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Article by Rick Mohamed
Marvin Nathaniel Hagler was born May 23, 1954 in Newark, New Jersey; after the devastating Newark Riots, his family moved to Brockton, Massachusetts in 1967.
He was beaten up by a local boxer. The next day, he began boxing training with brothers Pat and Goody Petrocelli at their gym. He later beat up that bully. He lied about his age, saying he was born in 1952 instead of 1954 in order to enroll in amateur boxing tournaments sooner.
He won the 165 lb. division AAU amateur boxing tournament. He amassed a record of 55-1. He turned pro soon after.
After putting together an impressive pro career for years, he finally earned his very first title shot, vs. middleweight champion Vito Antuofermo at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. After 15 rounds, many felt Hagler ha won, but the fight was ruled a draw, with Antuofermo retaining his title.
He finally won the middleweight title, beating Britain’s Alan Minter by TKO in 4 rounds. He was the most dominant middleweight champion. From 1980 to 1987, he KO’s 10 of 11 challengers. These fighters included a rematch with Vito Antuofermo by TKO in the 4th round, Mustafa Hamsho (2) by TKO in 11 rounds, and 3 rounds in the rematch, and other notable fighters of the day. Only Roberto Duran, whom he defeated by decision in 1983, avoided being knocked out by the champion.
When announcers did not include his ring name of Marvelous, he legally changed his name. Thus, Marvelous Marvin Hagler became his name.
He fought Detroit’s Motor City Cobra, Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns on April 15. This fight was later named “The War”, for it’s all-out brawling, no-holds barred fighting that resulted in Hagler’s winning by TKO in the 3rd round. Many describe this fight as “8 minutes of fury”.
After defeating fierce challenger John “The Beast” Mugabi in 11 tough rounds by TKO in 1986, he agreed to fight Sugar Ray Leonard on April 6. In one of boxing’s most argued decisions, Leonard won a split decision. Many scored Hagler as the winner, while others saw Leonard as the victor. Two judges were split, each scoring the fight 115-113. One judged Leonard as the winner, te other chose Hagler. The 3rd judge chose Leonard as the winner 118-110.
This wound prove to be Hagler’s last fight. He retired in disgust. He later went to Italy and became an acclaimed action movie star.
He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, having amassed a record of 62–3–2 (52 KOs).
Notable Career Accomplishments
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