Did Hagler Duck Anyone

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Joeywill, Sep 29, 2023.

  1. AntonioMartin1

    AntonioMartin1 Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jan 23, 2022
    He still fought them plus he fought Hearns and Mugabi back to back and those were considered monster punchers...
    Anubis likes this.
  2. AntonioMartin1

    AntonioMartin1 Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jan 23, 2022
    not in puerto rico where all boxing fights were free, you should read my boxing in puerto rico wikipedia article
  3. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    I am not missing anything. The case is precisely the opposite. It is you who seems to have a hard time grasping and processing the facts, as well as applying any kind of logic based in reality.

    You neither acknowledge any of the events as explained to you in this thread nor the chronology of those events. Yours is merely a face-value judgement based on an assumption that there was a "perfect opportunity" which Hagler purposely didn't take.

    You even fail to interpret my posts properly. What is this supposed to be in response to? ...
    Re the likelihood of making negotiations for a future Hearns bout more difficult, I was referring to your suggestion that Hagler should have had Arum attempt to derail Steward's negotiations for the Wilfred Benitez fight; not the idea that Hagler should renege on their agreement to fight either Goodwin or Lee. I made myself perfectly clear - but, once again, I have to correct your misinterpretation.

    And, if you genuinely think that actual notion is "preposterous", then you probably need to wind yourself in a little.

    The universe doesn't have to "conspire to create an impossible set of circumstances" for history to play out the way it does. Why are you being so dramatic? The events are the events; the decisions made are the decisions made; the results are the results; the facts are the facts.

    I am not acting like anything. The history is well-documented. Not tablets of stone. They're called newspapers and books, these days.

    If you looked into the details of that period - which were well reported at the time - you'd also be aware of the nature of the arrangement between Arum and Steward and that the Goodwin bout had always been doubtful. Arum already knew that there might be a replacement for him. So did Hagler. So did everyone reading about it :lol:

    Ergo, it was part of the arrangement between Arum and Steward.

    I have nothing else to add to what has already been written - in this thread (and elsewhere) on the matter.

    You seem content to stay fixated on your very specific and narrow view. If you cannot or do not want to encompass a bigger picture and all the aspects of the case, that is your prerogative, but you do appear as being wantonly whimsical by refusing to acknowledge the mechanics of the actual events; preferring instead to critique Hagler, based on a fantasy of your own making.

    Do your own research re the WBA and Obel, or just be content with living in your invented version of history. It's of no concern to me which you choose. But just know that every time you push this line about Hagler not getting the Benitez fight made, you are propagating a myth and there will be people here to provide the appropriate course correction for you, as and when you do.
  4. IntentionalButt

    IntentionalButt Guy wants to name his çock 'macho' that's ok by me Full Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Criminally overlooked, this, goddamn it. You know full well that if that were said by a Bert Sugar or someone in an HBO documentary it'd be all "oooh that quote goes so hard". :sisi1
  5. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    I know Obel was tied up with the WBA. Doesn’t mean that if he AGREED to take a step-aside fee to wait, say, six months for the shot he was going to get anyway that the WBA would strip Hagler or whatever (he later gave up, or at least risked, his claim to a belt or two to fight Leonard so that seems moot anyway).

    But let me ask you specifically, since you seem to put great credence in this ill-defined ‘what Manny and Hagler/Arum agreed to’ — so what, exactly (that’s an important word here), DID they agree to relative to Hagler fighting Goodwin? Was there a contract that said ‘Hagler vs. Mickey Goodwin or a replacement to be named by Steward’?

    What I’m saying is:

    Once the Goodwin fight was off, Hagler could have instead of filling that date with Caveman Lee, decided to back it up a couple of months and fight Benitez instead. That in no way derails a Hearns-Benitez fight because Steward wasn’t negotiating with Benitez … he was angling for a Hagler fight.

    So Arum says, ‘OK, Manny, we can make Hagler-Hearns and forget about this Goodwin thing. Caveman is a no-go. So either we fight Hearns or we fight Benitez. We’re giving you first dibs.’

    If Manny says, ‘we’ll pass,’ Hagler goes forward with Benitez. If Hearns takes the Hagler fight … he breaks his pinky in May (which is what happened) and Hagler makes a deal to fight with Benitez.

    To me, you’re saying ‘things went this way therefore there is no scenario in which they could not have gone this way.’ I believe you are incorrect.
  6. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    That's not what I am saying at all. I have been quite clear on my position from the outset. But, for the last time, I'll state it again: There was at no time a "perfect opportunity" for Hagler to face Benitez.

    Now - you disagree with this position, but it seems to me that, rather than address the very real factors that either guided certain decisions and/or presented genuine obstacles to a Hagler/Benitez fight, you are simply imagining your way past them with alternative, made-up scenarios. This appears to be counterfactual thinking on your part.

    I am not going to again go through the factors which had an influence on the actual events and outcomes. So, before I entertain another one of your hypothetical, alternative histories, can you please demonstrate (NOT assume) that Benitez was actually available to fight Hagler at any time, prior to December 1982?
  7. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    At the top of your post on the previous page, you say it’s a myth that Hagler-Benitez was “remotely viable.” At the bottom of the same page you say there was “no perfect time.” Those are, you realize, two radically different positions.

    But you actually have your facts wrong. So I’m going to give you the perfect time.

    On Jan. 30, 1982, Wilfred Benitez defeated Roberto Duran.

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    After the fight, recorded on video, Benitez called out Hagler in front of the entire world. No way anyone associated with boxing can say they didn’t know Wilfred wanted the fight, especially not Hagler’s people nor Marvin himself. They’d have to be the ‘deaf, dumb and blind’ pinball wizard to not know.

    So we can timeestamp the moment the Hagler-Benitez fight became viable.

    Now Marvin was scheduled to fight Mickey Goodwin at that moment.

    BUT, in mid-February, Goodwin was injured. At that exact moment, Hagler suddenly had no opponent, no date, no site for his fight.

    This article is dated Feb. 20, It says Goodwin was injured the previous week. It quotes Hagler’s own attorney:

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    The date changed (by one day), the site changed (from Italy to Atlantic City) and the opponent changed (from Goodwin to Caveman Lee).

    All done very quickly, but the contract for Hagler to fight Goodwin on March 6 in Italy was null and void the moment Goodwin was injured (as he could not go through with it).

    Yes, Hagler’s camp moved very quickly. You will probably attribute this to some force of the universe that compelled them to do so, but they did not HAVE to because they now had a voided contract.

    Instead of switching to Lee in AC in early March, this was the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to instead pick up the phone and see if a Benitez fight could be made. No, probably not on the same date (and likely NYC or Las Vegas instead of AC), but say mid-April to mid-May or sometime around there.

    So yes, the fight COULD have been made. It was more than “remotely viable.” Hagler’s camp simply chose not to explore that option, nor is there any record of them instead trying to fight Wilfred next after Lee.

    Call it a duck or not, I really don’t care for that term nor do I think it matters. But to insist that this fight couldn’t have been made, or that there was no opportunity (perfect or otherwise) is the only myth being perpetrated here.
  8. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Radically different? No, they are consistent with each other - but the former is a turn of phrase and the latter, I have been clear on, has been my specific "position" during the course of our exchanges.

    But for the sake of the argument, let's entertain the actual "viability" of the bout having been made. This would greatly depend on a good number of variables but a critical one of these would be the availability - not the mere willingness - the availability of Benitez, yes?

    So, when I asked if you could please demonstrate (NOT assume) that Benitez was actually available to fight Hagler at any time, prior to December 1982 your answer should have correctly been "No".

    But, instead, you rely on a post-fight comment made by Benitez (one of many, including those pertaining to his desire to fight Leonard), indicating an interest in fighting Hagler, to somehow substantiate Benitez's availability. This is such a tremendously low bar as to be, quite frankly, dismissed out of hand.

    Firstly, you state that I have my facts wrong but you do not tell me which facts you believe I have actually gotten wrong. For now, I will just address the Goodwin situation.

    So, secondly, I am not sure whether you know much about how contracts work, but it is not unusual to have something akin to a framework agreement in place, e.g., an overarching three-fight deal, within which the various contracted activities are umbrellaed. In this case, the voiding of an individual bout agreement wouldn't necessarily constitute the voiding of the framework agreement.

    But, in truth, the degree of the legal constraints in this matter are insignificant when compared with other key factors impacting the viability of Hagler/Benitez.

    Thirdly, here's a link to an article originally produced by George Kimball in 2007. About four or five paragraphs down the history behind the Hagler/Hearns fight is discussed.

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    Parts of this account are also echoed in 'Marvelous: The Marvin Hagler Story' (Damian and Brian Hughes 2013) and reflected in the news stories of the time. Indeed indications of the deal having been made in principle came to light in late 1981.


    The Herald-Palladium

    Benton Harbor, Michigan
    Fri, Dec 18, 1981
    Page 14

    Hagler Will Defend Crown On March 6


    Marvin Hagler says he will defend his world middleweight title March 6 against one of four fighters, putting on hold hopes for a match with world welterweight champ Sugar Ray Leonard or Detroit's Thomas Hearns.
    In a news conference Thursday at the Providence Civic Center, Hagler and co-manager Pat Petronelli aid Top Rank Inc. President Bob Arum guaranteed them $1 million for the bout at Ceasars Palace. They said they did not know the amount of the opponent's purse.
    The middleweights being considered are World Boxing Association No. 1-ranked contender Fulgencio Obelmejias, European champion Tony Sibson of London, Mickey Goodwin of and William "Caveman" Lee.
    Hearns' manager Emanuel Steward said Thursday it probably will be Hearns' Detroit Kronk Gymnasium teammate Lee tangling with Hagler for the title.
    If Lee lost, he said Hearns would meet Hagler in April. However, if Lee won, Steward said Hearns would start training for a probable September rematch with Leonard, who stripped Hearns of his WBA crown on Sept. 16 at Las Vegas, Nev.
    Steward said the Hearns-Hagler bout would have been held Jan. 23 at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena in conjunction with Super Bowl XVI the next day at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich. But he said a four-stitch cut Hearns suffered in the first round of his victory over Ernie Singletary in the Bahamas last week will not be healed in time.
    Petronelli said he thought a fight with Hearns might be in the offing for late April or May.


    The bottom line is that Hagler had a three-fight deal with Arum and Arum had agreements with other parties - Steward being one of them. But, crucially, it was the clash with Hearns that was driving this particular episode in Hagler's career.

    Even if we put aside the wider aspects of the agreement between Arum and Steward, the Hearns bout was seemingly well within the grasp of Hagler and being targeted for May or June of '82, by that point. Why then would Hagler's team appeal to Arum to open negotiations with King, for a Benitez bout?

    And, this is assuming that Arum and King could have even agreed on the details of a co-promotion (in a timely manner), as well as the availability of Benitez to fight on dates proposed by Hagler's team, which would have needed to have been quite a bit earlier than December '82.

    [continued in the next post...]
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2023
  9. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    [...continued from the previous post]

    So, with reference to an earlier point you make, do you actually know that Arum did not "pick up the phone" to discuss the possibility of a fight between Hagler and Benitez? Are you unaware of any communications having taken place between the respective parties involved?

    I would say that, in order for you to have a case, you need to be sure that what you are asserting did not happen and should have happened... ...DID NOT ACTUALLY HAPPEN, before being so confident about the fight's viability.

    Just a thought... ... ...

    You should also perhaps stop trying to look at each of the contributing factors, which made the fight impractical, in isolation, and understand there was a collective set of circumstances that drove the decisions made in what was an ever-changing environment.

    However, with regard to your picking up on my use of the expression "remotely viable", let me clarify my stance on 'viability' and state that, in my opinion, for the fight to have been "remotely viable"...

    - Team Benitez would have needed to get their house in order and show persistent willingness to actually get in the ring (As it was, Benitez's career stalled for 10 months due to problems in the team - This is the major blocker).

    - Even if the first point were not the case, Team Benitez would have needed to accommodate dates which enabled Hagler's team to alleviate the threat of being stripped by the WBA, which was very real and needed to be taken into consideration.

    - The Hearns bout, which at the time was being targeted for May/June '82, would have needed to be off the table which did not become a reality until June '82.

    - King and Arum would have needed to be willing to co-promote, with King relinquishing his options on any of Hagler's future bouts.

    - Failing all of the above, Hagler and his team would have needed to be willing to throw an easy $1M fight in the bin, simply ditch Arum, sign with Don King and to hell with the consequences.

    With that in mind, I think it is fair to say that, given what we actually know, the possibility of the fight coming off was indeed remote.

    That's the thing about imagining a favorable scenario... ...In theory, anything is possible. In practice, it is not. And, in this case, it doesn't even scan as being sensible.

    I don't care what you want to call it, the "opportunity" as you have portrayed it is really, in the main, just an exercise in counterfactual thinking on your part. It is a possibility that requires a fair bit of fantasy and loose definitions of the words "perfect", "opportunity", "remotely" and "viable" to give it any kind of life but, in doing so, there is a failure to take seriously even the handful of factors mentioned during our discussion into consideration.

    So my "position" stands (or positions, if you really want to get pedantic about the "remotely viable" bit). Anything is indeed possible and anybody can suggest something COULD HAVE happened, however remote the chances of it actually happening were.

    However, Hagler/Benitez was never a realistic proposition. To suggest otherwise is to make up the kind of alternative theories that you have. That is the only "obvious" conclusion to be made here.

    This is the end of this exchange, for my part. I have nothing else to add.
    I'll let you have the last word if you so wish to have one.