Marvelous Marvin Hagler (he legally changed his name so that everyone has to call him "Marvelous") held the World Middleweight Boxing Championship from 1980-87, successfully defending the crown 12 times, 11 by knockout. On April 6, 1987, he lost a controversial split decision to Sugar Ray Leonard. Hagler's supporters contend that he landed the more punishing blows, that he controlled the fight and that Leonard "stole" some rounds by throwing flashy but ineffective combinations in the waning seconds; Leonard's advocates argue that he successfully followed his game plan of avoiding a big "bomb" by Hagler and that he "out-fought and out-thought" the defending champion.
Leonard retired after the Hagler fight but--like many boxers--he came out of retirement several times; he won his first three fights after beating Hagler but then he lost a 12 round unanimous decision to Terry Norris in 1991 and he was knocked out in five rounds by Hector "Macho" Camacho in 1997 before hanging up his gloves for good.
Hagler took a much different path than Leonard--and most other boxers. He asked Leonard's camp for a rematch but Leonard refused so Hagler, who was never knocked out and whose only losses came by decision, announced his retirement--and he never came back. He has spent the last two decades working as an actor and a boxing commentator and devoting time to charitable work, most notably with the Laureus World Sports Academy.
Hagler retired with a record of 62 wins (52 by knockout), 3 losses and two draws.
Check out these four videos of "The War," when Hagler defended his World Middleweight title against Tommy "Hitman" Hearns on April 15, 1985.
First, Al Michaels and the late, great Curt Gowdy set the stage by explaining who these two great champions faced prior to their epic showdown:
Here is the first round, still considered to be the greatest in boxing history:
The second round starts off slowly but ends with a bang:
Michaels summed up round three perfectly: "It's Hagler, full of blood...It didn't go very far but it was a beauty!"