DID MARVIN HAGLER RUIN LEGACY WITH GREED?

March 17th, 2014 By Pedro Fernandez

Rare Photo of Marvin Hagler With Hair

HOW WILL HISTORIANS RATE MARVIN HAGLER?

San Francisco, CA- Having spent some time around Marvin Hagler when he had so-called “private” training sessions at Johnny Tocco’s Ringside Gym in Las Vegas, NV, as well my covering Hagler from his early days to his final stand against Ray Leonard, I have both the acumen and experience to expand on this subject.

“MARVELOUS MARVIN” WASN’T BOTN MARVELOUS

Born in the Central Ward of Newark, NJ in what Marvin claims to be 1954, his date of birth has always been a matter of question. That being said, after the riots of 1969 Hagler’s family moved to Massachusetts and soon thereafter he met Goody and Pat Petronelli, the two men that would be with him from day one in boxing to his ring finale in 1987.

PETRONELLI BROS. DIDN’T KNOW MUCH!

Hagler won the National AAU Golden Glove title in 1973 and turn professional soon afterwards. He would rack up 17 straight wins before having a ten round draw with 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist “Sugar Ray” Seales in Seattle, WA. Hagler had beat Seales a few fights earlier with a unanimous nod captured live on Massachusetts TV. In their third tango, Hagler stopped Seales in 1979 inside of a round.

SEATTLE’S “SUGAR RAY” A SHELL THIRD TIME

“Sugar Ray” was washed up and nearly blind. Prior to that, Hagler had lost two fights, both unanimous ten round decisions to Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts and Willie “The Worm” Monroe. Hagler would avenge both setbacks with identical TKO 2 endings.

HAGLER’S MARCH MARRED BY BAD JUDGING

In 1979, Hagler had not yet changed his first name to Marvelous,” he was still Maa-vin. But after having beaten both men who had wins over him in Philadelphian’s Watts and Monroe, the Brockton resident was essentially unbeaten and certainly on a march towards the World middleweight (160 lb.) title.

DAY I HEARD OF JUDGE DALBY SHIRLEY

His first crack at the championship came in 1979 and I can recall the announcers referring to Marvin as the “29-year old challenger.” Had he been born in 1954, which he later claimed Marvin would have only been 25, thus the controversy as to how old he really is came to life soon thereafter.

ONLY FIGHT DALBY ADMITTED HE BLEW!

In a stunning decision after 15 rounds, Dalby Shirley, as inept or worse had Vito Antuofermo winning 144-142, an incredible score seeing Hagler seemed to have handily won. Judge Duane Ford had it right with Hagler up 145-141, while the third jurist Hal Miller sat on the fence with a 143-143 score.

HAGLER HOLLERED & WAS VITO WITH MOB?

Although he had never whined, bitched or moaned before, Hagler’s disappointment with the decision was not one he kept to himself. While there were some rumors abound that Antuofermo was controlled by the Mafia, I could never find anything to substantiate that as I thought it was just some silly stereotype bantered about because Vito was Italian.

SECOND SHOT AT GLORY WITH NEW CHAMP

Three wins later over Loucif Mahini (20-1), his aforementioned TKO 2 over Bobby Watts and a UD 10 over rugged Marcos Geraldo, (whom I believe first injured “Sugar Ray” Leonard’s eye in 1979) Marvin traveled to London IN September 1980 to face then champion Alan Minter who wrested the title from Antuofermo.

ANOTHER NIGHT BRITISH FANS “LOSE IT”

Figuratively speaking, Hagler kicked the spit of Minter and the English fans were more Soccer game-like hooligans on that evening as they rioted after Marvin stopped Minter in less than three rounds with a one-side beat down of the tissue thin skinned Englishman.

RIOT FORCED HAGLER INTO HIS DRESSING ROOM

Forced to flee the ring because of an incoming barrage of bottles and the like, Hagler if I remember right wasn’t given the title belt in the ring, nor was he interviewed on American TV who was airing the bout.

FOES GUNNED DOWN ONE AFTER ANOTHER

From that point forward Hagler set forth on a pattern of destruction that resulted in 12 straight defenses against the likes of Antuofermo, Mustafa Hamsho (twice), Fulgencio Obelmejias (twice), Wilford Sypion, Caveman Lee, Juan Roldan, the 1985 thriller with Tommy Hearns, and the 1986 grueling battle of will with John “The Beast” Mugabi. These defenses were all knockouts with the lone exception being a UD 15 over Roberto Duran.

MARVIN “FEARED OR GOT OLD” VS. ROBERTO DURAN

Duran-Hagler Exchange Jabs

As I sat ringside in Las Vegas in November 1983 with Duran having rebuilt his career after the “No Mas” debacle against Ray Leonard in 1980 and his sloppy 1981 ESPN decision loss to Kirkland Laing on ESPN, Duran accomplished this by stopping both Pipino Cuevas in January 1983 and WBA 154 lb. guy Davey Moore in June. Duran was thought pre-fight to be lunchmeat for Marvin.

DURAN LOSES LATE ROUNDS & FIGHT

But Roberto prepared himself well and was ahead, albeit controversially after 12 heats with his popping Hagler with straight right hands. Incredibly, some people call it over respect, others labeled it fear, but Duran would go 15 rounds and lose 144-142, 146-145 and 144-143.

WHAT MADE MARVIN BLINK?

Instead of trying to run roughshod over the smaller and former lightweight (135) champ, Hagler tried to box Duran a slick practitioner who brought his A-game to the outside arena at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

SOLD MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE FOR CASH

Marvin did much the same thing three years later with Ray Leonard only this time he had sold all but his soul to Leonard in pre-fight negotiations. Size of the ring, gloves used, the 12-round distance instead of the then traditional 15, Hagler sold each of these making his purse in excess of $23 million.

DURAN FIGHT GAVE LEONARD NOTION HE COULD BEST MARVIN

Ray told me in 1989 that it was the Duran fight that convinced him that he could at the very least compete if not beat Hagler, especially after watching Marvin extend himself and take a lot of punishment in his 1986 fight with John “The Beast” Mugabi.

CALLING HAGLER LEGACY INTO QUESTION!

First of all, I’m of the opinion that if Marvin had other trainers and not the Petronelli’s, Marvin would have probably steamrolled Duran and Leonard. But there is another intangible nobody wants to air, that being Marvin was scared to an extent of both Leonard and Duran. As for the Petronelli’s, they kept telling Marvin during the Leonard fight, “Keep doin’ what you’re doing Marv.” What fight were these guys looking at? With few, if any real dominant rounds Hagler was not only ill advised, but he was also under performing.

BIGGEST WINS WERE AGAINST SMALLER GUYS

When you look at the resume of Marvin Hagler, the egotist that again legally changed his first name to “Marvelous,” you see that the only real Hall of Fame fighters he faced were Leonard, Duran and Hearns who had peaked at lower weights. Granted Obelmejias was unbeaten, Hamsho was tough as was Sypion, Minter wasn’t much and Antuofermo isn’t a guy historians will rave about. While Hagler did beat the best middleweights of his time, they simply weren’t Hall of Famers.

Leonard Connects On Hagler

LEONARD SCORING NOT SO CONTROVERSIAL!

Longtime Boston newspaper writer George Kimball, who passed away a couple of years ago scored the 1987 fight between Hagler and Ray Leonard for Leonard. I had it 7-5 for Leonard sitting ringside. The lone official judge that Marvin in front after 12 was the late Lou Fillipo who tabbed things 7-5 (115-113) for Hagler. Marvin said he was so disgusted with the decision that he would never box again and didn’t. When I saw him in Mexico City a decade or so ago, Marvin was still of the opinion he had won. His record was 62-3-2 with 52 KOs.

THE LAST WORD ON MARVIN HAGLER

When I saw Hagler walking a few hours before the Leonard fight with Goody Petronelli on Paradise Rd., which is adjacent to the Las Vegas strip, Marvin looked as if were in a daze and not a man beaming with confidence. In closing, while he was the best for six years of the 1980s, I don’t think Marvin should be rated over Carlos Monzon or “Sugar Ray” Robinson as middleweight champion. I do feel he would have beaten Bernard Hopkins but had trouble with both Michael Nunn and James Toney. But as far as being the greatest middleweight ever, Marvin isn’t seeing he sold his soul before getting in the ring with Leonard.

Pedro Fernandez

COMMENTS

  1. What is this? lets bash the legends of boxing week? first chavez and now hagler? hagler was great, plain and simple,,at least chavez fought taylor and hagler fought leonard, more than i could say about pacquioa and mayweather huh

    Mario on August 22nd, 2012 at 11:31 PM
  2. I was around when this was all going down Mario, you were not. I had many fights, won titles, was ranked nationally, you were not. Mario, you can’t even type the english language correctly.

    Pedro Fernandez on August 23rd, 2012 at 12:06 AM
  3. Funny thing is during the 80′s I would get angry that the big name fights did not happen soon enough (i.e. Leonard – Hearns rematch, Hagler – Leonard, Tyson-Holyfield).

    Today is so bad, I wish back to the days of the 80′s when at least they fought sometime.

    Larry on August 23rd, 2012 at 5:36 AM
  4. With the way Hagler was fighting Leonard, I could of swore he was throwing that fight. That wasn’t the Hagler I had come to know watching him on a repeated basis. He gave it away. As for Hagler before that, he was no doubt my favorite to watch. He always put in a workmanlike performance unlike others of his day and he’s the type of fighter, maybe with a different trainer as you alluded to, that could have found a way to beat even better competition than he was relegated to fighting during his tenure. I wonder how things would have turned out had Tommy Hearns not broken his hand.

    Nick Bellafatto on August 23rd, 2012 at 6:01 AM
  5. IMHO I thought Leonard won the fight

    StickItIn on August 23rd, 2012 at 9:02 AM
  6. Pedro, Dont forget Panama Lewis was working Antuofermos corner that night in 1979. no doubt Panama had a special bottle he had mixed for Vito to drink between rounds aka (Pryor- Argulleo I.) – I recall Vito had super human stamina that night.

    KURT on August 23rd, 2012 at 11:17 AM
  7. Thank you Pedro for being brave enough to put into print what I’ve been saying for years, Marvin never beat a truly great Middleweight, only legends moving up in weight and a collection of “NBC Sportsworld-types” that occupied the MW rankings while he reigned. Fans loved the image of Hagler, the guy wearing the hat that said WAR and who took on the persona of the “anti-Leonard”, a working class non-golden boy role that he played well. As far as Duran goes, following the verdict in the Hagler fight, he called down to Leonard who was doing the commentary for the HBO Replay the following week and said of Hagler, “he’s not that great, you would beat him”. I’ll take the Hands of Stones opinion on that over anyone elses.

    Dave Murphy on August 23rd, 2012 at 11:29 AM
  8. Simply the best.Joy to watch .

    one eye on August 23rd, 2012 at 2:42 PM
  9. Hagler was washed up by the time he fought Leonard and it was still close .I had Leonard winning very closely because he closed rounds strongly. I feel Monzon would have beaten Hagler, Leonard, and Hearns.

    Mike on August 23rd, 2012 at 11:23 PM
  10. Legacy:

    Of course he can’t displace Robinson or Monzon, But that’s a pretty lofty peak, and I do believe Hagler (and Hopkins) are close enough to merrit honourable mention.

    I give Hagler more credit for his work as a rising contender than for his time as Champion during a Middleweight talent drought. Throw out the 3rd Seals fight of course, but going twice with each of Monroe, Watts & Briscoe, plus grinding down Hart in a toe-to-toe battle is a stark contrast to future Champions who avoided physical threats like Benn, Eubank & McLellan and tricky boxer-buncher Q.Taylor.

    The title reign is less impressive – the career 160 lbers were a pedestrian lot – Minter, Oblemenjas,Lee, Sypion, Hamsho, Sibson & Roldan. In terms of skills & talent, none of those guys are as good as Kieth Holmes or JohnDavid Jackson from the Hopkin’s victim list.

    The big names came from lower weight classes but that was also the case with Hopkins (Oscar, Trinidad) and Monzon (Napoles, Griffith). This angle gets overplayed – by that logic, going back in time and beating Ray Robinson is also a win against a “blown up Weltherweight”??

    The more substantial problem is that unlike Naplose or Trinidad who were in their prime, Duran & Leaonard were thought to be ghosts with nothing more than mystique on their side. WHile both of those legends performed much better than expected, and regardless what you think of the scoring, the fights were way closer and more competitive than they should have been.

    Hagler wears the Leonard & Duran fights very badl indeed. Still to put it in perspective, I’d rather be known as the guy who struggled against Leonard & Duran late in my career, instead of the the guy who struggled against JL Castillo or Nedal Hussein in my youth…

    Ten Count on August 24th, 2012 at 3:27 AM
  11. Age:

    I am convinced Hagler was a good deal older than the official record.

    His diminishing legs from 1983 on were one clue, but that could be alternatovely explained by hight ring mileage, as could the degraded reflexes right after both the Roldan & Mugabi bouts.

    But being told that he apparently fought his entire amateur career at Middleweight and remained comfortably at 160 over 15 years later just doesn’t make sense.

    So if started while still 16, hat would have made him as a big a 16 year old as Lamon Brewster, and two divisions bigger than the 16 year old versions of Antonio Tarver, Chad Dawson & Chris Byrd!!

    I can’t believe that. There are unusual cases of boys who are done growing by 15 (basically like females) but those are almost always miniature men, like Calderon. I think he must have started at 19 and been at least 23 when he won that Golden Gloves title!

    Ten Count on August 24th, 2012 at 4:09 AM
  12. Hagler was an outstanding fighter. Very versatile, tough, and disciplined. It may be that certain styles troubled him. For example, Duran and Leonard with their slick boxing tactics. Also, Marcos Geraldo, who was very inconsistent but could really fight on given nights, posed problems for him. I remember that Hagler was avoided from ’77–79 until he finally got his first title shot against Antuofermo. He was a guy who would take on all comers. When Monroe and Watts beat him in ’76, he was still learning. By the time that Leonard beat him in ’87, he was starting to show a lot of wear and tear. I think that Leonard knew Hagler was past his best. He (Hagler) had been in some wars especially with Hearns and Mugabi. I don’t much insight into his trainers/managers as you do, Pedro.

    Pedro, do you remember Marcos Geraldo? What are your insights about his inconsistency? Against George Cooper and Hagler, he looked very capable. Also, he performed well against Leonard. On other nights, he gets blown away in one round. He was an enigma.

    Geoffrey Sadao Prenter on August 24th, 2012 at 4:36 PM
  13. what

    mariofromphx on August 24th, 2012 at 4:57 PM
  14. oh i see

    mariofromphx on August 24th, 2012 at 5:02 PM
  15. If you had read the story. Marcos Geraldo was mentioned it.

    Pedro Fernandez on August 25th, 2012 at 4:02 AM
  16. Havent heard any mention of Hagler geing the grestest middie off all time in so long, but he was the best t.v, come on now who would pick Leonard/Duran over Hagler/Hearns or Monzon/Griffin over Haagler/Hearns to watch on a rainy sunday afternoon?

    Bonez on August 25th, 2012 at 1:37 PM
  17. ANOTHER MIDDIE I WISH WAS BEING COMPARED TO HAGLER WAS GERALD MCCLELLEN BUT HE NEEDS SOME HELP PLEZZ GO TO GERALD MCCLELLEN TRUST.COM AND NO AMOUNT IS TO SMALL

    Bonez on August 25th, 2012 at 1:49 PM
  18. You point out that Hagler’s biggest wins were against smaller guys. Well so were many of Monzon’s (Benvenuti, Griffith, Napoles) and Hopkins’ (Brown, Trinidad, DeLaHoya) title defenses against guys who had moved up in weight.

    Donald on August 28th, 2012 at 1:06 PM
  19. Are you serious? Mr. Hernandez, what is your problem with Marvin? I guess earning his way to the top through the tough, full blown middleweights of the Philly 70′s is not enough.

    Daren on September 21st, 2012 at 10:11 PM
  20. I agree the article. What hurts Hagler’s legacy more than anything else is that he never tried going after a fight at a higher weight class. In fairness, he did show me something when he fought John Mugabi. That was a convincing win against a really tough fighter who was at his best. But, his marquee events, Leonard, Hearns, Duran, were all against fighters who stepped up one, two, even three weight classes. Trying to show how tough you are by beating up on smaller guys is not the stuff that legends are made of.

    Todd on October 3rd, 2012 at 2:05 PM
  21. Hagler I.M.O. is the best middleweight of all time, after Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson was highly skilled considering the era he fought…over 200 fights never knocked out legit. Hagler crushed the best of the 70′s and 80′s. The tough guys era, but Hagler was a smooth counter-puncher who could both box and slug with the best of them, I really never seen him back away from anybody. And was never knocked down legit. Great Chin. Great Skills. Great heart. Great durability. Everything you want in a fighter. I thought he beat Leonard, but good performance from both guys. Duran fought well too. Hagler was old near the end, but really got little damage from Leonard, while Leonard lost to Hector Camacho and Norris (and Hearns 2). I think he would have beaten Monzon, who’s victims were not on his level except Griffith who was scared to hit hard after killing Paret. Monzon is equal to B-Hop IMO. But Hagler is the 2nd best Middleweight ever. I would bet my money on a prime Hagler over anybody you guys can come up with.

    Mcentepede on October 5th, 2012 at 10:43 PM
  22. Hagler walking in a daze? Roger Perron also makes mention of Marvin not recognizing him while they were on an elevator at Caesars Palace….perhaps Marvin was getting into that zone…I had heard MMH looked slow training in Palm Springs in 1987…How did he look at JTs gym in those “private” sessions?
    Either way the Hagler who fought Hearns was not the Hagler who fought Leonard….when he arrived in Vegas in 85′ he was a scary picture and you knew Hearns wasn’t going to have an easy night regardless….In 87′ he was “joking” with the media…something was different…odds went from 4-1 to 2.5-1 in the month preceding the fight. I scored it for Hagler then and I do now….115-113….but something was off.

    Cy on December 29th, 2012 at 6:36 AM
  23. You sound like a biased Idiot and completely ignorant about boxing a perfect Marvin Hagler is the greatest MW in the history of the sport, hagler was Undisputed World Middleweight Champion from 1980 to 1987. Hagler made twelve undisputed title defenses and holds the highest KO% of all middleweight champions at 78%.his losses are questionable but he came back and avenged those losses with brutal kos of the opponents that he lost to. He often had to travel to his opponents’ hometowns to get fights. His first break came when he was offered –on 2 weeks’ notice– a chance against Willie ‘the Worm’ Monroe, who was being trained by Joe Frazier.

    Hagler lost the decision but the fight was close enough that Monroe gave him a rematch.This time Hagler knocked out Monroe in 12 rounds. In a third fight, he stopped Monroe in 2 rounds. He dropped a controversial decision to Bobby ‘Boogaloo’ Watts, a fight many believe hagler won, but knocked out Watts in 2 rounds in a rematch. And keep in mind this was early in his career the leonard decision was a fiasco hagler won that fight while well past his prime, haglers desire to retire was based on the fact that it took him so long to get the title, he didn’t get his first shot at the title until his 49th fight that is unheard of in this day and era. His long raod to the title essentially played a part in the erosion of his skills he actually beat the likes of hearns, mugabi, and duran when he was past his prime. His unwillingness to face fighters like mccallum,and nunn was based on economics, hagler was about to retire and he knew it and he was looking for nothing but big money fights and those guys brought no money to the table, and believe me he earned the right to pick and choose and to get the biggest possible paydays,put any of those guys in the ring with a prime hagler and he stops them both within the distance mccallum was being rocked and staggerd by donald curry until he threw that lucky half hook half uppercut that curry didn’t see which ended the fight, he was being shaken up badly by curry I cringe to think what would have happened if hagler had caught him repeatedly, and nunn was knocked into a coma by a weight drained james toney please lets get real.

    Hagler also beat antufermo in his first try for the title but was robbed every boxing fan knows that, he later avenged the loss to antufermo by tko also. Where you get the information that he twice tried to win the title and failed is not accurate I’m not sure if you are just lying to try diminish haglers accomplishments, or are just plain ignorant I don’t know which it is, hagler was robbed in his first bid for the title but earned a second try for the title fighting alan minter, get your facts straight, he methodically brutalized and destroyed minter in three rds a fighter who was very similar in style to joe calzaghe.

    Hagler had faced nothing but big strong MWs all his career and made quick work of all of them big punchers like fully obel, juan roldan, alan minter, vito antufermo, tony sibson etc. All tough hard punching MWs with respectable skillsets who I am convinced would have been long reigning champions had they fought in this weak era. I’m convinced that roldan, a prime pre hagler mugabi and fully obel would have koed golovkin. He only faced smaller guys like the leonards, hearns and duran because they were the best fighters of there eras and bought the biggest paydays.

    Hagler convincingly beat duran an all time great Roberto Duran a fighter who had fully matured into a MW at that time and a fight in which hagler punished duran, al bernstein was the only announcer calling that fight right on the night he said hagler was completely outboxing and outslugging duran, there was no question who the winner was in that fight despite the obvious biased scoring and biased announcing, hagler convincingly beat duran some would say it was a dominating performance. You also failed to mention that duran would go on to beat fighters like iran the blade barkely for the WBC MW title, you know the fighter who twice koed thomas hearns?, yea that iran barkley.

    Marvin Hagler in my opinion was the greatest MW to ever lace up the gloves based on the fact that he didn’t get his first title shot until his 49th fight. He also beat the likes of thomas hearns, duran, mugabi, and leonard when he was well past his prime, his long rd to the title and what he was able to accomplish being well past his prime makes his accomplishments even more amazing a prime hagler would stop both nunn and mccallum within the distance no doubt in my mind, and he would have chewed up and spit out an unproven hyped up golovkin no question about it. Sugar ray leonard had bulked up to MW and had been secretly engaging in mock fights for over a year before challenging what he admitted was a well past his prime marvin hagler, leonard avoided hagler like the ebola virus while hagler was at his peak. Hagler won that fight as well the corrupt judges just didn’t award him the fight, like hagler said after the fight were in vegas, and that said it all, a lot of people won sh@#$t loads of money based on the odds and that bogus decision afterwards, you have to decisively beat or knock the champion out to win his title, something leonard never came close to doing. You are obviously a biased hagler hater who is posting inaccurate distorted information there is no place in boxing for biased inaccurate opinions like yours.

    Ray on June 30th, 2013 at 11:20 PM
  24. You sound like a biased Idiot and completely ignorant about boxing, Marvin Hagler is the greatest MW in the history of the sport, hagler was Undisputed World Middleweight Champion from 1980 to 1987. Hagler made twelve undisputed title defenses and holds the highest KO% of all middleweight champions at 78%.his losses are questionable but he came back and avenged those losses with brutal kos of the opponents that he lost to. He often had to travel to his opponents’ hometowns to get fights. His first break came when he was offered –on 2 weeks’ notice– a chance against Willie ‘the Worm’ Monroe, who was being trained by Joe Frazier.

    Hagler lost the decision but the fight was close enough that Monroe gave him a rematch.This time Hagler knocked out Monroe in 12 rounds. In a third fight, he stopped Monroe in 2 rounds. He dropped a controversial decision to Bobby ‘Boogaloo’ Watts, a fight many believe hagler won, but knocked out Watts in 2 rounds in a rematch. And keep in mind this was early in his career the leonard decision was a fiasco hagler won that fight while well past his prime, haglers desire to retire was based on the fact that it took him so long to get the title, he didn’t get his first shot at the title until his 49th fight that is unheard of in this day and era. His long raod to the title essentially played a part in the erosion of his skills he actually beat the likes of hearns, mugabi, and duran when he was past his prime. His unwillingness to face fighters like mccallum,and nunn was based on economics, hagler was about to retire and he knew it and he was looking for nothing but big money fights and those guys brought no money to the table, and believe me he earned the right to pick and choose and to get the biggest possible paydays,put any of those guys in the ring with a prime hagler and he stops them both within the distance mccallum was being rocked and staggerd by donald curry until he threw that lucky half hook half uppercut that curry didn’t see which ended the fight, he was being shaken up badly by curry I cringe to think what would have happened if hagler had caught him repeatedly, and nunn was knocked into a coma by a weight drained james toney please lets get real.

    Hagler also beat antufermo in his first try for the title but was robbed every boxing fan knows that, he later avenged the loss to antufermo by tko also. Where you get the information that he twice tried to win the title and failed is not accurate I’m not sure if you are just lying to try diminish haglers accomplishments, or are just plain ignorant I don’t know which it is, hagler was robbed in his first bid for the title but earned a second try for the title fighting alan minter, get your facts straight, he methodically brutalized and destroyed minter in three rds a fighter who was very similar in style to joe calzaghe.

    Hagler had faced nothing but big strong MWs all his career and made quick work of all of them big punchers like fully obel, juan roldan, alan minter, vito antufermo, tony sibson etc. All tough hard punching MWs with respectable skillsets who I am convinced would have been long reigning champions had they fought in this weak era. I’m convinced that roldan, a prime pre hagler mugabi and fully obel would have koed golovkin. He only faced smaller guys like the leonards, hearns and duran because they were the best fighters of there eras and bought the biggest paydays.

    Hagler convincingly beat duran an all time great Roberto Duran a fighter who had fully matured into a MW at that time and a fight in which hagler punished duran, al bernstein was the only announcer calling that fight right on the night he said hagler was completely outboxing and outslugging duran, there was no question who the winner was in that fight despite the obvious biased scoring and biased announcing, hagler convincingly beat duran some would say it was a dominating performance. You also failed to mention that duran would go on to beat fighters like iran the blade barkely for the WBC MW title, you know the fighter who twice koed thomas hearns?, yea that iran barkley.

    Marvin Hagler in my opinion was the greatest MW to ever lace up the gloves based on the fact that he didn’t get his first title shot until his 49th fight. He also beat the likes of thomas hearns, duran, mugabi, and leonard when he was well past his prime, his long rd to the title and what he was able to accomplish being well past his prime makes his accomplishments even more amazing a prime hagler would stop both nunn and mccallum within the distance no doubt in my mind, and he would have chewed up and spit out an unproven hyped up golovkin no question about it. Sugar ray leonard had bulked up to MW and had been secretly engaging in mock fights for over a year before challenging what he admitted was a well past his prime marvin hagler, leonard avoided hagler like the ebola virus while hagler was at his peak. Hagler won that fight as well the corrupt judges just didn’t award him the fight, like hagler said after the fight were in vegas, and that said it all, a lot of people won sh@#$t loads of money based on the odds and that bogus decision afterwards, you have to decisively beat or knock the champion out to win his title, something leonard never came close to doing. You are obviously a biased hagler hater who is posting inaccurate distorted information there is no place in boxing for biased inaccurate opinions like yours.

    Ray on June 30th, 2013 at 11:22 PM
  25. If you think Leonard avoided hagler, I hope you would also acknowledge that hagler avoided Michael spinks and Dwight braxton too.

    Darren on September 9th, 2013 at 4:25 AM
  26. I remember watching the Hagler-vs-Leonard fight.
    Hagler didn’t lose that fight.
    He fought exactly as instructed.
    The Petronelli brothers lost that fight.
    They had Hagler fighting like a righthander.
    By round 4, they should’ve changed their plans.
    Hagler should’ve fought his style.
    The style that got him the title.
    “An aggressive southpaw
    Both Hagler and Leonard were old fighters.
    Again, Ray had a better plan.
    As in the 2nd Duran fight.

    Not Dundee on March 18th, 2014 at 12:41 PM
  27. Hagler beat Leonard 8 rds to 4. A case could be made for 9 rds to 3. Only Boxing neophytes would fall for Leonard’s 30 seconds of flash at the end of each rd, thinking that’s enough to trump 2½ minutes of effective aggression each rd by the Champion. Leonard was supposed to be trying to TAKE the Title away from the Champ, but instead he stayed away from the Champ for 2½ minutes of virtually every rd!

    the_bradguy on March 18th, 2014 at 3:23 PM
  28. Hagler took the money,thats clever..its all about the money.Its ok not to like Leonard,cos he is the pretty boy with big promoter behind him,MMH was more ‘blue coller’ fighter.MMH won his last fight in my scorecard at least.

    one eye on March 18th, 2014 at 4:10 PM
  29. $23M for the Leonard bout? Wow, never heard that. I remember Mike Trainer out negotiating him, but this seems like a money-grab giving up so much. I would have held on to one or two critical points: bigger ring or 15 rounds. He probably would have won.

    I still have the PPV recording of that bout on VHS and have watched / scored it many times. Best I can come up with is a Draw for Marvin. Most of the time it’s SRL by 1-2 points. Some close rounds.

    Uppercut on March 18th, 2014 at 7:20 PM
  30. He gave away the first four rounds. Leonard certainly won at three more after that, the 7-5 score SRL.

    Pedro Fernandez on March 18th, 2014 at 11:31 PM
  31. That is very true – it was one a fight with very easy rounds to score

    Leonard clearly won rounds 1-4 and 10-11
    Hagler clearly won rounds 5, 7-9 and 12

    The only round I felt was very close was round 6 and that made the difference on two of the judges cards as well as Larry Merchant whom I remembered scored it a draw based on giving round 6 to Hagler as opposed to Leonard.

    As far as the 1987 version of Hagler, he was in decline from the Hearns fight and the Mugabi fight, which was a brutal fight, took his drive away. He fought SRL for the paycheck and gave everything he had but was no longer the best.

    In the late 80′s, he, Leonard, Hearns, and Duran would have all likely lost to Michael Nunn, James Toney, etc. but they didnt have to fight them when they had each other to score big money on.

    But the early-middle 80′s was the greatest era in boxing IMO and Hagler was the best middleweight which says a whole lot.

    Larry on March 19th, 2014 at 5:19 AM
  32. Nice article Pedro.

    I agree 100% with you assessment of Hagler, his legacy and where he ranks with other great Middleweights.

    I wrote an article years ago ranking the Top 5 Middleweight of all time and I ranked Hagler #4. What I said was Hagler did have a long title reign and he was dominant, but he never faced a Hall of Fame, TRUE Middleweight. Leonard, Duran and Hearns all moved up in weight to fight him. Hagler’s Middleweight reign is somewhat similar to Hopkins (who beat smaller guys..Trinidad, Oscar) but Hagler fought better Middleweights. My Top 5 Greatest Middleweights are (in order): Robinson, Harry Greb, Carlos Monzon, Hagler and Hopkins.

    As for Leonard-Hagler, I wrote an article about that fight 2 years ago and I agree with everything you said about the fight. I scored it 115-113 for Leonard. Hagler gave away the first 4 rounds by not fighting southpaw an after a huge 9th round, Hagler faded in the last 2 rounds.

    The one knock I have against Hagler is the fact that while he believes he beat Leonard, he had every opportunity to face Leonard again and he decided not to. Leonard wanted the rematch and they would have possibly made more money than their first fight, but Hagler took his ball and went home and never returned.

    Ron Cameron on March 19th, 2014 at 8:08 AM
  33. some of the comments are ridiculous. Marvin was a MIDDLEWEIGHT. Why should he move up to fight out of his class. Are Tony Zale, Jake LaMotta, Carlos Monzon lesser fighters because they stayed in the middleweight class. I know, I know LaMotta fought at LH at the end but only because he did not want to train anymore and was fighting on memory.
    I’m not sure how good Marvin was but his corner was in my opinion inadequate. If he had taken it to Duran and Leonard he may have looked better even though he was past his best. The Leonard fight always smelled to me especially with Leonard’s CLOSE personal relationship with criminal Suliman. I am certain the judges were biased and the great referee Lou Fillipo was spot on with his decision. Was the fix in our did Marvin just not have it anymore. Some will tell you Marvin made a deal with Leonard so they could have a rematch and make more money then Leonard changed his mind and pulled out of the deal. I don’t know if that is true but….

    Santa Cruz Jim on March 19th, 2014 at 8:10 AM
  34. Yes, Hagler did give away ring size and gloves for more money. A big ring and heavier gloves favored the faster Leonard. Wasn’t the fight shortened to 12 rounds at Leonard’s request too? I agree with Larry’s comment about the Hearns and particularly the Mugabi fight taking a lot out of Hagler. That was a brutal two-way war until Hagler emptied his career tank and finally stopped Mugabi. Leonard really messed up his mind as well. How about that black tie announcement where instead of announcing the fight, he points at Hagler and tells him it’s not gonna happen. I’m sure Leonard was training harder than ever while Hagler was left frustrated and disappointed. Finally, I thought Hagler did himself no favors by fighting the first 4-5 rounds right handed. He essentially gave those rounds away! What was up with that?

    Rick S on March 29th, 2014 at 7:44 AM
  35. Why shouldn’t he have? Wouldn’t have hurt him to have grown a pair and moved up in weight like Hearns, Leonard and Duran did. None of those guys were middleweights. If he can call out welterweights, he can call out light heavyweights and fight at a catchweight.

    Duran, Leonard and Hearns were all better than Hagler.

    Cliff on April 24th, 2014 at 2:32 AM

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