When Hagler Speaks We Listen

By Robert Ecksel on January 22, 2012
When Hagler Speaks We Listen
When Marvelous Marvin speaks we listen, with awe, with reverence, with rapt attention

Dubai is perfectly situated to host Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Its location is ideal, being only 100 miles from Iran…

We have a policy not to report every rumor and scrap of gossip that cuts through the credibility of websites like a hot knife cuts through butter. Don’t get us wrong. We’re all for wishful thinking. In fact, we’re so for wishful thinking that when our Board of Directors gathers each month to discuss our finances over gruel and Red Bull, we begin each meeting by forming a circle, dropping to our knees, where we join hands, look to the heavens, and repeat “Mayweather-Pacquiao, Mayweather-Pacquiao, Mayweather-Pacquiao” no less than a dozen times.

Admittedly, we sometimes get carried away. The chanting often seems to last hours. Some of us grow dizzy and red in the face as we intone our favorite mantra. Our pulses race, our blood pressures rise, our eyes lose focus, become watery, and look glassy. If it weren’t for our company secretary, the levelheaded Miss Cavendish, who is the embodiment of pulchritude and common sense, we might never shut our mouths, regain our wits, climb to our feet, and take our seats at the conference table to attend to the business at hand.

The sole reason I’m sharing this secret of Boxing.com’s innermost workings is because one of our heroes, former middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler, has broken his silence on that which matters more to us than anything in the world. Unless one has been on a desert island or their head is where the sun don’t shine, I’m referring of course of the proposed fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Although Hagler is in Italy, when he speaks we listen, with awe, with reverence, with rapt attention, and enjoy nothing better than burying our skepticism beneath shovelfuls of blind faith.

Speaking from his home in Milan, Hagler has joined forces with former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in support of Dubai’s bid to host the “once-in-a-lifetime,” assuming there is life after death, fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao. 

“Boxing has been around for many years and has an established audience,” Hagler told Gulf News, “but it’s always good to seek a new audience. This could help to reawaken the sport if it were hosted in new markets like Dubai.”

Dubai is perfectly situated to host the fight. Its location is ideal, being only 100 miles from Iran. Not only that. The once-oil rich kingdom has had its own crash of sorts, making it not unlike Las Vegas in that regard, and its stock market is down 75 percent from its pre-2008 high. But black gold still flows in Dubai, if not like water, as was once the case, at least like quicksand.

“Boxing fans from all over the world remember the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ and the ‘Rumble in The Jungle,’” continued the Marvelous One, “because those fights shocked the world and gave boxing its place at the number one spot in sport at that moment in time.”

There’s a seven-hour time difference between Dubai and, say, New York, so a 9:00 pm fight in Dubai would be broadcast live on PPV at four in the morning. That’s a bit past our bedtime. But we’re more than willing to wake up earlier than usual, feed the hogs and chickens, and still have time to catch the fight.

And as luck would have it, Hagler, like us, albeit for different reasons, believes time is relative and need not be an obstacle to a fight for which obstacles have become the norm.

“A fight of this nature would be a great deal because the world would be watching no matter what time it is.

“I can’t say if money or the time-zone factor will count Dubai out of the equation, but regardless I would have thought Dubai has a good chance. You know the name of the game. Whoever has the money can host the fight. So ultimately it depends on who can financially host it.”

Hearing those words is music to our ears. Not that Dubai is around the corner exactly. But at least someone whose credibility is beyond reproach is seeking the answer to our wildest dreams.

While those of us sitting around the conference table are wreathed in beatific halos of hopefulness, the lovely Miss Cavendish, who has the temperament of the Rock of Gibraltar to go along with her hourglass figure, is smirking in the background.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. the thresher 11:32am, 01/24/2012

    His movies were among the worst ever made. Even bores than Kenny Norton’s “Mandingo.” Actually, they are collector’s items.

  2. Pete The Sneak 07:47am, 01/24/2012

    Thresh, thanks for the info. I remember reading he made a couple of action flicks in Italy at one time?...@Gaijers, indeed. you’ve captured the essence of the Marvelous one. Nicely put. Peace.

  3. Gajjers 07:07am, 01/24/2012

    Thanks for the heads-up Thresher; that sounds just like the man! He’s no limelight hog, is Hagler, and God bless him for that. His legacy as a highly skilled professional with great discipline & dignity is pretty secure with us fans…

  4. the thresher 06:59am, 01/24/2012

    Folks, Hagler lives in Italy only part time. His Itailian wife, Kay, has a home in Milan.

    The rest of the time he lives in Bartlett, NH about 2 miles from my house. He is sometimes seen in town and is always fan-friendlly to locals.

    But he and his close friends stay to themselves. I have never been able to get close to him.

    When I do see him, we exchange greetings in Italian.

  5. Gajjers 06:33am, 01/24/2012

    It’s great to see Marvelous Marv continue to get his due as one of the great ones, long after his firm retirement - hey, maybe that’s one of the reasons he still gets so much respect - he got out with his lofty image intact! It’s almost strange now to think he spent a lot of his career ‘in Sugar Ray Leonard’s shadow’, as some wag once put it. He’s long since stepped out of that ‘shadow’ & created a lasting legacy for himself, which, funnily enough, Bernard Hopkins’ 20 successful middleweight title defenses could not eclipse. Has that got anything to do with Hopkins’ reluctance to call it a career? He’s probably saying to himself “You ARE an ageless wonder Bern, but Marvin was simply Marvelous!” I hope Bernard doesn’t overplay his act & diminish his stature in boxing lore by ending his own career ignominiously. As for Money & Manny, ‘Pete the Sneak’ summed it up perfectly in his take on their current standing amongst an ever growing number of fans - Put up or shut up!

  6. Pete The Sneak 05:25am, 01/24/2012

    One of my all time favorite boxing Idols. Marveloso faced them all. From Minter/ Antefuermo all through Hearns/Leonard. This man just came to fight. No pomp and circumstance. True to his word, he kept away from the game when he said he would and the man looks great. I’m even digging his semi-Italian accent that he has developed since his ‘retirement’ to Italia. Floyd/Pac is honestly getting into the who cares and lets move on stage. Whether it’s in Dubai, Dublin, Dosseldorf or Decatur Avenue in The Bronx, just sign up or shut up. Peace.

  7. Gajjers 07:38pm, 01/23/2012

    Hear, hear, mikecasey! My respect for Hagler, already massive by the end of his marvelous career, only grew with time when it became clear that his retirement was as classy & definitive as his tenure as world champion was. By contrast, it’s rather puzzling that two superbly illustrious fighters (Floyd & Manny) could be ending their respective careers with a massive ‘what if?’ hanging over each. Shame on them for treating their fans so shabbily!

  8. mikecasey 01:35pm, 01/23/2012

    Agreed, Joe. Marvin walked away with class and dignity. As for Floyd and Pac, I’m beginning to wish they’d just walk away.

  9. Joe 10:28am, 01/23/2012

    Dubai?  Intersting, some Sultan can front the 100M but this one seems a perfect fit for Sin City.  I have to give it to the Marvelous One - he quit, meant it and never came back.  Now that’s legendary.

  10. "Old Yank" Schneider 08:41am, 01/23/2012

    “Rumble in the Jungle”; “Thrilla’ in Manilla”; and now an opportunity for the “Debacle in Dubai”—sounds good to me! I smell a turn toward self-promotion that will leave Top Rank and Golden Boy wondering what the future of boxing holds for an old broken business model.

  11. the thresher 06:13am, 01/23/2012

    Geez GEEZ GEEZ!!

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