and neither he nor two of the scorers seemed bothered by the fact that many of the punches landed on the champion’s gloves and arms.”  McIlvanney also referred to Budd Schulberg’s contention about a ‘compound optical illusion’, namely that by being the underdog and more competitive than expected against the dominant undisputed champion in Hagler….which meant that Leonard appeared more effective….and to be doing more than he actually was.  Leonard himself had said to journalists before the fight “the reason I will win is because you don’t think I can”.  Harry Gibbs, the British judge who ironically had been rejected by Pat Petronelli from Hagler’s camp….and replaced by JoJo Guerra, said he scored it 115–113 for Hagler when he watched the fight at home.



Boxing – 1987 – Special – Pre-Fight And Post-Fight Interviews – Undisputed World Middlewt Title Fight – Sugar Ray Leonard Vs Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Hagler requested a rematch but Leonard chose to retire again….which was the 3rd of five high-profile retirements announced by Leonard during his professional boxing career….while having announced it beforehand. Fourteen months after their fight, Hagler retired from boxing in June 1988, declaring that he was “tired of waiting” for Leonard to grant him a rematch. Just a month after Hagler’s retirement, Leonard announced another boxing comeback to fight against WBC light-heavyweight champion Donny Lalonde at the 168-pound (76 kg) super-middleweight limit.  In 1990, Leonard finally offered Hagler a rematch which reportedly would have earned him $15 million….but he declined.  By then, Hagler had settled down into a new life as an actor in Italy….and was now uninterested in his past boxing life.  Hagler said “A while ago, yeah, I wanted him so bad, but I’m over that.”   At the 1994 Consumer Electronics Show Hagler and Leonard had a mock rematch by playing against each other in the video game Boxing Legends of the Ring ….while claiming that an actual rematch was being planned, though it never happened.                                                                                                                          


Boxing & Entertainment – 1985 – The David Letterman Show – With Guest Marvelous Marvin Hagler


After the loss to Leonard, Hagler moved to Italy, where he became a well-known star of action films…..as his roles included a U.S. Marine in the films Indio in 1989 and Indio 2 in 1991….then in 1997, he starred alongside Terence Hill and Giselle Blondet in Virtual Weapon.  Hagler also provided boxing commentary for British television….when another foray by Hagler into the entertainment field included work on the video game Fight Night: Round 3.                                                                                                                             


Movie – 1989 – Official Trailer – “Indio” – Starring Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Movie – 1991 – Official Trailer – “Indio II” – Starring Marvelous Marvin Hagler


Movie – 1997 – Clip From “Virtual Weapon” – Starring Terrance Hill + Marvelous Marvin Hagler

In May 2000, he married his second wife Kay, an Italian, in Pioltello, Italy.  On March 13, 2021, Hagler’s wife, Kay, announced that Hagler had died unexpectedly at his home in New Hampshire. He was 66.  His most notable accomplishments included being named Fighter of the Decade in the 1980’s by Boxing Illustrated…. named  Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year for 1983 and 1985 …..named The Ring Fighter of the Year for 1983 and 1985….inducted into both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993….and during the 2016 edition of “Sport Movies & TV – Milano International FICTS Fest” Hagler was awarded the Excellence Guirlande D’Honneur and entered in the FICTS Hall Of Fame.                                                                                                                           


Boxing – 2021 – John Houston Of South Moreton Boxing Club – Tribute To Marvelous Marvin Hagler

The video above provides a great tribute The Marvelous One ….as the death of this boxing legend hits home hard here at ImaSportsphile….cuz we have had such high regard for this magnificent warrior since the decade of the 1980’s….who didn’t get a shot at the middleweight title until his 50th fight ….after having to come through the cauldron of Philadelphia middleweight fighters…..and became the only undisputed champion in an age of fractured titles….who would not be moved….while knowing he had to knock out every challenger to his title….and became the face of boxing in the 1980’s.  Marvelous Marvin Hagler epitomized so much about a top blue coller….earn your stripes….work your way up the hard way type of mentality….and when you get there….do not let it go…..for this superb fighter, amazing man who left boxing with his health in tack….with all of his marbles still in tack…. which is really difficult to do in boxing….and he walked away….while never looking back as he forged another life…..but like The Marvelous One….who lived by example and daily action…..which taught a valuable lesson to us all who admired him….so, we will roll with it and keep fighting on….and no matter what this life throws at us…..or how we are mistreated or cheated….we will do our best and know in our hearts that we are champions.  R.I.P and God Bless to this fantastic amazing man….amazing fighter…. and amazing character….for will we see his like again?….I don’t know….but probably not.



Boxing – 2021 – ESPN First Take – Stephen A. And Max Remember Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Boxing – 2021 – Undisputed Special – Skip Bayless And Shannon Sharpe Say Goodbye To Marvelous Marvin Hagler



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