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Sunday Punch: Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s eight minutes of fury with Thomas Hearns

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A tribute to the late Marvelous Marvin Hagler and his unforgettable war with Thomas Hearns.

The combat sports world is mourning the loss of former middleweight boxing champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who passed away on Saturday at his home in New Hampshire at just 66 years old. His impact on the sport is profound and his status as one of the all-time greats is unquestioned.

Hagler (62-3-2, 52 KOs) has a laundry list of impressive wins and impressive knockout victories against high-level opposition throughout his decorated career. The one that is etched into boxing lore is his eight minutes of fury versus the heavy-handed Thomas Hearns.

Back in the day, big boxing cards were not exclusively on Saturday night. This highly anticipated undisputed middleweight title clash was scheduled for a Monday night at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on April 16th, 1985. The opening round is widely regarded as one of the greatest opening rounds in boxing history if not the greatest. They unleashed hell on Earth and Hagler was even buzzed (by his standards) early. There was no feeling out process to be had with these two legends.

But Hearns’ willingness to get into a slugfest with someone who not only packs a punch but has amazing cardio and one of the best chins in boxing history proved to be the wrong move. A right hand in round three had Hearns turning his back and in bad shape. Another leaping right by Hagler and a pushing left hook felled ‘The Hitman’ once and for all. Marvin Hagler by third-round TKO at the 1:52 mark.

Watch the full video at the top of the page. The fight begins at the 5:50 mark but you might as well stay for the whole thing just to get a feel of how the sport was covered back in the 1980s.

On a personal note, way back in 1977 Hagler fought and stopped a journeyman named Reggie Ford. Reggie was one of my dad’s childhood friends and he passed away early last month at the age of 67. Now we’ve lost perhaps the best middleweight in boxing history.

RIP Marvelous Marvin Hagler: 1954-2021