Titles: Middleweight champion 1980-1987 Record: 62-3-2 Born: May 23, 1954 in Newark, New Jersey (USA) Years active: 1973-1987 Nickname: Marvelous A throwback fighter who would have been a champion in any era. Marvin learned his craft well before challenging for a title, which helped him during his lengthy title reign. One of the many tricks that Hagler picked up while waiting for a title shot was perfecting the art of switching from a southpaw to a orthodox fighter with a ease seldom seen before and has been seen since he retired. His punch was tremendous, either hand could get the knockout and his fists along with his shaven head made him a menacing sight for his opponents. It was often said that Hagler had three things working against him: he was a southpaw, he was black, and he was very good...too good for him to get a title shot the easy way. Marvin was a versatile fighter who had exceptional boxing and punching skills. Add this to the fact that he was always focused, always in top shape, and always able to absorb his opponents best shot and it is easy to understand why he was, during his prime, ranked as one of the best fighters the game ever had. A 7 year title reign and 12 defenses of the title against the best men of his era have earned him the respect of both the old time fight fraternity and the newly converted boxing fans. Marvin grew up in Newark, New Jersey one of 6 kids in his family and dropped out of school in the ninth grade and began a amateur boxing career that spanned 57 fights. reflecting on his childhood Hagler once said "Animals were my only friends I could not relate to anyone else but myself and animals". Fate sent him and his family to Brockton Massachusetts where he met the guiding force of his pro career in the Petronelli brothers, Goody and Pat. His amateur career was capped off by a AAU middleweight title in 1973. Hagler fought mostly in the New England era making a name for himself and was willing to fight in the other fighters hometown when he had to do so. Hagler first became a man to avoid when he defeated the first perceived test of his pro career former Olympic champion Ray Seals in only his 15th fight. The fight was a tactical one and should have played into the more experienced Seales favor, yet Hagler countered well and broke Seales down over the course of the fight. A rematch in Seattle the hometown of Seales ended in a disputed draw and most thought Hagler won the fight although he did not look nearly as good as in the first fight with Seales. In 1976 Hagler went in search of the toughest opponents and landed in the Philadelphia where he received a rude welcome. Hagler lost on points to top 10 ranked middleweight Bobby "Boogaloo" Watts and in the same year lost to Willie "The Worm" Monroe over 10 rounds also. Both made the mistake of giving a rematch to Hagler and both were crushed in less than 3 rounds in the rematches. Other very good Philly middleweight like Bennie Brisco and Eugene Hart were also beaten by the invading force known as Hagler. In 1979 Hagler traveled to Seattle again to face Ray Seales and this time made sure he would not loose a decision by knocking out Seales in the first round. Hagler had now been the best middleweight in the world for 2 years but a title shot was not given until the end of 1979 when Vito Antufermo was forced to defend against Hagler. It was the 50th fight of Haglers pro career and he was robbed of a deserved victory when the judges ruled the fight a draw. Hagler seemingly dominated the action and had Antufermo backing up throughout the fight and the punches of Antufermo did no damage. Still the judges ruled it a draw. The next shot at the title came against Alan Minter in England. It was a battle of southpaws in which Hagler set a fast pace that Minter could not keep up with. By the third round Minter was a bloody mess and the referee had no choice but to stop the fight. Unlike the other champions who would not grant him a title shot Hagler fought anyone who was a perceived threat to his title. Unbeaten Fulgencio Obelmejias lost to Hagler in his first defense and Vito Antufermo was knocked out in 5 rounds to make sure he would not get a gift draw as he did in the last fight against Hagler. Tony Simbson, Mustafa Hamsho, "Caveman" Lee, and Wilford Scypion all lost to Hagler who impressed in every fight with his smart ring generalship and heavy hands. Only equally ring wise Roberto Duran gave Hagler any sort of trouble. The 3 most famous fights and the last 3 fights of his career where the only things left. Against Thomas Hearns he fought like a man possessed and it is called the greatest 3 round fight of all time, hell it was one of the best of all time period. Both men came out of their corners in the first round and threw nothing but bombs with Hearns getting the best of it in that round and opening a cut over Marvin's eye. The second round was equally savage but now it was clear Marvin could take the punches of Hearns and he was starting to cut of the ring and bang to the body. In the third Hearns knew he could not match the power of Hagler and tried to move but a determined Hagler hunted him down and finished him with a beautiful right hand. Hagler took nearly a year off after that fight before fighting the African sensation John "The Beast" Mugabi. It was a war of attrition as Hagler beat on the body of Mugabi and steadily wore him down in what was probably the best fight of his career. A exhausted Mugabi could not last past the 11th round against a Hagler who confused him with his tactic of switching from a southpaw to orthodox stance. The last fight of Hagler's career is also his most controversial and people still argue who really won the fight. A comebacking Sugar Ray Leonard took many of the close rounds in the opinion of many (including the judges) by flurrying in the last 10 to 20 seconds of the rounds. At the end of 12 very entertaining rounds that saw Hagler chasing and Leonard moving and countering, Leonard was given a majority decision win. In his mind this was the last insult Hagler would take from boxing and he retired from the sport and steadfastly refused many lucrative comeback offers. Hagler now lives in Italy and is a well regarded actor in their film industry.
1973 18 May Terry Ryan MA TKO 2 25 Jul Sonny Williams MA W 6 08 Aug Muhammad Smith MA KO 2 06 Oct Don Wigfall MA W 8 26 Oct Cove Green MA TKO 4 18 Nov Cocoa Kid MA KO 2 07 Dec Manny Freitas ME TKO 1 18 Dec James Redford MA TKO 4 1974 05 Feb Bob Harrington MA TKO 5 05 Apr Tracy Morrison MA TKO 8 04 May Jim Redford MA TKO 2 30 May Curtis Phillips ME TKO 2 16 Jul Robert Williams MA TKO 3 13 Aug Peachy Davis MA KO 1 30 Aug Ray Seales MA W 10 29 Oct Morris Jordan MA TKO 4 16 Nov George Green MA KO 1 26 Nov Ray Seales WA D 10 20 Dec DC Walker MA KO 2 1975 15 Feb Don Wigfall MA KO 5 31 Mar Joey Blair MA KO 2 14 Apr Jimmy Owens MA W 10 24 May Jimmy Owens MA W D.Q 6 07 Aug Jesse Bender ME KO 1 30 Sep Lamont Lovelady MA TKO 7 20 Dec Johnny Baldwin MA W 10 1976 13 Jan Bobby Watts PA L 10 07 Feb Matt Donovan MA TKO 2 09 Mar Willie Monroe PA L 10 02 Jun Bob Smith MA TKO 5 03 Aug DC Walker RI TKO 6 14 Sep Eugene Hart PA TKO 8 21 Dec George Davis MA TKO 6 1977 15 Feb Willie Monroe MA TKO 12 16 Mar Reggie Ford MA KO 3 10 Jun Roy Jones CT TKO 3 23 Aug Willie Monroe PA TKO 2 24 Sep Ray Phillips MA TKO 7 15 Oct Jim Henry RI W 10 26 Nov Mike Colbert MA KO 12 1978 04 Mar Kevin Finnegan MA TKO 9 07 Apr Doug Demmings CA TKO 8 13 May Kevin Finnegan MA TKO 7 24 Aug Bennie Briscoe PA W 10 11 Nov Willie Warren MA TKO 7 1979 03 Feb Ray Seales MA TKO 1 12 Mar Bob Patterson RI TKO 3 26 May Jamie Thomas ME KO 3 30 Jun Norberto Cabrera MON TKO 8 30 Nov Vito Antuofermo NV D 15 [World Middlewight Title] 1980 16 Feb Loucif Hamani ME TKO 2 19 Apr Bobby Watts ME TKO 2 17 May Marcos Geraldo NV W 10 27 Sep Alan Minter ENG TKO 3 [Won World Miidleweight Title] 1981 17 Jan Fulgencio Obelmejias MA TKO 8 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 13 Jun Vito Antuofermo MA TKO 5 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 03 Oct Mustafa Hamsho IL TKO 11 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 1982 07 Mar William Lee NJ KO 1 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 31 Oct Fulgencio Obelmejias ITA KO 5 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 1983 11 Feb Tony Sibson MA KO 6 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 27 May Wilford Scypion RI KO 4 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 10 Nov Roberto Duran NV W 15 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 1984 30 Mar Juan Roldan NV KO 10 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 19 Oct Mustafa Hamsho NV KO 3 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 1985 15 Apr Thomas Hearns NV KO 3 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 1986 10 Mar John Mugabi NV KO 11 [Retained World Middleweight Title] 1987 06 Apr Ray Leonard NV L 12 [Lost WBC Middleweight Title]