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Boxing Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler Has Died At Age 66

Marvin Hagler, who went by the nickname “Marvelous” for his dominance of middleweight boxing, has died, his wife, Kay G. Hagler, announced on Facebook. He was 66.

“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement,” his wife wrote. “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.”

The cause of death was not immediately revealed.

Hagler was the undisputed middleweight champion from 1980-87, recording 52 knockouts during his career.

Hagler took part in multiple notable bouts, but perhaps none as illustrious as when he squared off with Thomas Hearns on April 15, 1985, in what was first known as “The Fight.” It was later dubbed, “The War.”

Hearns seemed to dominant in the first two rounds, with Hagler first taking a massive shot on the chin, then getting cut after what was either an intentional elbow or headbutt.

But the champion Hagler rebounded in the third round, knocking out Hearns with an overhand right just behind Hearns’ ear. Hearns became wobbled, giving Hagler an opportunity to attack. The result was Hearns toppling to the canvas and referee Richard Steele stopping the fight after an eight count.

The fight last just eight minutes and one second, but was considered an instant classic. The Ring magazine called it the “fight of the year.”

Hagler still holds the highest knockout percentage of any undisputed middleweight champions at 78%. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and World Boxing Hall of Fame.

In 1982, annoyed that boxing announcers refused to call him by his nickname, he had his legal name changed to Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

The Ring named him the fourth greatest middleweight of all time in 2001, and the 17th greatest fighter of the past 80 years in 2002.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico is the assistant managing editor-newsdesk at OutKick. He is also the co-founder and senior writer at Hoopswire.com, and has covered the NBA for nearly 20 years, including his time at Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and CBS Sports. A native of Akron, Ohio, his writing career began in Wyoming.

14 Comments

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  1. Yep, the greatest 1st Round of Boxing of All-Time. Was a big fan of his back then. He could fight either right-hander or southpaw, and transition between the two with uncanny skill.

  2. Hagler was as tough as they come…..and he was robbed by the judges in the fight with Leonard. I, too, was duped in the moment, but after watching the fight numerous times later, it was obvious Hagler won almost every round, that Leonard lost the first 2:30 of most rounds but finished with a flurry to end the rounds. The judges got caught up in the roar of the crowd and scored the rounds like they were fans themselves.

  3. I’m not sure Floyd Mayweather is undefeated if he boxed in that era. Those were some very bad dudes in middleweight in the 80s. Good luck running through Hagler, Leonard, Hearns, Duran. Not happening. Greatest era of boxing ever.

  4. Never knew how MMH could move as well as he could in the ring, with the size of the brass ones he had to carry in his trunks. 4th best middleweight ever? bs, the greatest mw of all time. Who would’ve beat him? Not Carlos Monzon, not anyone. I so admired him for retiring when he was robbed of the decision against leonard. The illusion of victory is what the great boxing writer Hugh Mcllvanney called that travesty of a decision. Great memories I have from the marvelous one, and will be hoisting a cold one for you tonight.

    • Since both of my sons were born in the 80’s I always call it the greatest era. It was an incredible point in time. Marvelous Marvin, Hearns, Leonard, Duran, Tyson, Elway, Montana, Rice, LT, Magic, Bird, Jordan’s rise, Gretzky, Ripkin, Van Halen, and can’t leave out SRV.

  5. my son asked me once if all the great stuff came from the 80’s and i said YES, but some came from the late 70’s

    Hagler v Leonard was the greatest non heavyweight fight i ever saw. Leonard fought for his life and could barely weaken Hagler. But he won. Wow.

    rip Marvelous.

  6. My 8th grade history teacher said we would always remember 89, the year the wall came down in Germany and the Soviet Union finally realized communism was a failure.

    Yet another great event of the 80’s that sadly does not get the credit it deserves thanks to our looney tunes media and so called higher education system.

    I also don’t think movies ever got much better than the 80’s, so many classics from John Hughes, Eddie Murphy, Caddyshack, Hoosiers, Major League, the Outsiders, the Lost Boys, Platoon and Full Metal Jacket… you could go on for hours recounting all the classics.

  7. Great job, Mr. Amico. This really took me back. I’m not sure it it was the best ever decade of boxing – perhaps the 50-s thru 70s have an argument – but certainly nothing since then has come close.

    Peace, Marvelous, and thank you for the memories.

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