“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler died Saturday, his wife confirmed today, on his Facebook fan page. The iconic middleweight boxer and occaaional actor was 66.
“Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire,” wrote Kay G. Hagler. “Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
The cause of death was not confirmed.
Born on May 23, 1954, in Newark, NJ, Hagler set out in his boxing career in 1969, going on to compete from 1973, through his abrupt, career-ending loss to “Sugar” Ray Leonard in April 1987. Between 1980 and 1987, he enjoyed an extended reign as undisputed middleweight champion. Among his signature fights was the action-packed April 1985 title bout against Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, which ended in a third-round knockout of the challenger Hearns. Many historians consider it among the greatest three rounds in boxing history.
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Two years earlier, Roberto Duran took Hagler the distance but lost a brutal 15-round unanimous decision to the champion.
Throughout his career in the ring, Hagler went 62-3-2, boasting 52 knockouts. Ultimately, he would be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, as well as the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Following his departure from the boxing world, Hagler moved to Italy, later coming to star in a number of action films, between 1989 and 1997. With his menacing, shaved-head looks, his big-screen credits included Indio, Indio 2 – La rivolta, Notti di Paura and Virtual Weapon. He also played himself in a 1985 Punky Brewster episode titled “The K.O. Kid” and a 1988 episode of 227 and was a guest multiple times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, among other TV appearances.
Hagler is survived by his wife, and his five children from a prior marriage: Charelle, Celeste, James, Marvin Jr., and Gentry.
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