The boxing world lost one of its all-time greats with the sudden passing of Marvelous Marvin Hagler this past week.
Hagler, a native of Newark who moved to Brockton as a teenager, reigned as the undisputed middleweight boxing champion of the world for seven years in the 1980s and is acknowledged as one of the greatest fighters of all time. His bout with Thomas Hearns, which lasted about eight minutes, is regarded as the greatest three rounds in boxing history.
We were fortunate to see one of Hagler’s title fights when we covered his title defense for The Chelsea Record against Vito “The Mosquito” Antuofermo in the old Boston Garden in June, 1981 (we were stunned when we realized how long ago that fight was!).
We also had the pleasure of running into the champ after he had retired in an elevator in Boston at One Devonshire Place in the late 1980s. We only exchanged pleasantries, but Hagler’s innate humility, graciousness, and sense of humor were apparent in our brief encounter.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler overcame his hard-scrabble background with an unparalleled sense of determination and hard work to become a world champion. His attainment of the pinnacle of his profession serves as a model for success in life in any endeavor.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler was a great fighter and a great person. He will be missed.