We saw a great fight on Saturday night between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. We see great fights every year in boxing.
Some, though, stand the test of time and become truly legendary. The April 15, 1985 middleweight championship fight between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns is one of those.
Hagler, who died on Saturday at the age of 66, was a true middleweight king, one of the best 160-pound fighters to ever live. Hearns had won titles at welterweight and junior middleweight, and was coming up in weight to challenge for a genuine throne. Hagler had been champion for five years.
Known by many simply as “The War,” Hagler and Hearns traded vicious and heavy leather for less than three rounds — seven minutes and 52 seconds, to be exact. But what a seven minutes and 52 seconds.
And none of it was better than the first three minutes. There is still a strong argument to this day that the first round of Hagler-Hearns is the best round in boxing history. Not only is it crazy action, but it comes from two skilled, fearsome and fearless fighters, true legends, and the crowd at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was simply rabid for the fight already. What they got immediately only kicked things up another notch.
You can watch the round up top and decide for yourself if it’s the best ever. If you’ve seen it before, of course you want to watch it again. If you’ve never seen it, my word, WATCH IT IMMEDIATELY.
All sports change and evolve and go different ways. All of them have up periods and down periods and golden ages, and I personally don’t like to focus on the past.
But let’s be honest: some things were just better.
This is one of them.