Celebrating Black History Month: Marvin Hagler

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Few 160-pounders in boxing history have sent more opponents thudding to the canvas than “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler. The iron-fisted fighter boasts the highest knockout percentage of any 160-pound champion ever, having KO’d 78 percent of his challengers.

Marvin Hagler

Marvin Hagler was the undisputed 160-pound world champion from 1980-87.

Hagler’s lights-out power enabled him to compile the second-longest reign as undisputed 160-pound champ, spanning six years and seven months from 1980-87.

A notorious tough guy with a granite chin and a brutal training regimen, Hagler famously ran in combat boots when he did his roadwork because he dismissed running shoes as something for softies.

In the ring, Hagler is best known for his classic battles with fellow International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Hagler’s April 1985 fight with Hearns would come to be known as “The War,” highlighted by an opening round that is widely considered one of the sport’s greatest with the two fighters pummeling each other without mercy, toe-to-toe, cheek-to-rapidly-swelling-cheek.

Hagler, dripping with blood from a gash opened in his forehead, would knock out Hearns in Round 3, a fittingly violent end to eight explosive minutes of action.

Two years later, Hagler would meet Leonard in “The Super Fight,” one of the most heavily hyped events in the history of the sport with the two combatants earning a then-record $23 million in combined purses.

In a heated back-and-forth battle, Leonard earned a fiercely contested decision victory that remains a subject of debate. The fight would be Hagler’s last.

Later, he’d be crowned Fighter of the Decade (1980s) by Boxing Illustrated.

Upon retiring from boxing, Hagler moved to Italy and pursued acting. There, he starred in a series of action films, his art imitating his life.

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