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Anti-vaxxers hijack boxing legend Marvin Hagler’s death aged 66

Anti-vaxxers have hijacked Marvin Hagler’s death after Tommy Hearns said the boxing icon was ‘fighting the after effects of the vaccine’ despite his family making no mention of COVID and his son saying he was suffering from chest pains. 

Hearns made the unverified claim Saturday following the boxer’s death aged just 66, prompting conspiracy theorists to use the tragedy to promote their theories that the jab is dangerous. 

Hagler’s death was confirmed by a statement on his website, which read: ‘We are very sad to report that Marvelous Marvin Hagler died on March 13 of natural causes near his home in New Hampshire. He was a champion until the end. His family asks for privacy at this time of sorrow.’ 

Meanwhile, his wife, Kay G. Hagler, wrote on Facebook: ‘I am sorry to make a very sad announcement. Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire. Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.’  

Undisputed boxing champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler has passed away at the age of 66

Hagler's wife, Kay G. Hagler, confirmed that he had died at home in New Hampshire in a post on Facebook

Hagler’s wife, Kay G. Hagler, confirmed that he had died at home in New Hampshire in a post on Facebook

A family statement posted on Hagler's website also confirmed the news. Neither statement referenced COVID or the vaccine

A family statement posted on Hagler’s website also confirmed the news. Neither statement referenced COVID or the vaccine 

Anti-vaxxers hijack boxing legend Marvin Hagler's death aged 66

Anti-vaxxers have hijacked Marvin Hagler's death after the unverified claim he was suffering from the after-effects of the vaccine

 Anti-vaxxers have hijacked Marvin Hagler’s death after the unverified claim he was suffering from the after-effects of the vaccine 

Earlier on Saturday, former professional boxer Thomas Hearns – who was knocked out by Hagler during their famous bout in 1985 – wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of his old opponent: ‘A real true warrior Pray for the king and his family.. he’s in ICU fighting the after effects of the vaccine! He’ll be just fine but we could use the positive energy and Prayer for his Full Recovery!’

Following his death, Hearns shared: ‘Allow us to have our peace. Our love and respect to Marvin and his family, this is not an anti vaccine campaign… it’s outrageous to have that in mind during the passing of a King, Legend, Father, Husband and so much more.’

The American boxer – born in Newark, New Jersey – dominated the sport’s middleweight scene, which he was champion of between 1980 and 1987.  

He was also named as the Fighter of the Decade for the 1980s by Boxing Illustrated magazine and won the Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year award twice. 

The man who was floored officially only once in his incredible brutal career ­- and that was actually a slip – finally took the count.  

Rapper R.A. the Rugged Man tweeted before Hagler’s death: ‘One of the greatest athletes of my lifetime Marvelous Marvin Hagler is in ICU fighting the after effects of taking the Vaccine. Tommy Hitman Hearns just posted about it. I hope this great champion recovers. One of our GOATS #boxing.’ 

Anti-vaxxers hijack boxing legend Marvin Hagler's death aged 66

Thomas Hearns (right) who was knocked out by Hagler in one of the most entertaining fights of all time in 1985, called him former opponent ‘a real true warrior’

Hagler's wife, Kay (left), announced her husband's passing on social media on Saturday

Hagler’s wife, Kay (left), announced her husband’s passing on social media on Saturday

Earlier on Saturday, his friend, former professional boxer Thomas Hearns wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of Hagler: 'A real true warrior Pray for the king and his family.. he’s in ICU fighting the after effects of the vaccine! He’ll be just fine but we could use the positive energy and Prayer for his Full Recovery!'

Earlier on Saturday, his friend, former professional boxer Thomas Hearns wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of Hagler: ‘A real true warrior Pray for the king and his family.. he’s in ICU fighting the after effects of the vaccine! He’ll be just fine but we could use the positive energy and Prayer for his Full Recovery!’

Following his death, Hearns shared: 'Allow us to have our peace. Our love and respect to Marvin and his family, this is not an anti vaccine campaign... it's outrageous to have that in mind during the passing of a King, Legend, Father, Husband and so much more.'

Following his death, Hearns shared: ‘Allow us to have our peace. Our love and respect to Marvin and his family, this is not an anti vaccine campaign… it’s outrageous to have that in mind during the passing of a King, Legend, Father, Husband and so much more.’

Rapper R.A. the Rugged Man tweeted before Hagler's death: 'One of the greatest athletes of my lifetime Marvelous Marvin Hagler is in ICU fighting the after effects of taking the Vaccine. Tommy Hitman Hearns just posted about it. I hope this great champion recovers. One of our GOATS #boxing'

Rapper R.A. the Rugged Man tweeted before Hagler’s death: ‘One of the greatest athletes of my lifetime Marvelous Marvin Hagler is in ICU fighting the after effects of taking the Vaccine. Tommy Hitman Hearns just posted about it. I hope this great champion recovers. One of our GOATS #boxing’

His son James told TMZ his father was rushed to hospital with chest pains and was experiencing trouble breathing before dying about four hours later. 

The unfashionable Hagler, who turned pro in 1973 out of Brockton, Massachusetts, took seven years to earn his first middleweight title crack after almost beating everyone in his path. 

He had to settle for a controversial draw against Vito Antuofermo in that first crack but essentially ruined Antuofermo who lost his title in his next defence to Alan Minter.

Hagler then challenged Minter and on a night of pure hate at Wembley Arena cut up the Crawley southpaw in three rounds before having to run for his life to the dressing room while a racist crowd rained bottles on him. It summed up Hagler’s career. He had to do everything the hard way.

But now that he had finally won the title, there was no way he was going to lose it without a fight. Hagler duly destroyed a whole new generation of challengers in the 1980s, including Britain’s Tony Sibson. He simply cleaned up the division.

Hagler was the middleweight champion between 1980 and 1987 - he defended his title 12 times

Hagler was the middleweight champion between 1980 and 1987 – he defended his title 12 times

If it was a bit brash that he officially changed his name to Marvelous Marvin Hagler in 1982, who could begrudge him after all he had been through.

Joe Frazier told him in Philadelphia in the 1970s that he had three strikes against him… he was good, he was a southpaw, and he was black.

In 1985 came Hagler’s finest hour when slugged it out with Hearns in one of the greatest fights of all time. He walked right through Hearns in three savage rounds.

Hearns v Hagler will go down as one of the all time greatest fights as Hagler knocked his rival out in three rounds in Las Vegas

Hearns v Hagler will go down as one of the all time greatest fights as Hagler knocked his rival out in three rounds in Las Vegas

Hagler (right) lost his middleweight crown in 1987 to Sugar Ray Leonard (left) in Nevada

Hagler (right) lost his middleweight crown in 1987 to Sugar Ray Leonard (left) in Nevada

He finally lost his crown in 1987 when Sugar Ray Leonard outsmarted a faded Hagler over 12 rounds.

His wife Kay Hagler wrote on social media on Saturday: ‘I am sorry to make a very sad announcement. Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire. 

‘Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.’

The great man has earned his rest.

Former WBA and lineal featherweight world champion Barry McGuigan said on Twitter: ‘Shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the incredible Marvellous Marvin Hagler.

Anti-vaxxers hijack boxing legend Marvin Hagler's death aged 66

Anti-vaxxers hijack boxing legend Marvin Hagler's death aged 66

Anti-vaxxers hijack boxing legend Marvin Hagler's death aged 66

Anti-vaxxers hijack boxing legend Marvin Hagler's death aged 66

Members of the boxing community paid tribute to Hagler after his death was announced

Members of the boxing community paid tribute to Hagler after his death was announced

Anti-vaxxers hijack boxing legend Marvin Hagler's death aged 66

‘I’m honoured to have spent some amazing times with him. My heartfelt sympathies to his wife Kay and his family. Rest in Peace Champ.’

Promoter Frank Warren said boxing lost ‘an all-time great’ while Eddie Hearn announced that ring announcer Michael Buffer will lead a 10-bell tribute at the rematch between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez II on Saturday. 

Buffer himself tweeted: ‘I am crushed at the news that MARVELOUS MARVIN HAGLER has passed away! He was-in his prime-POUND4POUND-the best, going 11yrs in 38 fights w/o defeat! He dominated the MW division 4 a decade! 62 wins/52KOs-3 losses R.I.P. 4EVER CHAMPION-4EVER REMEMBERED’. 

World champion boxing trainer Dave Coldwell added: ‘Gutted to hear of the passing of Marvellous Marvin Hagler.

‘One of the toughest, and best fighters in one of the greatest eras in boxing history. Hagler along with Leonard, Hearns & Duran – the Real Four Kings.’

Meanwhile, former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen also paid tribute, saying Hagler came from an era of boxing that was ‘mind blowing’.

‘That generation of Hagler, Hearns, Duran and Leonard was mind blowing. Arguably the greatest generation of boxers in a single weight division of all time. #RIPMarvelousMarvinHagler.’

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