[Criteria: Fighter theoretically enters weight category of choice]
MIDDLEWEIGHTS 160 lbs: p1 Marvin Hagler p2 Gennady Golovkin p3 Carlos Monzon p4 Stanley Ketchel p4 Bernard Hopkins p5 Jake LaMotta p6 Marcel Cerdan p6 Dick Tiger p7 Gene Fullmer p7 Tony Zale p7 Rocky Graziano p8 Sam Langford p8 Michael Watson
[8.9] MARVIN HAGLER 67-62(52)-3-2: Marvin Hagler - The Ring online -
40,104. There are a lot of things and in order to be at the top and maintain your focus you have to have something that motivates you. For me, it was what I perceived as a lack of respect from the boxing world as well as the media, which made me want to work so hard and be great. Marvin Hagler
124,616. Marvin Hagler lived up to what became his legal name: ‘Marvelous’. Hagler was a breathtaking hurting machine at his best, a very good, aggressive boxer with tremendous punching power and one of the best chins of all time. He insisted the only knockdown of his career, against Juan Roldan, was a slip.
Hagler lost two times relatively early in his career but then went 36-0-1, the blemish being a controversial 1979 draw against Vito Antuofermo in his first title fight.
Some considered Hagler the best middleweight in the world even before September 1980 when he fought Alan Minter for the RING, WBC and WBA titles in London. Hagler won when Minter could not go on because of a cut, marking the beginning of one of the division’s greatest runs.
Hagler made 12 successful defenses over five-plus years, 11 by knockout, and also picked up the IBF title along the way. Among his victims: Roberto Duran (UD 15), Thomas Hearns (TKO 3) and John Mugabi (KO 11).
The Hearns fight is remembered as one of the greatest of all time, as the principals exchanged murderous punches at a frenetic pace from the opening bell. Hagler sustained a deep cut to his forehead but continued to press Hearns until finally hammering his adversary to the canvas at 1:52 of the third round.
‘With Tommy Hearns, finally they gave me what I’m looking for,’ Hagler told The Ring. ‘I knew it was going to be that kind of a fight because [during] the buildup to the fight, he didn’t like me, I didn’t like him.’
Hagler would be named The Ring Fighter of the Year in 1983 and 1985. His victory over Mugabi in 1986 set up a showdown the following year against Sugar Ray Leonard, who was making a comeback after almost three years out of the ring.
Hagler found his groove after a slow start but it wasn’t enough to prevent Leonard from winning a split decision, which Hagler still disputes today.
‘I didn’t really feel I lost,’ said Hagler, who then mentioned his early setbacks – both of which he avenged by knockout – and Leonard’s refusal to give him a rematch. “They were a learning experience, they put a lot of hatred into my war game. I think Leonard looked at my record and said, ‘Hagler, forget you man! You think I’m crazy?’
‘If the shoe was on the other foot, I’d have gave him a rematch because it shows the mark of a champion.”
Hagler (62-3-2, 52 knockouts) retired from boxing following the Leonard fight. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
‘Why do you want to hang around after all your hard work and let someone get lucky and destroy your record?’ he asked. ‘After I had nothing to prove to myself, it was the best thing to walk away.’
Hagler wishes he could’ve faced fellow legend Carlos Monzon. The great Argentine retired in 1977, when Hagler was becoming a contender.
‘I think it would have been an interesting fight if I had fought Carlos Monzon,’ he said. ‘I think he was a great champion. I believe I would have caused some sort of problem for him.’
Hagler, who turns 60 in May, lives primarily in Italy. The Ring magazine article May 2014
54) Alan Minter TKO3: UK Fight Commentary TV - British Boxing Heroes TV -
39,915. v Alan Minter 27 September 1980 WBA WBC Middleweight Wembley Arena London: [r1] … Hagler already firing quickly and accurately … Minter’s got a cut underneath his left eye … These two have got down to business … He [Minter] might have a second injury … [r2] … Hagler is catching him with lefts over the top … What a right hand [Minter] … Minter is picking up quite a lot of punishment … Good left hand from Minter … A very fierce round indeed … [r3] … Minter’s picking up hard punches … He’s smothered in blood and he’s in desperate trouble … And it’s stopped. UK BBC fight commentary Harry Carpenter
39,949. A victory on cuts for Hagler. There were disgraceful scenes at Wembley that night, and Hagler was pelted with bottles and forced to flee the ring. British Boxing Heroes: Alan Minter v Kevin Finnegan
56) Vito Antuofermo Ret 4: US Fight Commentary TV -
39,950. v Vito Antuofermo 13 June 1981 WBA WBC Middleweight Boston Massachusetts: [r1] … A nasty cut [Antuofermo] … An incredible three minutes … [r2] … Hagler goes after him with a combination … another right hand … Antuofermo with two right hands … This is what is known as a bloody war … [r3] … Another [Hagler] jab … The left hand that puts Antuofermo down … staggering Antuofermo once again … A mauling brawling type of fighter [Antuofermo] … [r4] … That right hand by Marvin Hagler … Hagler forcing the action … It is not pretty. US fight commentary
60) Tony Sibson TKO6: US Fight Commentary TV -
124,625. v Tony Sibson 11 February 1983 WBA WBC Middleweight Worcester Massachusetts: [r1] … Hagler very sharp … Two good shots from Hagler … He’s following Hagler … Left hand by Sibson … [r2] … Hagler still very sharp … Uppercut lead: that hurt Sibson … Sibson with a good uppercut … [r3] … Sibson’s really rough inside … scoring with an uppercut … He’s [Hagler] outboxing Sibson … Hagler with three punches … [r4] … Good right hand, another left hand by Hagler … There’s that jab … [r5] … Good left hand [Hagler] … Good left hook by Tony Sibson … takes a straight right hand … That snapping right hand jab from Marvin Hagler … Sibson now cut … Good combination by Sibson … [r6] … Hagler goes right for it … A booming right hand behind a left hand … good jolting left hand … combinations of punches … and down goes Tony Sibson … He’s down … And that’s all. US fight commentary
62) Roberto Duran Points 15: Hugh McIlvanney - US fight commentary TV -
96,354. You don’t have to be a loony romantic to believe that Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran were engaged in something more than a simple fist fight out in the backyard of Caesars Palace Hotel on Thursday night. Hugh McIlvanney, The Magic Touch
96,357. This, many of us believed, was not so much a wonderful match as a wonderful promotion, a kind of posthumous tribute to the glories of Roberto Duran’s expired greatness. ibid.
96,358. While the challenger had thickened close to fleshiness, Hagler at 29 gleamed and rippled with the sort of muscle that isn't there for decoration, but strictly to pay its freight. He was a born middleweight and so strong at the poundage that he had never been knocked off his feet as amateur or professional. He had lost only twice in 61 contests and brusquely avenged both defeats. He had just set a record of defending his WBA and WBC titles seven times without once having to complete the scheduled number of rounds. ibid.
96,359. Marvin Hagler had done nothing to invite serious censure. The worst that should be said of him is that he was like a good horse who wins by several lengths but fails to return a fast time. If he was too persistently cautious (especially after bombarding Duran painfully in the sixth) the opposition contributed to that. ibid.
124,626. v Roberto Duran 11 February 1983 WBC WBA IBF Middleweight Nevada: [r1] … There’s the jab from Hagler … Duran working the body … Duran gets in a right hand … A quiet opening round … [r2] … Hagler there showing a good jab and a left cross … Hagler is working harder on the inside … Hagler with a left hand … Duran waiting to drop the right hand … [r3] … Left to the stomach by Duran … Right uppercut [Hagler] … Hagler with a right to the head … Duran with a short right hand … Hagler with a big left hand … [r4] … Duran has closed the distance … Right hand by Duran … A big swot of a left hand by Hagler … Right hand by Duran … [r5] … Left hook to the head [Hagler] … good uppercut … Hagler with a right hand, Duran with a right hand … They trade body shots … Right hand by Duran … [r6] … This is a tactical fight … Left hand by Hagler … Duran with a right hand … We’re getting some toe to toe stuff … Good jab by Hagler … Hagler with a left hook to the head … Good uppercut by Hagler … Big right hand by Hagler … The strength of Hagler … [r7] … Right hand lead by Duran … Good lead right by Hagler … Hagler’s got Duran against the ropes … Right hand by Duran at the bell and they stare at each other … [r8] … [Hagler] Left hook to the head … Marvin wants to fight on the inside … hard jab there by Hagler … [r9] … Duran here wants to really rumble … Hagler with a three-punch combination … Right hook by Hagler … Duran with a right … [r10] … Here on the inside … Hagler pressing the attack … Another low blow by Roberto Duran … A right hand by Duran … [r11] … Hagler now dances … A quiet eleventh round … [r12] … Right hand by Duran … uppercut … Duran with a lead right … Two champions going toe to toe … [r13] … Right hand by Duran … Duran has fooled the experts again … Duran with two right hands … [r14] … Good uppercuts by Hagler … It’s been Hagler on the inside … Hagler is cut … [r15] … Hagler ripping shots … Big left … It’s all Hagler down the stretch. [144-142, 146-145, 144-143] (Boxers: Hagler & Boxers: Duran) US fight commentary
65) Thomas Hearns TKO3: US Fight Commentary TV -
124,627. v Thomas Hearns 15 April 1985 WBA WBC IBF Middleweight Nevada: [r1] … Hagler right off the bat attempting to get inside … Hearns got him with a right hand … Hagler is hurt … Good left by Hagler … Wild first round … Another [Hagler] right … good right … another … Hagler is cut … Hagler has him on the ropes … Tremendous first round … Wow! … [r2] … Left hand by Hagler … Hearns off balance … Another right hand stuns Hearns … good left hook … He has Hearns in trouble on the ropes … [r3] … Back comes Hagler with a wild right hand … Tremendous right [Hagler], Hearns appears rubbery … Another [Hagler] right hand … Hearns in deep trouble … down! … He [Hearns] can’t continue. (Boxers: Hagler & Boxers: Hearns) US fight commentary