The Marvin Hagler Story, Marvelous
"You have three strikes against you, you're black, you're a southpaw, and you're good," Joe Frazier warned Marvin Hagler, the ultimate boxing outsider.
Fighting out of Brockton, Mass. Hagler scaled the boxing foothills through his willingness to fight anyone, anywhere, at any time. However, Frazier's warning proved prescient. He was continually thwarted in his shot at the middleweight title despite recording an incredible fifty fights during his first seven years as a professional, before his relentless pursuit meant he could no longer be denied.
His first attempt at the title, against Vito Antuofermo ended in a controversial draw. He eventually earned a second chance, travelling to London to snatch the crown from Alan Minter in a fight remembered as much for the explosive racial tension which preceded it as for Hagler's chilling assault.
Once he had the title within his grasp, Hagler defended it with a demonic intensity. For the next seven years, he brutally destroyed the world's middleweight elite. Mustafa Hamsho walked away requiring over fifty stitches, William 'Caveman' Lee chose the comparatively safer option of bank robbery and Britain's Tony Sibson described the experience of meeting Hagler as like, "being locked in a cage of pain and seeing him throw away the key."
These fights were all punctuated by his classic encounters against three boxing legends, which contained as much intrigue behind-the-scenes as they did within the ring.
Roberto Duran's crude attempts at psychological warfare nearly caused the fight to be brought forward to the weigh-in. His meeting with Thomas Hearns, which was threatened to be derailed by an argument over the private jet used for the publicity tour, is still cited as one of the greatest fights of all time. His final encounter against Sugar Ray Leonard, which took five years to stage, still manages to split opinion today.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler changed the boxing landscape through a combination of steely determination, an iron will and his devastating fists. His story has never been shared until now.
Damian Hughes talks about The Marvin Hagler Story, Marvelous
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