Legendary middleweight boxer Marvelous Marvin Hagler died Saturday, with a post from a former rival claiming that Hagler had been suffering ill effects from a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement. Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire. Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time,” his wife, Kay, posted on the Facebook account of Hagler’s fan club.
No specific cause of death was given.
Speculation about the role of a vaccination came from former boxer Thomas Hearns, who was one of Hagler’s rivals until he was knocked out in an epic 1985 bout that lasted three rounds before moving into the realm of boxing legends.
“A real true warrior Pray for the king and his family.. he’s in ICU fighting the after effects of the vaccine! He’ll be just fine but we could use the positive energy and Prayer for his Full Recovery !” Hearns had posted on Instagram on Saturday.
Later Saturday, according to Fox News, Hearns tried to distance his post from the politics of coronavirus vaccinations.
“Our love and respect to Marvin and his family, this is not an anti vaccine campaign .. “it’s outrageous to have that in mind during the passing of a King, Legend, Father, Husband and so much more,” he wrote, according to Fox.
The website TMZ reported that “One of Hagler’s sons, James, tells TMZ his father was taken to a hospital in New Hampshire earlier on Saturday after experiencing trouble breathing and chest pains at home.” It offered no further details.
Hagler claimed the middleweight crown in 1980 and defended it until he lost to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987 in a split decision.
After waiting for a year to get another shot at Leonard, Hagler retired from boxing when he realized no rematch was ever in the offing.
His brawl against Hearns in 1985 was ranked one of boxing’s top fights of all time.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler and one of the greatest rounds of boxing pic.twitter.com/j9gEOQSjTQ
— James Dart (@James_Dart) March 14, 2021
Hagler ended his career with a 62-3-2 record with 52 knockouts, according to The Washington Post.
Hagler was remembered by many after his death:
RIP Marvin Hagler ?
One of the greatest to ever get in a ring ? pic.twitter.com/FS3979FAww
— IFL TV (@IFLTV) March 13, 2021
#MarvinHagler RIP Legend is a word used 2 often but Marvin WAS a legend of boxing middleweight. For 6 years 1 of the longest reign as undisputed middleweight World champions 12 title defenses. Dad’s get your kids & aspiring boxers to see some of Marvin’s fights a True Legend pic.twitter.com/CZbREQ6J9h
— Frank Bruno MBE ?? (@frankbrunoboxer) March 14, 2021
Rest In Peace Marvelous Marvin Hagler. pic.twitter.com/9XiEUut7T7
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) March 14, 2021
RIP Marvin Hagler.
What a photo.
What a fight. pic.twitter.com/2fkjPxHHOb
— The ’60s at 60 (@the_60s_at_60) March 14, 2021
Promoter Bob Arum confirmed that Hagler had died, but made no mention of the cause of death.
“Marvelous Marvin Hagler was among the greatest athletes that Top Rank ever promoted. He was a man of honor and a man of his word, and he performed in the ring with unparalleled determination. He was a true athlete and a true man. I will miss him greatly,” Arum said in a statement, according to NBC.
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