One of the great middleweights in boxing history, Marvelous Marvin Hagler died Saturday at the age of 66. His wife, Kay, announced his death on the Facebook page for Hagler’s fans.
“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement,” she 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.”
Hagler fought on boxing’s biggest stages against its biggest names, as he, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, and Roberto Duran dominated the middleweight classes during an iconic golden age of boxing in the 1980s.
He won a 15-round decision over Roberto Duran, knocked out Hearns, and lost the controversial decision to Leonard. Together, those four were dubbed “The Four Kings,” and dominated boxing during that era.
Hagler was unmistakable in the ring, fighting out of a southpaw stance with his bald head glistening in the lights. He was relentless and he was vicious, being intentional about every blow to his opponents. He fought 67 times over 14 years as a pro out of Brockton, Massachusetts, finishing 62-3-2 with 52 knockouts.
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. His reign as undisputed middleweight champion is the second-longest of the last century
“If they cut my bald head open, they will find one big boxing glove,” Hagler once said. “That’s all I am. I live it.”
But he was wrong. There was more to him than boxing and the boxing world soon found that out.
In 1985, Hagler stopped Thomas Hearns in a fight that lasted less than eight minutes yet was so epic that people still talk about it today as one of boxing’s biggest moves.
Two years later, Hagler was so disgusted after losing a decision to Sugar Ray Leonard that he never fought again.