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Of the many outstanding fighters in the mid-level weight divisions in the 1980's - Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns - only one made it onto this list. "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler fought anyone and everyone during his career and is frequently cited as the greatest middleweight ever.
At 5'9", Hagler was short for a middleweight, but made up for it with power, toughness, skillful technique, and the ability to fight equally well in both an orthodox and southpaw stance. Born in New Jersey, but now living in Brockton, Massachusetts, "Marvelous Marvin" defeated Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Seales, and Mustafa Hamsho.
However, he is most famous for two fights. The first, against Thomas Hearns, was simply nicknamed "War" and lived up to its nickname, becoming one of the greatest slugfests in boxing history. Though it only lasted three rounds before Hagler knocked out Hearns, it was named Ring Magazine's "Fight of the Year" and is an all-time classic.
The second, against Sugar Ray Leonard, did not end as well for Hagler. It ended in a split decision, with one judge scoring it 115-113 Hagler, one scoring it 115-113 Leonard, and a third judge entering a ridiculous 118-110 card for Leonard. So dismayed by the judging and the refereeing of Richard Steele, Hagler retired following the bout and never returned to the ring.
However, he had two separate unbeaten streaks of over 25 matches, and fought admirably against every good fighter of his day, usually turning in dominant performances.