Marvelous Marvin Hagler died at the age of 66 on Saturday. His wife, Kay, announced Hagler’s death on a Facebook fan page, writing, “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.”
Hagler, who legally changed his first name to Marvelous Marvin Hagler in 1982, was one of the greatest middleweight boxers in history. He finished his 14-year career with a record of 62-3-5 and 52 knockouts. Hagler won his first world title when he defeated Alan Minter in 1980. Before the fight, Minter proclaimed that he “did not intend to lose my title to a black man.” Hagler battered Minter over the course of three rounds, cutting him so severely that the referee was forced to stop the fight, after which Minter had to receive 15 stitches.
But that fight was not the highlight of Hagler’s career. That distinction belongs to his 1985 bout against Tommy Hearns. The fight, known as The War, lasted just three rounds and ended with Hagler knocking Hearns out. That such a short fight remains so famous in boxing history is a testament to its viciousness. For three rounds, Hearns and Hagler exchanged crushing, non-stop flurries of punches. If you’ve never seen the fight before, or even if you have, now is a good time to watch the whole thing:
Speaking to the BBC in 2015, Hagler said of The War: “Even today when I look at the film, I’m so glad when that fight is over.”