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Boxing Great Marvelous Marvin Hagler Dies at 66

FILE - In this April 1987 file photo,

FILE – In this April 1987 photo, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, left, moves in on Sugar Ray Leonard during the third round of a boxing bout in Las Vegas. Leonard won with a split decision. Hagler died March 13, 2021. He was 66.

Hagler would fight only two more times, stopping John Mugabi a year later and then meeting Leonard, who was coming off a three-year layoff from a detached retina, in his final fight in 1987. Hagler was favored going into the fight and many thought he would destroy Leonard — but Leonard had other plans.

Split decision

While Hagler pursued him around the ring, Leonard fought backing up, flicking out his left jab and throwing combinations that didn’t hurt Hagler but won him points on the ringside scorecards. Still, when the bell rang at the end of the 12th round, many thought Hagler had pulled out the fight — only to lose a controversial split decision.

Hagler, who was paid $19 million, left the ring in disgust and never fought again. He moved to Italy to act, and never really looked back.

“I feel fortunate to get out of the ring with my faculties and my health,” he said a year later.

Hagler was born in Newark, New Jersey, and moved with his family to Brockton in the late 1960s. He was discovered as an amateur by the Petronelli brothers, Goody and Pat, who ran a gym in Brockton and would go on to train Hagler for his entire pro career.

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1983.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler stopped Thomas Hearns in a fight that lasted less than eight minutes yet was so epic that it still lives in boxing lore. Two years later he was so disgusted after losing a decision to Sugar Ray Leonard — stolen, he claimed, by the judges — that he never fought again.

One of the great middleweights in boxing history, Hagler died Saturday at age 66. His wife, Kay, announced his death on the Facebook page for Hagler’s fans.

“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement,” she wrote. “Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly details ⇒

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