Boxing legend Marvin Hagler has died aged 66.
Hagler, a former undisputed world middleweight champion, held a record of 62-3-2 and won 52 fights by knockout. He led his division until a controversial decision loss to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987, which was his last fight.
“Today, unfortunately, my beloved husband, Marvelous Marvin, unexpectedly passed away at his home here in New Hampshire,” his wife Kay Hagler wrote on Facebook.
Hagler was known to be ill, but the cause of death has not been confirmed.
“The wonderful Marvin Hagler was among the greatest athletes Top Rank has ever promoted,” said Bob Arum, President of Top Rank.
“He was a man of honor and a man of his word, and he played in the ring with unprecedented determination. He was a true athlete and a true man. He will be sorely missed.”
Hagler has defended his world middleweight titles 12 times. He is considered one of the greatest fighters of all time and possibly the best southpaw.
“I’ve gotten meaner since I became champion,” he told Sports Illustrated in 1982. “They’re all trying to take something from me that I have worked long and hard for years, and I love the feeling of being a champion.
“There’s a monster coming out of me in the ring. I think it goes back to when I had nothing. It’s hunger. I think that’s the monster, and he still is. the.”
Hagler first won the WBA and WBC middleweight titles from Alan Minter via TKO in the third round, at Wembley Arena in September 1980. He won the inaugural IBF crown with a fourth round knockout from Wilford Scypion in May 1983, which he followed later that year by beating Roberto Duran.
Hagler won the classic fight known as “The War” against Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns in April 1985, via a third round knockout. The first round of this fight is arguably the biggest in boxing history, a vicious and relentless slugfest. Hagler also knocked out John Mugabi ahead of his fateful clash with Leonard.
“If they open my bald head, they’ll find a big boxing glove. That’s all I am. I live it,” Hagler once said of his career.
Hagler legally changed his name to add the nickname of “ Marvelous ” in 1982, annoyed that ring announcers were not using his nickname. He has become iconic and will never be forgotten by those who witnessed his career.
Hagler was born in Newark, New Jersey, and moved with his family to Brockton, Massachusetts, in the late 1960s. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. in 1983.
– with AP
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