As his many, many fans know, Marvelous Marvin Hagler would have celebrated his 67th birthday on May 23rd. Sadly, the former long-reigning middleweight king will not be here to see his 68th year, but there will be a celebration all the same. As has been reported by RingTV.com and CBS Brockton, May 23rd will be Marvelous Marvin Hagler day in his hometown of Brockton.
May 23, a Sunday, will see the public invited to Rocky Marciano Stadium in Brockton and a host of celebrities from the boxing world will also be there – including another middleweight great in Bernard Hopkins, and perhaps the finest man behind the microphone today, Al Bernstein. Plenty of other great fighters are likely to attend.
It will be a day that both pays tribute to and celebrates the long and distinguished fighting career of Hagler, who was a born fighter. Hagler’s mother told RingTV.com that her son never wanted a funeral or a wake, that it was his wish to be cremated. Now, in a couple of weeks, the whole of Boston, the whole of America, will say a grand goodbye to the man plenty of valued experts say was THE greatest middleweight of them all.
“This public memorial will be a fitting tribute to one of the city’s favorite sons and one of boxing’s all-time greats,” Brockton mayor Robert Sullivan said this week.
No doubt the fans who do turn out will speak to each other, each sharing their own special Hagler memory or memories. It will be fascinating to hear what Hopkins has to say about Hagler, a fighter who influenced and inspired his own career immeasurably. If you live in Brockton and you’re a fight fan, if you’re a Hagler fan, you will be there. If you live in America and you can make the trip, you will be there.
There will be TV coverage for those of us who will not be able to make it. Hagler made a massive, everlasting impact on the sport of boxing. There may be more than a few tears of gratitude on display on May 23.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler: middleweight king from 1980 to 1987. Final ring record: 62-3-2(52). 12 title defences.