Wednesday, May 1, 2013

4/6/1987 - WBC & The Ring Middleweight Title - Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Leonard

4/6/1987 - WBC & The Ring Middleweight Title - Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Leonard

"I've been looking forward to this fight for years." - Marvin Hagler

"This is a dream. A dream that has become a reality." - Sugar Ray Leonard
This was a classic fight that I've wanted to review for a while. The fight had a really classic wrestling build to it. Marvin Hagler wanted Sugar Ray Leonard for years but couldn't get him. Sugar Ray invited Marvin Hagler to a charity event in 1982. Hagler expected Ray to finally agree to the fight. However, Ray tricked Hagler and on the fight said, "Unfortunately, it would never happen" after putting over how good it would be. This frustrated Hagler and was one of the last fights Hagler felt he really needed.

Ray announced his retirement after the charity event, but was ready to return in a year from a bad eye injury. Ray saw Hagler not being the Hagler of old and saw his chance to get a wain. Ray finally accepted a fight with Hagler, under certain circumstances. Ray wanted a larger ring, lighter gloves and a 12 round fight instead of a 15 round fight. This ensured Hagler would have to chase Ray more and would limit any possible punishment Ray would take.

"You better get your peanuts and popcorn early because this doesn't necessarily have to go 12 rounds." - Marvin Hagler

Round 1

10-9 Leonard. Little happened in this round. Leonard was sticking and moving and was very very smooth and fast. Hagler got almost nothing in while Leonard had a few combos.

"He's all yours son. Just keep messin' him around." - Leonard's trainer
Round 2

10-9 Leonard. Hagler offered very little and chased Leonard around the whole round. Hagler switched to the traditional boxing stance here and the announcers really criticized it, saying Leonard couldn't take southpaw's in training. Leonard exploded near the end to get easy points and to close the round looking strong.
"You went right handed that round. Stay southpaw, okay?"
Round 3

10-9 Leonard. Another Leonard round in my opinion. He controlled the fight and got more shots in. Hagler looked good early on but Leonard controlled things after and sunk some nice hits in.
"Feint this sucker, he'll go for it, Ray. Feint it!"
"He's showboatin'. He's a god-d*mned sissy." - Hagler's trainer | "Stay on him. Rough him up."
Round 4

10-8 Leonard. Sorry, but this was an embarrassing round for Hagler. He got owned here. He got nothing in, Leonard showboated and still kicked his butt.

Round 5

10-9 Hagler. Hagler finally gets one! Good round for him. He was aggressive, hit a ton of shots and even trapped him against the ropes which is what he wanted all along.

Round 6

"Leonard's doing nothing to make him miss, he's just missing."

10-9 Leonard. Another very good round. Hagler missed a ton and Ray got a nice combo in during the tail end to take this. Both men slowed down big time here with tons of close range fighting.

Round 7

10-9 Hagler. He got Ray on the ropes and pounded away, but Ray did get some very good shots in too. Hagler started to come alive here.

Round 8

10-9 Hagler. He did exactly what he wanted to do here - get in close and pound away. Leonard still showed some flashes of brilliance but definitely got beat in this round.

Round 9

10-9 Hagler. Awesome round here. One of the best. They both threw some serious 100 MPH flurries and it was great.

Round 10

10-9 Hagler. He just got more in and controlled the fight the way he wanted it. Ray looked like he was hanging on at points.

Round 11
10-9 Leonard. He hit some nice flurries and controlled Hagler in the last half of the round.
Round 12
10-9 Leonard. Tons of great combo's here to send Marv packing.

I had the fight 115-112 for Sugar Ray Leonard.

The judges had it 115-113 Hagler, 118-110 Leonard, 115-113 Leonard.
Hey, it's Chevy Chase!
Hagler really thought he won and was pretty upset upon losing. From what I saw, his cornermen didn't have any idea on what was really going on as it was obvious he was losing.

"This is the greatest accomplishment of my life." - Ray Leonard
Overall thoughts: This was a classic fight and Ray Leonard was just on another level here. He came in, he executed his game plan perfectly and schooled Marvin Hagler in the process. This was a legendary performance and surely the greatest win he ever had. He also was able to get into Hagler's head beforehand and set the fight up to his advantage which led to him winning it. Hagler did himself no favors. He blew the first few rounds and laughed them off. He looked better in the second half but Ray only needed a round or two to clinch it by that point, which he did. I really recommend checking out this fight and the ESPN Top 5 Reasons on it to really get the whole experience.

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