On March 13th of this year, the boxing family received hard news almost impossible to believe, the legendary Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of the best middleweights in the history of the sport, passed away unexpectedly.
Honoring and respecting what he would have wanted, his beautiful life partner, Kay, informed us that the family was not thinking of arranging a funeral… “Marvin hated funerals” 4 words that perfectly described the great Hagler.
A tough man, able to train and run with work boots under a harsh snowfall, a champion willing to face anyone, anywhere… An imposing fighter who caused terror in his opponents and strangers, but at the same time a hilarious, noble and caring human being.
Hagler’s legacy inside the ring is immense, although we often only consider the spectacular war he waged against Thomas Hearns, and how could we not? Even round 1 of that bout is considered by many to be the best boxing round of all time.
Something that also describes Hagler a lot is his professional record and I don’t mean the cold analysis of his impressive numbers: 62 wins with 52 KO’s, 3 losses and 2 draws. What we discover in their numbers is the constant search for perfection, the intentionality to learn, to get up and work to build their best possible version.
His first draw was against Sugar Ray Seales on November 26, 1974, five years later he avenged that result. His second draw was in his first title fight when he challenged champion Vito Antuofermo. Hagler regrouped, won the crown and successfully defended his titles against Vito by dispatching him in 3 rounds.
His first loss was to Bobby Watts by majority decision in 1976, four years later he knocked him out in only 2 rounds. That same year and two months after being defeated by Watts, Willie Monroe also defeated him. Eleven months later he took revenge and defeated him by TKO in the twelfth round.
Mavin fought from 1973 to 1987. He was the undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987, he had twelve successful defenses. His KO percentage as undisputed champion was 78 percent.
He faced and defeated fighters like Fulgencio Obelmejias, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, John Mugabi, Mustafa Hamsho, among many others. During his fourteen year career, he fought on average 5 times a year. He travelled to the UK, Monaco, Canada, Italy and Germany to face the best rivals. The only loss he failed to avenge was against Sugar Ray Leonard and even today, many fans believe he deserved another result.
Hagler’s departure shocked the boxing world; however, we are sure that his memories will be preserved as we remember not only his great moments inside the ring but also his will to live life, but above all, the ways in which he decided to live, always going forward looking for the KO no matter the size, strength or ability of the opponent in turn.
Hagler hated funerals, so the best way we can honor his memory is to remember him with affection and joy for the simple reason of having had the privilege of coinciding in time and space with the best middleweight of all time.
You will always be in our hearts and minds, Marvelous.