He is widely regarded as one of the best of all time, and arguably the best middleweight of all time.
Former boxing world champion Marvin Hagler of the US waves before a WBA Middleweight World Championship match between Gennadiy Golovkin of Kazakhstan and Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan in Monte Carlo, early March 31, 2013.
(photo credit: ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS)
Boxing legend ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler has passed away at the age of 66.
The news was announced by Hagler’s wife, Kay, on the Marvelous Marvin Hagler Fan Club Facebook page, writing that “my beloved husband, Marvelous Marvin, passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire.”
The cause of death is unknown.
Hagler is widely regarded as one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of all time, and arguably the greatest middleweight of all time, having dominated the weight-class in the 1980s. Among his most memorable bouts in the ring were in 1985 against Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, a brutal match known as “The War” that only lasted three rounds, as well as his bout against the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard, who ended up taking the title from him, though the match was mired in controversy with many believing the decision win should have gone to Hagler.
Hagler, who legally changed his name to Marvelous Marvin Hagler in 1982, retired with a record of 62-3-2, 52 of which were won by knockout. He is also widely thought to have had the best “chin,” having only been knocked down a single time in his career, though even that knockdown is a matter of debate.
Leonard himself referred to their bout as “the closest I’ve been to death,” according to sports reporter Chris Mannix.
He is a member of both the International and World Boxing Halls of Fame, and is a two-time The Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year.
He is survived by his wife and five children.
Hagler’s death was mourned by many over social media, including friends, contemporaries, boxers and fans.
“Saddened to hear about the death of Marvelous Marvin Hagler. One of the greatest to ever step in the ring! #RIPMarvelous,” tweeted boxing great Oscar De La Hoya.
“RIP to a true legend,” tweeted former world super lightweight champion Regis Prograis.
“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,” tweeted boxing promoter Bob Arum, adding: “He was a true athlete and a true man. I will miss him greatly.”
News of his death was also shared by the UFC, who took time out of the main card of UFC Vegas 21 to hold a tribute to the boxing great.
Reuters contributed to this report.