oxing icon Marvelous Marvin Hagler has died unexpectedly at the age of 66, his family confirmed.
Hagler’s wife Kay revealed the sad news via a Facebook post published on the dominant former middleweight king’s official fan club page on Saturday night.
The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement,” Kay Hagler wrote. “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.”
Regarded as one of the finest boxers ever to grace the ring in a memorable era for the sport, American southpaw Hagler reigned as the undisputed middleweight champion of the world in the 1980s.
He famously beat Britain’s Alan Minter at Wembley Arena with a dominant, bloody third-round stoppage in 1980 to claim undisputed status.
The talented and durable Hagler went on to successfully defend his belts 12 times, defeating rival Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns in a legendary three-round battle at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in April 1985 – a fight that is still fondly remembered as one of the greatest of all time.
He was controversially defeated in ‘The Showdown’ by fellow boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard two years later, losing a close fight via a split decision that is still furiously debated by fans today.
Hagler – who legally changed his name to Marvelous Marvin in 1982 and also outpointed the great Roberto Duran in 1983 – sought a rematch but eventually retired from boxing in 1988, moving to Italy and becoming an actor in action films.
His illustrious professional career record stood at 62 wins and 52 knockouts from 67 total fights over 15 years, with three losses and two draws.
Figures from around the world of boxing were quick to pay tribute to one of the sport’s greatest-ever talents, with videos of that unforgettable first round against Hearns shared widely across social media.
Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn wrote on Twitter: “Rest in eternal peace the Marvelous One! @Michael_Buffer will lead a 10 bell tribute to the great Marvin Hagler tonight.”
Buffer himself added: “I am crushed at the news that MARVELOUS MARVIN HAGLER has passed away! He was-in his prime-POUND4POUND-the best, going 11yrs in 38 fights w/o defeat! He dominated the MW division 4 a decade!
“62 wins/52KOs-3 losses.
“R.I.P. 4EVER CHAMPION-4EVER REMEMBERED.”
Trainer Dave Coldwell said: “Boxing has lost one of the all time greats. Gutted to hear of the passing of Marvellous Marvin Hagler. One of the toughest, and best fighters in one of the greatest eras in boxing history. Hagler along with Leonard, Hearns & Duran – the Real Four Kings.”
“Saddened to hear about the death of Marvellous Marvin Hagler,” Oscar De La Hoya wrote. “One of the greatest to ever step in the ring!”
Promoter Frank Warren said: “Rest In Peace Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Boxing lost an all time great today.”
Former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes wrote: “The boxing world is sad to hear the news about Marvin Marvelous Hagler. A tragedy happened today, one of my best friends passed away. He was a good guy, a good man. May his soul RIP.”
Undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez said: “This one hurts.. Rest In Peace Champ! Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler.”
Barry McGuigan wrote: “Shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the incredible Marvellous Marvin Hagler.
“I’m honoured to have spent some amazing times with him. My heartfelt sympathies to his wife Kay and his family. Rest in Peace Champ.”
Top Rank boss Bob Arum tweeted: “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.”
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