The middleweight boxing legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler died Saturday at the age of 66.
According to Breitbart, Hagler’s wife Kay announced the sad news in a Facebook post.
“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement,” she wrote, as Breitbart reported. “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.”
Longtime champion gone too soon
In a career spanning 14 years, Hagler lost only three fights out of 67 and earned 52 knockouts. Knocked down only once during his time in the ring, he was the “undisputed middleweight champion” from 1980 until 1987, when he lost the title to Sugar Ray Leonard in a controversial, 12-round split decision, according to a report from Cox Media Group.
One of the biggest fighters of the 1980s, Hagler defended his title 12 times during a period that many consider a classic era of boxing, led by names like Hagler, Leonard, Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns, Breitbart reported.
Hagler’s dynamic, ultra-violent three-round fight with Hearns in 1985 is regarded as one of the greatest.
“I can’t take anything away from him,” Hearns said in an interview, according to Breitbart. “His awkwardness messed me up but I can’t take anything away from him. He fought his heart out and we put on a great show for all time.’’
“I live it”
Hagler quit boxing after Leonard refused a rematch and took up acting, but not before earning his place in history as one of the toughest and most celebrated boxers of his day, and indeed of all time.
“He was certainly one of the greatest middleweights ever but one of the greatest people that I’ve ever been around and promoted,” said promoter Bob Arum, according to Breitbart. “He was a real man, loyal and just fantastic person.”
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Hagler rose from greatness in Boston. He won his championship title in 1980 against Alan Minter in London after failing to win his first title fight against Vito Antuofermo the year before.
The southpaw had his name legally changed to “Marvelous” in 1982, according to The Mercury News. He was a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and World Boxing Hall of Fame.
“If they cut my bald head open, they will find one big boxing glove,” Hagler once said, according to Breitbart. “That’s all I am. I live it.”