There's a generation of people who became boxing fans because of the Marvin Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns fight in 1985 -- an eight-minute slugfest won by Hagler in a third-round knockout. Thirty-six years later, many recognize it as th greatest fight ever.
Hagler died in March after suffering a heart attack at home. On Sunday, May 23rd, It provided an opportunity for a group of family, friends, fellow fighters and supporters to gather at the Rocky Marciano Stadium in Brockton, Massachusetts, to celebrate his life on Marvelous Marvin Hagler Day. It also allows us to recognize his legacy.
Hearns was present at the event, along with former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, Showtime boxing analyst Al Bernstein, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith and boxing writer Ron Borges.
"I want to welcome you to the City of Champions, Brockton, Massachusetts," said Mayor Robert Sullivan in front of about 1,000 attendees, including Mae Lang, Hagler's mother, who helped organized the event.
"There's something very, very special about Marvin Hagler," said Smith. "I grew up watching boxing. Basketball was my first love, boxing was my second. And to see the multitude of great fighters in this beautiful sport that we know as boxing, I consider Marvin Hagler to be one of the greatest fighters that we've ever seen. But the reason I had so much admiration for him, and I'd always maintained that level of admiration is because whatever he brought to the ring, 12 consecutive title defenses, dominating the sport from '80 to '87 and being a guy that was fighter of the year and inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993, whatever you want to say about him as a fighter, think about what he represented as a champion."