On March 13th this year, the saddest of days, as our boxing family reeled and then shuddered with sheer shock, shedding tears, at the stark announcement that legendary Marvelous Marvin Hagler, the all time great middleweight, had unexpectedly passed away.
Honoring and respecting what he himself would have wanted, his beautiful life partner, Kay, informed us, that the family was not thinking about organizing a funeral…”Marvin hated funerals” Three words that perfectly described the fundamental essence of The Great Man.
The toughest most dedicated individual, capable of running countless miles in army boots through snow, wind and rain, to shine. A champion willing himself to face and overcome anything and everything in his path, during and enduring mostly brief encounters. An imposing figure who instilled and drilled trepidation into his opponents. Yet aside from boxing ring rigors, a kind, caring, noble, supportive and forever constant friend.
Marvelous Marvin`s contribution and legacy in the ring is incalculable and lasting. Eternity defines him, in his finest moment, in the spectacular war against Thomas Hearns.
Boxing experts and fans marveled at that first off the charts round of pure ferocity and welling intensity, when Marvin and Tommy threw caution to the wind, cast aside textbook boxing and fought their hearts out, to bring the audience to their feet, gasping in wonderment. While whole heartedly giving a roaring standing ovation to two boxers fighting flat out, expanding and expending, rather than conserving their vast reservoirs of power. Greatness revered!
Something that also describes Hagler perfectly, is his professional record, which doesn’t just signify the pure analysis of his impressive stats, but what we also discover in all this, is the constant quest for perfection, the intention to learn, to get ahead, striving to build a legacy. The sum equals its parts.
His first draw was against Sugar Ray Seales on November 26, 1974. Five years later he avenged that result. His second draw, which proved controversial, because he dominated, was in his first title fight, when he challenged champion Vito Antuofermo. Disappointed, but characteristically undeterred or unabashed, Marvin refocused, regrouped and put it beyond any doubt, overwhelming Alan Minter, to conquered the crown and successfully defended his title against Vito by dispatching him in 3 rounds. Mission accomplished!
His first loss early in his career was to Bobby Watts by majority decision in 1976. Characteristically, tying up all loose ends, four years later he knocked him out in just 2 rounds. That same year and two months after being defeated by Watts, Willie Monroe also defeated him. Eleven months later, Marvin exacted sweet revenge, wearing him down and then beating him by resounding TKO in the twelfth round.
Mavin fought from 1973 to 1987. He was the undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987, had achieved twelve magnificently successful defenses. His KO percentage as the undisputed champion was 78 percent.
He faced and defeated excellent fighters Fulgencio Obelmejias, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns, John Mugabi, Mustafa Hamsho, among so many others. During his fourteen-year career, he fought an average of 5 times per year.
He traveled to the UK, Monaco, Canada, Italy and Germany to face the best of best. He was never KO´d. The only loss he couldn’t avenge was against Sugar Ray Leonard and even today, many fans believe he deserved another result. He retired after seeking but not being given the opportunity of a rematch.
Marvin Hagler‘s departure shocked and greatly saddened the boxing world; However, we are sure that his memories and feats will be preserved for posterity. We fondly remember not only his great moments in the ring but also his zest for life. Above all, the ways in which he decided to live all days of his precious time on earth. A winner all the way and in every way.
Marvin Hagler hated funerals, so for that reason, in earned, deserved and full respect, the best way in which we can honor his memory is to always remember him with love and joy, just for the simple reason of having had the magnificent privilege of coinciding in time and space with the best middleweight of all time. There will NEVER be another!
You will always be in our hearts and minds, Marvelous Marvin.