Come Out Writing
When I heard the news that Marvelous Marvin Hagler had suddenly passed away, it was a real punch in the gut. Marvin was a major figure in my own budding boxing fandom in the early 1980s. I was 11 years old when he beat Alan Minter in London and just starting to really get into the fight scene. I can vividly recall watching all of his early title defenses on HBO and then going to the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, to see his fight with Roberto Duran for my first closed-circuit experience. But the night that stands out the most is no surprise: his war with Thomas Hearns. This was another closed-circuit event for me, this time at the Meadowlands Racetrack. It was packed shoulder to shoulder, and when that first bell rang, the place was thick with excitement and anticipation. No one could have predicted what we would see unfold in real time over the next three minutes, and as it happened, it was like an electrical shock went right through that building. People were losing their ever-lovin’ minds. It still stands today as the single most thrilling “live” sporting event I have ever witnessed in my life, an experience I will never, ever forget. Marvin remained my favorite of the Four Kings for the rest of his career. RIP Marvin. There will never be another as Marvelous as you!
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hagler in 1982 when he was in San Remo, Italy, training for the second Obelmejias fight. In those days prior to his relocation to Italy, he spoke no Italian, so I helped translate whenever possible. His training headquarters were in the hotel beneath my uncle’s apartment, and I watched his preparations every day. He didn’t say much before the fight, as he was ALL business, but afterwards we had our pictures taken together and he was so friendly and open. He shared his morning run with me: 10 miles with a military jacket with two-pound weights in the pockets and completed with boots on in UNDER an hour. That is insane for a boxer; if you have ever trained seriously, you will know what I mean. He also told me that the racist comments made by the asshole Alan Minter fired him up even more to punish the moron. What a tragic, tragic loss we suffered with Marvin’s passing. I will always remember him as one of my favorite fighters of all time and a great human being. God bless his soul in Paradise.
No PEDs, no chiropractor, no masseuse, no fancy pad man, no nutritionist. Just boxing coaches, heavy bag, speed bag, sit-up board, sparring partners, willingness to learn and an iron determination, coupled with the desire to be GREAT. That was Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Augustus “Anecdotal Evidence” Tyler IV
Senior Heavyweight Champ
Following a very successful show with Marvelous on November 1, 2018, at my venue in Staffordshire, England, Hagler mentioned that he always wanted to visit Scotland, and as such I planned two shows for the following September at the Edinburgh Hilton and Glasgow Marriott. He was just brilliant at our show in England but moreover even better in Scotland the following year, where he loved for its scenery and culture. A true gentleman and professional, he was an exceptional after-dinner speaker talking about all his fights, including Sugar Ray! Marvin and Kay were so very hospitable to every guest, where nothing was too much trouble, and such a pleasure to work with. He was a fearsome monster in the ring, but deep down a good man. RIP Marvelous.
Founder and Managing Director, Premier Events UK
Thanks for the comprehensive coverage of your April 2021 issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the epic Frazier-Ali I encounter. As usual, the Bible of Boxing stepped up to its great “billing.” However, I have to take an exception to your including the Ali-Doug Jones fight among Ali’s “Greatest Hits” prior to the event. The Jones fight was for me probably one of Ali’s poorest performances, during which his vulnerabilities were most exposed. Not just a few ringside observers felt Jones was actually robbed!
What an issue. I finished it in one sitting. I still remember staying up late that school night and listening to the round-by-round summary. All the articles were well-written. However, I never realized how mean, nasty and cruel Ali was to Joe Frazier and his family. Calling him slow, ugly, a gorilla and Uncle Tom. This was more than trash talk; it was insulting and very hurtful. Frazier was a good man just trying to feed his family. When Ali won his Olympic gold medal, a group of men with money backed him so he could train without working. When Frazier won the gold medal, at first he still had to work his $75-a-week job. Joe lent Ali money and advocated for him to get licensed. No doubt that Ali was a great boxer, but not a great person.
Holly Ridge, N.C.
IT’S A START
I was relieved when I discovered The Ring had discontinued Ring Girl centerfolds. Is it not time to put a real woman boxer on the magazine cover, not an MMA devotee? And why are female boxers still relegated to the back pages of The Ring? Eliminating the centerfold is progress; let’s see some more.
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE
Nowadays, why does The Ring in its articles refer to every alphabet champ as a legitimate ’world’ champion? There can only be one world champion at the time per division. A world champ is a world champ, an alphabet champ (however good he is) is an alphabet champ (until he aims for, and wins, the true title). I remember the days when The Ring editor Bert Sugar fought a war against the alphabet orgs, even leading to The Ring being banned from some fights. Integrity! The inflation of titles created by the alphabet orgs has really ruined the credibility of the sport. Why has today’s The Ring succumbed to these orgs?
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