Next month sees the launch of an explosive first biography of 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler, a boxer regarded by many as the greatest middleweight of all time.
Marvelous tells the story of Hagler’s exceptional career for the first time, separating truth from myth to get right to the heart of a complex and charismatic man.
Hagler is a sporting legend. He held the world title for 12 defences, including legendary bouts with Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran which entered boxing folklore.
From his wild early fights in the boxing wilderness of Brockton, Massachusetts, Hagler became a huge favourite, taking on all comers while never taking a step back.
Now father and son pair Brian and Damian Hughes trace the blazing trail of Hagler’s career: the controversial defeats subsequently avenged, a riot-scarred title win in London, and his unification of the middleweight crown; The Ring magazine’s “greatest round of all time” against Hearns, his ferocious battle with Duran, and the still-controversial final confrontation with his nemesis Leonard.
'You have three strikes against you, "You're black, you're a southpaw, and you're good,’” Joe Frazier warned Hagler, the ultimate boxing outsider. Frazier’s warning proved prescient. Hagler was continually thwarted in getting his shot at the middleweight title despite fifty fights during his first seven years as a professional.
Then, finally given his shot, his first title fight against Vito Antuofermo ended in a controversial draw. He eventually snatched the crown from Alan Minter, against a backdrop of explosive racial tension. Hagler then defended his title with a demonic intensity for the next seven years.
His classic encounters against three boxing legends were each surrounded with intrigue. Roberto Duran’s crude attempts at psychological warfare nearly caused the fight to be brought forward to the weigh-in; the meeting with Thomas Hearns, almost derailed by an argument over a private jet, is still cited as one of the greatest fights of all time; and his final encounter against Sugar Ray Leonard, which took five years to stage, still manages to split opinion today.
'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler changed the boxing landscape through a combination of steely determination and his devastating fists. His story has never been shared – until now - and Marvelous sheds new light on a true boxing great and gives a fascinating new insight into his life and times.
Click here for more information on Marvelous, which publishes on 1st October 2013, including a free download of the first chapter.