March 14 (UPI) — “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, the former undisputed middleweight champion from 1980-87, died on Saturday at the age of 66, according to his wife Kay G. Hagler.
No official cause of death was given on a post on her late husband’s Facebook fan page. He died in Bartlett, N.H.
“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement,” the post read. “Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire. Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time. With love, Kay G. Hagler.”
He was a member of the famed “Four Kings” of the 1980s — Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran. Boxing in the 160-pound class, he defeated Hearns and Duran but lost in a disputed split decision to Leonard, all at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank posted on Twitter: “Marvelous Marvin Hagler was among the greatest athletes that Top Rank ever promoted. He was a man of honor and a man of his word, and he performed in the ring with unparalleled determination. He was a true athlete and a true man. I will miss him greatly.”
Hagler held the undisputed middleweight title of the World Boxing Association, World Boxing County and International Boxing Federation, making 12 defenses and finishing with a record of 62-3-2, with 52 knockouts.
In 1985, he stopped Hearns in the third round of their 1985 middleweight title bout known as “The War.”
Hagler earned a decision against Duran in 1983.
In his final bout, the 160-pound champion lost in a 12-round split decision to longtime rival Leonard in 1987.
Hagler, who was disgusted about the scoring, retired the following year at the age of 34. He moved to Italy and pursued an acting career.
Hagler was never knocked out in any of his three defeats, and he was knocked down just once against Juan Roldan in 1984, which Hagler called a slip.
The native of Newark, N.J., went 55-1 as an amateur, including the United States National Championship at middleweight in 1973. He chose to turn pro rather than compete in the Olympics.
He turned pro in 1973.
Hagler was named Fighter of the Year in 1983 and 1985 by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Boxing Illustrated named him Fighter of the Decade in the 1980s. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
A father of five children with his first wife, Bertha, Hagler was also the half-brother of former middleweight boxer Robbie Sims.
Notable deaths of 2021