When people discuss the greatest boxers of all time, Marvelous Marvin Hagler (62-3-2, 52 KOs) is a fighter who will forever be a part of that conversation. The legendary middleweight reigned supreme as the undisputed champion from 1980 to 1987. In this dominating period, he made twelve successful title defences, with eleven – coming by knockout. Hagler had a granite chin and unbelievable stamina. He had a deadly left hand, often inflicting damage on opponents, as in his rematch against Vito Antuofermo.
Despite three losses, including a defeat against Sugar Ray Leonard, the Newark-born fighter enjoyed a phenomenal career, and it’s time Big Fight Weekend paid their respects to the late great Marvin Hagler.
5 Memorable Marvelous Marvin Hagler Fights
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Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Roberto Duran
On November 10, 1983, Hagler went toe-to-toe with three-division world champion Roberto Duran in a back-and-forth gruelling 15-round clash. Both fighters seemingly were aware of the strengths of the other and attempted to box at range, looking to counter-punch effectively – making the fight a largely tactical spectacle. The Newark-born fighter pulled away as both tired and Hagler impressed more in close quarters in the closing rounds. His punch selection was impressive and more accurate than his opponent, which ensured he won via unanimous decision with the judge’s scorecards reading 144-142, 144-143, and 146-145.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns
Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns treated us to an unbelievable action-packed three rounds of boxing. Hearns began the sharper, stunning Hagler with a huge right hand in the opening round. He couldn’t capitalise on this early success and actually broke his hand. Marvelous was cut badly with the fight on the verge of being stopped – he rallied and floored Hearns under a flurry of heavy right hands, with the referee subsequently waving the fight off. Both fighters contributed to an unbelievable action-packed three rounds, making it one of the greatest fights of all time.
Wembley Arena on September 27, 1980, was the venue and date for Hagler vs. Alan Minter as Marvelous challenged the Brit for the WBC and WBA middleweight titles. Hagler established his jab promptly and began dismantling Minter in the second round, working off the jab and landing a succession of heavy shots, which forced the London fighter into survival mode. The American challenger landed two significant right hands in the third round, staggering Minter. These blows inflicted a nasty-looking cut, and ultimately, the referee waved the bout off, awarding Hagler the titles.
On February 11, 1983, Hagler went up against British fighter Tony Sibson. The American fighter was flawless as he picked off Sibson at will – with a succession of bomb-like punches. He switched stances and moved around the ring brilliantly, making it difficult for the Brit to land any punch of note. Hagler had his opponent’s face considerably marked up early in the fight. Sibson was brave and tried to throw back as much as possible, but truth be told, he struggled to land a telling blow on Hagler. The Brit was pounced on in round six – as Hagler unloaded a vicious beating with both hands, with sickening hooks attacking the brave English fighter, sending him to the canvas. Sibson bravely continued and tried to go toe-to-toe with Marvelous but was floored again and ultimately had to be saved by the referee.
Almost one year after his historic win over Hearns, an ageing Marvelous took on the undefeated John Mugabi, who showed he was fearless from the first bell. Hagler, by this point was ageing and slowing down, but inexplicably decided to go toe-to-toe with the big punching Ugandan.
Hagler soon switched back to Southpaw and began tagging Mugabi at will with his powerful jab. Both men were prepared to engage and throw bombs at each other throughout. The American was at his best when he used his jab effectively, but Mugabi’s power was always a live threat throughout the fight.
Despite Hagler’s best efforts, he couldn’t slow the Ugandan fighter down as he continued to move forward and attack. As the fight progressed, Marvelous continued to be the first to the punch, and this seemed to wear the challenger down – and under a series of devastating right hands from Hagler, Mugabi found himself on the canvas – and was unable to beat the count awarding Hagler the win in what was an all-out war.