This Day in Black History: May 23, 1954

Welterweight champion Marvin Hagler was born in Newark, New Jersey.

Posted: 05/23/2012 07:00 AM EDT

Marvin Nathaniel Hagler was born in Newark, New Jersey, on May 23, 1954, and would go on to become one of the greatest boxers of all time, with an impressive six-year-and-seven-month undefeated reign as middleweight champion.


In 1982, after amassing more than 50 victories in his boxing career, Hagler legally changed his name to Marvelous Marvin after growing upset with announcers who failed to recognize his nickname. His welterweight championship slugfest victory over Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns in 1985 was dubbed “The War” and is still regarded as one of the greatest boxing matches of all time.


Hagler retired from the ring after losing a 12-round decision to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987 and finished his career with a record of 62-3-2, including 52 victories by way of knockout. After boxing, Hagler transitioned into a second career as an actor and analyst, and splits his time between homes in Milan and New Hampshire.



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(Photo: Chris Smith/Getty Images)