“I miss being punched. Seriously, I really loved the art of boxing.”—Marvin Hagler
Former middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler was born on May 23, 1954, 62 years ago today, in Newark, New Jersey.
He spent his formative years in Newark. After the 1967 riots, Hagler and his family packed up and moved to Brockton, Massachusetts, birthplace of the Brockton Blockbuster, the one and only Rocky Marciano.
In 1969, Hagler began boxing under the watchful eye of Pat and Goody Petronelli, who became his trainers and managers.
Hagler turned pro in 1973 and went unbeaten for three years. His first loss was to Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts in 1976, Hagler’s annus horribilis, followed by a loss to Willie “The Worm” Monroe two months later.
Both fights were later avenged.
Hagler went undefeated for a decade, defeating the likes of Sugar Ray Seales, Vito Antuofermo, Alan Minter, Fulgencio Obelmejias, Mustafa Hamsho, Roberto Duran, Juan Domingo Roldan, Thomas Hearns, and John Mugabi.
An exemplary world champion, Hagler won the WBA World middleweight title in 1980 by stopping Alan Minter at Wembley Stadium and defended the title 11 times over the course of seven years.
Hagler’s war with Thomas Hearns in 1985, nicknamed The Fight, is among the greatest three rounds in boxing history.
In his last fight on April 6, 1987, against Sugar Ray Leonard, Hagler lost a controversial split decision to end a marvelous career.
Hagler’s record at the time of his retirement was 62-3-2 with 52 KOs.
He was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993, his first year of eligibility.
Happy Birthday to a great champion!
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.