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Marvelous Marvin Hagler (1954–2021), former middleweight boxing champion

by Linnea Crowther

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was a boxer who held the middleweight championship from 1980 to 1987.


Hagler had a 55-1 record in his amateur career, winning the U.S. National Championship in 1973. He went pro that same year, ranking high among middleweights before taking the world championship from Alan Minter in 1980. Hagler successfully defended his title 12 times, including notable bouts with Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns, and John Mugabi. It was Sugar Ray Leonard who ended Hagler’s long reign as middleweight champion in a Las Vegas fight that ended in a split decision. Hagler retired not long after his loss. Named Fighter of the Decade (1980s) by Boxing Illustrated and a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Hagler is frequently ranked among the all-time greatest middleweights. In his professional career, his record was 62-3 with 52 knockouts. In 1982, he had “Marvelous” legally added to his name.

Hagler on his retirement

“Why do you want to hang around after all your hard work and let someone get lucky and destroy your record. After I had nothing to prove to myself, it was the best thing to walk away.” —from a 2014 interview with Ring magazine


Tributes to Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Full obituary: The New York Times

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