Remembering The Superfight: Hagler vs. Leonard 1987

One Half of the Fab Four Gave Boxing A Night That Lingers Still in the Collective Memory of the Sport’s Fabled Annals

Before the advent of 24/7; before the internet, Facebook & Youtube & yes, before the true uptake of fighter-promoters in the sport there was a superfight; The Super Fight. There are fights that contribute to the sport’s history with a tremendous career or intra-fight comeback; with the matching of skills between two future Hall of Famers; with judging controversies that linger chronically to the present day; with global mainstream anticipation & appeal – there are few, very few, that manage to encapsulate all of these into a single night that will never & can never be forgotten by die-hard devotees of the sweet science of boxing.

1987’s long awaited showdown between long-standing middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler & the most celebrated boxer of the immediate post-Ali years in Sugar Ray Leonard was just such an occasion. The two combatants formed one half of a quartet of celebrated lightweight to (eventually) super-middleweight champions who graced the sport between the late 1970s & late 1980s with a cumulative rivalry that is universally regarded as the competitive high point of the latter part of the 20th century within the sport.

Roberto “The Hands of Stone” Duran; Thomas “The Hitman/Motor City Cobra” Hearns; “Sugar” Ray Leonard & Marvelous Marvin Hagler gave the sport of boxing a selection of unforgettable confrontations all worthy of their consensus first ballot Hall of Fame legacies. For all of the brutal primordial rage & fury of Hagler vs. HearnsHagler vs. Leonard is a bout whose short to medium term ramifications & fall out can scarcely be touched by any prize fight post 1974’s Rumble in the Jungle.

Matt Hamilton, for!

Matt Hamilton

Matt Hamilton on Boxing