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Hagler / Leonard
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britbox Offline
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Hagler / Leonard




Great video with the build up to the fight of the 80s between blue collar Hagler and golden boy Sugar Ray Leonard.

I've watched this fight in full over 20 times over the years. The only time I thought Leonard won was the first time I watched it. Sugar Ray won it on a split decision.
17-May-2014 08:22 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Hagler / Leonard
In Sugar Ray's excellent autobiography, he pooh-poohs your suggestion that he lost, pointing out that he landed more blows. He also says that Hagler has been sulking needlessly since then, going so far as to - many years later - blanking Sugar Ray in a bathroom at some high profile scrap.

Leonard hadn't fought in centuries. If Hagler wanted to make sure, he shouldn't have let it drag on so long... No No

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17-May-2014 08:48 PM
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britbox Offline
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RE: Hagler / Leonard
I've read Leonard's autobiography too and agree it's a good read.

Don't get me wrong - in the boxing terms the decision was not controversial. It was a very close fight. The punch count was very close also. It favoured Leonard because Hagler virtually gave away the first 3 rounds fighting orthodox (he was a natural southpaw). For the remainder of the fight, Hagler was more than holding his own and was the heavier punchier. Leonard was hurt several times.

Leonard also admitted part of his plan was to really steal rounds by influencing the judges by being very active in the last 30 seconds of each round.

If you watch the fight with the commentary off and forget who the fighters are then I can't see how the fight is scored in Leonard's favour.

Turn the commentary back on and also note that Leonard is performing way above the pre-fight expectations and Hagler some way below. That's very influential to judges (even though it shouldn't be)... plus the crowd was firmly pro-Leonard.

Nobody would deny that Leonard fought a great fight in context that he hadn't fought for a while (although apparently he had fights behind closed doors against top pros as part of his build up - far beyond usual sparring sessions). Nobody would deny he fought way above expectations. Nobody will forget it was his first fight at the weight. His preparation, tactics and strategy were spot on.... He was superb. BUT IMO, he didn't win the fight. Again, it was not controversial (other than one idiot judge who gave it to him by 8 rounds - now that WAS criminal) - Overall, I've seen far worse decisions, including many where a fighter has been plainly robbed. This decision wasn't a robbery at all.... it's just I scored it for Hagler.

I think there was a good chance Hagler would have retired even if he had beaten Leonard. He was past his best and had considered retiring after the Mugabe fight. It was watching the Mugabe fight that Leonard finally believed he could take him. He'd avoided him like the plague when Marvin was in his prime in the early 80s.
17-May-2014 09:37 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Hagler / Leonard
Yeah, he did avoid him, possibly wisely, because Hagler was nearly invincible, it seemed like nobody would ever beat him. I can't remember, did Leonard avoid him after the fight, too? Because surely Marvin was owed a rematch...

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18-May-2014 02:52 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: Hagler / Leonard
I remember watching this fight on German television at the time. Throughout the fight the commentator was saying that Leonard was boxing circles around Hagler and made him look like a clumsy amateur in comparison. When it was over he thought that Leonard had won by a landslide and called it a scandal that he "only" won by split descision. Personally I thought it was a very close fight. Whenever I watch a boxing match I usually do so with a pen and a piece of paper to score rounds myself. I think that Leonard won the fight by one point or something like that on my scorecard.
11-Sep-2014 03:26 AM
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