All-time great middleweight champion and two-time Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year Marvelous Marvin Hagler turned 57 today.
Hagler was born in Newark on May 23, 1954, before moving to Brockton, Mass., in 1967 following the infamous Newark riots. He began to box at age 15, and in 1973 won the National AAU championship at 165 pounds.
Hagler turned pro in '73 and remained undefeated for three years, when he dropped a pair of fights in 1976. But by 1979 he had progressed far enough to earn a shot at middleweight champion Vito Antuofermo. In a fight in Las Vegas that most felt Hagler won, the decision was announced as a draw. It would be another 10 months before Hagler would get a second shot, this time against Alan Minter in London. Hagler stopped Minter in three rounds, claiming the championship.
Hagler dominated the 1980s, defending his crown successfully against the likes of Roberto Duran, Antuofermo, Juan Roldan, Tony Sibson, John Mugabi, and others. His most famous fight came on April 15, 1985, when he faced Tommy Hearns in what were arguably the three most furious rounds of action in boxing history.
Hagler would fight just twice more after the war with Hearns. He beat Mugabi in 1986, and then in 1987 faced a returning Sugar Ray Leonard, losing a 12-round decision that is debated fiercely to this day. He never did fight again, leaving boxing behind and never returning, something few are able to do, and fewer still at age 33 and in fighting shape.
After boxing, Hagler moved to Italy, and lives in Milan today, though he owns a home in New Hampshire. He has been quiet in retirement for the most part, staying well out of the public spotlight.
After the jump: Some Hagler video clips.