Hagler vs Hearns: A Marvelous Fight For The Ages

It was Marvelous Marvin Hagler at his very best. The win Hagler scored on April 15 1985 will always be remembered as one of the greatest, most action-packed short fights in boxing history, while the opening round is almost universally accepted as THE greatest round of them all.

Today, all over the world, many millions of Marvin Hagler fans will be watching the Hearns epic as they pay tribute to the fallen warrior.

The Hagler-Hearns war was simply astonishing, the manner in which southpaw hard man Hagler and orthodox gunslinger Hearns tore right at one another at the sound of the opening bell. Three of the most jaw-dropping, agonizing minutes of ring warfare ever captured on film, the Hagler-Hearns fight was destined for a unique place in boxing history due to those opening 180 seconds alone.

The drama continued, with Hagler, who had taken Tommy’s sizzling right hand to the head and had not fallen, coming on strong in round two. Hearns, his chief weapon busted, tried his absolute best to fight back. Hagler was soon pouring with blood and a time-out was called in the third. Would the fight be stopped? Would Hagler be “robbed” once again, injustice having plagued him throughout his career, at least in his opinion? Would the fight have been stopped had it been taking place today?

Instead, allowed to fight on, a desperate Hagler really poured it on, catching Hearns with a lunging shot to the head that splintered the challenger’s senses. It was over: 7 minutes and 52 seconds of the most intense ring combat ever seen. Hagler had proven his greatness, so too had Hearns. There would not be a rematch.

Today, fight fans continue to marvel over the fight. Round one is, without doubt, the greatest single round in middleweight history, if not in any weight class. It was also a split round on the official score-cards, with Herb Santos scoring it 10-9 for Hagler, Harry Gibbs having it the same way, and Dick Young having it 10-9 for Hearns.

Hagler won the second on two cards, as well – with Young going with Hearns here once again (quite surprisingly; Hagler clearly getting the better of things). Then came the emphatic finish and Hagler was the pound-for-pound king.

The already sadly missed Hagler had many great nights but for most the Hearns victory was his finest hour. This is the fight for which Marvelous Marvin will be best remembered.