CBS SPORTS – One of the toughest and most beloved boxers of the modern era, former undisputed middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler died Saturday at age 66.
Hagler’s wife, Kay, confirmed the news with a post on her late husband’s Facebook fan page although no official cause of death was given.
The social media post read:
“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement. Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire. Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time. With love, Kay G. Hagler.”
Promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank later confirmed the news in a press release:
“Marvelous Marvin Hagler was among the greatest athletes that Top Rank ever promoted. He was a man of honor and a man of his word, and he performed in the ring with unparalleled determination. He was a true athlete and a true man. I will miss him greatly.”
A 1993 inductee to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Hagler made 12 defenses of the undisputed middleweight title he held from 1980 to 1987.
The native of Newark, New Jersey, who settled in Brockton, Massachusetts, as a teenager, went on to take part in a pair of the most memorable fights in the sport’s history.
Hagler (62-3-2, 52 KOs), a southpaw who switched stances with ease, stopped Thomas Hearns in the third round of their 1985 middleweight title bout known today simply as “The War.” The fight was instantly hailed as one of the most exciting, violent and dramatic title fights boxing has ever produced.
The final bout of Hagler’s 67-bout professional career remains nearly as memorable as the reigning 160-pound champion finally secured a fight against longtime rival Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987. The 12-round thriller, which Leonard won by split decision, remains one of the most disputed results to date.
Disgusted about the scoring in the Leonard fight, Hagler would never fight again …
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marvelous Marvin Hagler (born Marvin Nathaniel Hagler; May 23, 1954 – March 13, 2021) was an American professional boxer and film actor who competed in boxing from 1973 to 1987.
He reigned as undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987, making twelve successful defenses of that title, and holds the highest knockout percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions, at 78 percent, while also holding the third-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 second-longest of the last century, behind only Tony Zale, whose reign included several years of inactivity during his service in 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 (1980s) by Boxing Illustrated magazine, and twice named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America.
In 2001 and 2004, The Ring named him the fourth greatest middleweight of all time and in 2002 named him the 17th greatest fighter of the past 69 years. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Hagler as the 6th greatest middleweight of all time, while 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, having been knocked down only once during the entire professional career, and the scored knockdown is still being disputed.