Legendary former middleweight supremo Marvelous Marvin Hagler has been immortalized in a statue that is set to be unveiled on Thursday in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Hagler, who passed away suddenly in March 2022 at the age of 66, is widely and rightly recognised as one of the greatest fighters in history, amassing a record of 63-3-2 (52 KOs) in a 14-year career – half of which was spent as the world middleweight champion.

The bronze statue, which is the result of a $150,000 state grant secured by Massachusetts Rep. Gerry Cassidy, will be on display in the new Marvelous Marvin Hagler Park. Its unveiling comes 14 years after the same city honored the memory of the “Brockton Blockbuster”, heavyweight great Rocky Marciano, also with a statue.

Hagler turned professional in 1973, working his way up the middleweight ranks – beating the likes of Eugene Hart, Sugar Ray Seales, Kevin Finnegan, Bennie Briscoe and twice avenging an early defeat to Willie Monroe – until he belatedly secured a title shot against Vito Antuofermo in November 1979. A contentious 15-round draw followed before Hagler ripped the crown from new champion Alan Minter 10 months later.

In his second defense he gained revenge over Antuofermo before outclassing all-comers like Tony Sibson, Mustafa Hamsho and Caveman Lee. In November 1983, Hagler – eager to prove himself against fellow elites of the era – outpointed Roberto Duran over 15 tactical rounds.

In April 1985, in a rumble that will forever be considered one of the most thrilling of them all, Hagler halted Thomas Hearns in three violent stanzas. The next year he thwarted the unbeaten run of slugger John Mugabi in his 12th successful defense before he was matched with Sugar Ray Leonard in April 1987.

It would be Hagler’s last fight. The comebacking Leonard, though he’d engaged in at least two behind-closed-doors affairs, hadn’t officially fought for three years but bewitched the champion in the early rounds. Hagler – by now regarded as the best fighter in the entire sport – fought back ferociously but to his eternal dismay came out on the wrong end of a controversial split decision.

Tired of waiting for a rematch, Hagler announced his retirement in June 1988 and remained an exceptionally popular figure in the fight industry until his death. 

Of the statue Brockton Mayor Robert F. Sullivan said: “Brockton is known worldwide as the ‘City of Champions’, largely because of the incredible and historic athletic achievements of Marvelous Marvin Hagler.”