The sports world is in mourning over the loss of a legendary athlete this past weekend.
Middleweight boxing legend “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler died on Saturday at the age of 66, according to the Associated Press.
Hagler’s death was first revealed by his wife, Kay, in a Facebook post that read:
I am sorry to make a very sad announcement. Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire.
Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.
Rising to prominence in the 1980s, Hagler fought many of his sport’s biggest names, ultimately finishing with a record of 62-3-2 and notching 52 knockouts, as the AP noted, and was the undisputed champion in his weight class between the years of 1980 and 1987.
Defending his title successfully for several years, it was Hagler’s 1985 bout with Tommy Hearns that went down in boxing history as one of the most brutal matches ever fought, and one which promoter Bob Arum characterized as “probably the greatest fight ever.”
Reminiscing on that blockbuster battle, Hearns paid tribute to his rival, saying, “He fought his heart out, and we put on a great show for all time.”
It was not until 1987 that Hagler’s time atop the middleweight ranks came to an end, when he lost to fellow legend Sugar Ray Leonard, who had been absent for the ring for three years due to a detached retina and was thus considered an underdog, as TMZ Sports noted.
In a somewhat bizarre twist this weekend, prior to the news of Hagler’s death, Hearns posted to’ Instagram asking for prayers on Hagler’s behalf and indicated that he was “in ICU fighting the after effects of the vaccine!” However, the subsequent announcement from Hagler’s family attributed his death to “natural causes,” and did not make any reference to vaccines of any type, according to Deadline Detroit.
Hagler leaves behind a wife and five children from a prior marriage, and he will certainly be missed by friends, family, and sports fans all over the world.