On this day in boxing history, the undisputed middleweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and challenger Thomas Hearns not only met the extreme expectations created by promoters and the fans, but somehow managed to exceed them.
This fight, much like the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight, went through an extremely long build up with injuries and other setbacks. Hagler expressed his frustrations in Hearns, who was battling a hand injury at the time, stating that most people would take the million dollar payday and just chop off their hand.
When they finally stepped in the ring, even before the echo of the opening bell had faded Hagler bolted from his corner behind a sweeping right that whizzed over Hearns’ head and a short left to the body as the challenger circled away. Hearns’ first jabs fell short of the target as Hagler fired another southpaw left to the stomach. A heavy right hook over the top nailed Hearns and an instant later Hearns retaliated with a crackling right to the chin that not only stunned Hagler for the briefest of moments but also ignited what would become one of history’s most intense firefights.
With his back to the ropes, Hearns, realizing he had just hurt the un-hurtable, whaled away with both hands as Hagler tried to recover from the missile he had just eaten. A scorching right uppercut to the jaw forced Hagler to take a reluctant step back before slapping on a half-hearted clinch. Once Steele pulled them apart Hagler stepped in with a flush left cross that stung Hearns, then prompted him to fire back in kind. Hearns missed three power shots but connected with a right cross as Hagler landed a left to the belt line.
In just 60 seconds, the fight had already become a classic. It was as if every punch were an answer for every insult they spewed during the build-up. Hagler made Hearns pay for saying the champion was “shaking life a leaf on a tree” following his knockout of Duran and for calling him a “midget” while Hearns punished the champion for declaring he would chop the “freak” down and say “timber.”
After Hearns poked out a lazy jab Hagler sprang up from his crouch and blasted an arcing right to the temple that turned the challenger’s legs into boiled spaghetti. As Hearns loped toward ring center Hagler cut off the escape route, landed a second right, fanned on a big hook and delivered a final right to the side of Hearns’ face. The punch separated Hearns from his consciousness and after sliding down Hagler’s body he hit the floor with inert heaviness.
When he struck the canvas Hearns looked to be out but drawing on a prodigious inner strength the challenger somehow managed to totter to his feet by Steele’s count of nine. But Hearns was unable to clear the final hurdle – bright-eyed, steady-legged alertness – and thus Steele correctly halted the fight at the 2:01 mark of round three.
This fight, lasting only 7 minutes and 52 seconds, was one of the most action packed fights of all time. If you want to take the time and watch the fight, check out the video below.
content source: ringtv