Former undisputed middleweight world champion, ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler, has died at the age of 66, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Sunday.
The American dominated the middleweight division from 1979 until his controversial defeat by Sugar Ray Leonard in April 1987.
“Today, unfortunately, my beloved husband, Marvelous Marvin, passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire,” his wife, Kay Hagler, said.
Hagler fought 67 times during his 14-year professional career, winning 62.
He triumphed on 52 occasions by knockout, while he drew two and lost three times.
In September 1980, Hagler fought Britain’s Alan Minter at Wembley Stadium to claim his first world titles, winning the WBA and WBC belts.
His most famous fight came in April 1985 when he fought Thomas ‘Hit Man’ Hearns over three brutal rounds – a classic known as ‘The War’.
Hagler made 12 successful title defences until his defeat by Leonard by a split decision and he retired a year later.
In a tribute, former world heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, tweeted: “The world is one great man less today.
“This one hits so hard also because he was the one I emulated my own training camps after when I saw how seriously he took his training camps.”
He added: “Not only was he a living legend, but I was proud to call him my friend. He was so full of life, energy and positivity in our conversations that you would never guess what a wrecking machine he was in the ring.
“Our wives would speak on the phone to connect us and I’ll miss his voice saying ‘It’s Marvelous’ on the other end of the line.”
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Boxing legend, Marvellous Marvin Hagler, dies at 66