Hagler v Leonard 1982

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by JudgeDredd, Sep 16, 2009.


  1. Saad54

    Saad54 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    LaLonde was a shell having to starve to make 168 lbs. The result may have been different if Leonard and LaLonde fought at 175 lbs, which they should have.

    Leonard was actually predicted to destroy Hearns in 1989 at 168 lbs. as Tommy had been KTFO by Iran Barkley and almost stopped by James Kinchen in his two fights before facing Leonard. So, it was actually looked at as a disappointing performance by Leonard when Tommy dropped him twice and survived the 12th round assault by Leonard and finished the fight on his feet.

    You're right that Leonard was a genius at getting guys right at the right time and with conditions he wanted. He thought he was getting Tommy at the right time, and it backfired.

    But, Leonard was not as good in 1987 as 1982, not by a long shot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 9:34 AM
  2. surfinghb1

    surfinghb1 Member Full Member

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    But no one is saying that SRL retired twice "just" to wait Hagler out .. He was using his popularity to go in and out of the sport because he was the most popular boxer on the planet. He was the DRAW. He had the power to do what he wanted and get what he wanted when he wanted it. But if you think he didn't wait out both Hearns and Hagler to be shopworn, you must be living on "Fantasy Island" with Gilligan, the skipper, mary ann, and ginger... Ginger was so hot btw
     
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  3. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Agreed - and it goes, without saying, in my opinion. However, do you think Leonard would have taken a similar approach to the fight in '82, i.e. fight in a burst then back on his bike again - and repeat, for a few times a round?

    I think it seems likely.
     
  4. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    He retired the second time less than two years before he decided to call out Hagler. So if we're in agreement that none of the reirements were to wait Hagler out, when did he start waiting him out?

    Yep. Leonard hatched the master plan of partying instead of training for years, just waiting for the moment to take on Marvin without a single tune-up. And believing that this is absolute nonsense is living on a fantasy island. This forum at times...
     
  5. surfinghb1

    surfinghb1 Member Full Member

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    He answers your question himself after the mugabi fight saying now I think I can beat hagler … Can we least agree that Ginger was hot?
     
  6. Eddie Ezzard

    Eddie Ezzard Active Member Full Member

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    The idea of waiting someone out only works, for me at least, if the champ is 32, 33 and you are 22,23 and physically on a different trajectory. So as the clock ticks, time takes the champ further away from his prime while bringing you closer to yours. Think Hatton-Tszyu. That fight goes differently three years prior to when it happened as Ricky was still a bit green in 2001/2 while Kostya was still close to his peak (not suggesting Hatton deliberately held back. But if he had, that is a scenario in which 'waiting out' would have made sense.).

    A young fighter might think 'I'll let him go stale, diminish and then when he's totally gone, I'll be prime. Have a few tune ups in the meantime, keep busy against unthreatening opponents until the champ is shot.'. That would be waiting him out, not sitting idly by, not keeping busy and pushing past 30 yourself, with every year moving you further past your own prime. Throw in Leonard's lifestyle and it was, if he was actually waiting Hagler out, an incredibly risky gameplan.

    The idea of Hagler being mentally gone doesn't hold water for me either, even if Marvin said so himself. If he was done with the game, he could have simply said no. Got the revenge for Leonard's trick in 82 and disappointed Sugar Ray, preferably having invited him to bear witness to a big announcement. Nobody would have accused him of ducking or thought any less of him for not taking a fight with an ex welterweight who had had one fight in five years (in which he looked vulnerable) and none in the last three. I think Marvin was done with fighting 2nd tier stars but with Leonard, he got the fight he had craved. That might not have turned back the clock physically but it should have mentally reinvigorated him.
     
  7. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

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    • Leonard was calling out Hagler in '82; wanting a catchweight contest. Hagler refused the Catchweight - Leonard retired instead.
    • It's reported that Leonard said, during his first retirement, 'in '82, he felt something was missing from his legacy and that something was Hagler.
    • During his first retirement, in '83, Leonard is quoted as having explained how you beat Hagler, following Duran's assertion that Leonard could beat Hagler.
    • Leonard came back in '84 and called every man and his dog out, including Hagler - He retired instead, after a bad night with the Howard bout.
    • Leonard is quoted as having decided to make another comeback and fight Hagler in '85.
    • Leonard invites Hagler to a restaurant-opening, in early '86, prior to the Mugabi bout, where Leonard is astounded by Hagler's frank admissions that he is "getting tired of the game".
    • At the same time, Leonard is quoted as saying: "I felt that [Hagler's] heart was not into boxing anymore, and that he felt that he'd run his course. He'd done all he could do, and it was time to leave. So I figured that being the case, if I jumped on board, then it would kind of neutralize my five-year inactivity."
    • Leonard begins training again, with Dave Jacob's, at Angelo Dundee's 5th Street Gym, in February '86.
    • In March '86, Leonard is a spectator at the Hagler/Mugabi bout, in which Hagler, despite winning, takes an uncharacteristic amount of punishment, leaving him urinating blood for a couple of days, after the bout.
    • Leonard asks Mike Trainer to begin planning the approach to getting the Hagler match, within 24-hours of the Hagler/Mugabi bout.
    • In May '86, less than two months, after the Mugabi bout, Leonard makes his challenge public.
    Leonard, from even before his first retirement, had a Hagler bout in mind and never really let it go.
    Did he hatch a carefully crafted, 5-year plan to land Hagler, starting in '82? No. How could he have, when he couldn't know whether Hagler would even be competing by then?
    Did he watch Hagler's successes in '83 to '85 and decide he wanted in? Yes. His first desire to comeback in '84 comes after Hagler/Duran in '83. His decision to return again comes in '85, after Hagler/Hearns.
    Did, knowing Hagler was at the end of the road, in January '86, and the manifest nature of Hagler's decline against Mugabi, a couple of months later, motivate Leonard to put the wheels in motion? More than flaming likely.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 5:13 PM
  8. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Have you read his autobiography? Because nothing in it suggests a guy with a long term plan. I'm sure that he played with the idea of a comeback from time to time, but there seems to have been nothing concrete until he saw the Mugabi fight. And, yes, if he didn't think he saw something he could exploit he wouldn't have called out Hagler. After the Hearns fight he clearly didn't feel that (even so he writes that he didn't necissarly subscribe to the thought that Hagler had slipped by the time of Mugabi). But a longterm plan of some sort (how longterm it could have been if his two retirements wasn't part of it) - no.


    That show never came here, but she sure sounds hot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 1:42 PM
  9. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Ok, then we agree on the main point. That is what I've been calling "a crackpot theory", but apparently neither you or surfinb1 subscribe to it either so then we're not that far apart.

    His first comeback was obviously meant as a starting point for bigger challenges. I don't remember if he says in his autobiography that Hagler was his main goal but it might have been. He didn't feel right in the comeback and took what he afterwards felt was a rash decision to retire again.

    In his autobiography he says that he felt no desire to face Hagler after seeing him mow down Hearns.
     
  10. Clinton

    Clinton Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Saad I never wrote or said that Leonard was as good in 87 as in 82, which obviously he wasn't. What I have written and said on many occasions is that Leonard only challenged Hagler when he did because he knew Hagler was physically and mentally done with the sport. And that's why he challenged him when he did because it's beyond evident that Leonard had no intention of challenging Hagler before that even though he had been teasing Hagler and the public for a long time. And I have also said that Leonard was not as shopworn as Hagler was.
     
  11. Clinton

    Clinton Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Leonard admits he decided to challenge Hagler after the Duran fight:
    This content is protected

    But of course he didn't challenge Hagler until several years later, and after the Mugabi fight, and after he invited Marvin to the opening of his restaurant in Maryland to gauge him. But what I find hilarious is that he says this in the interview, "But the fact that it came to fruition, and the fact that Hagler didn't look the same as the Hagler who fought Tommy Hearns or whomever else, that may have been the difference." But then tries to walk it back in the interview by saying Hagler definitely wasn't shot. Too late, Lenny.
     
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  12. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    He doesn't actually say that. He said it made him believe he could beat Hagler. He said just prior to his comeback bout against Howard that he was looking to fight Hagler two or three years down the track and he wouldn't be rushing.

    He had a flat sub par showing against Howard and aborted his comeback completely. It's that simple. Being a champion he would have still had that little itch and it came back after Hagler struggled somewhat with Mugabi.

    He wasn't sitting around critiquing every Hagler moment waiting to pounce.
     
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  13. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Those heavies aren't remotely akin to SRL's achievement. Holmes result against a surging Tyson after a layoff wasn't far off what many people expected of Leonard against Hagler. Foreman lost respectably to Holyfield before things fell good for him well later. Klit never faced Klit never faced the top guy in the world tho his comeback was respectable in a weak era.

    Leonard actually came back with no warm up and beat the current P4P #1 in the world.

    Leonard won at least 7 of 8 rounds? If you gave him this sort of leeway against Hagler you'd have him winning easily ;)

    The AP had it 77-74 and KO 77-75.

    Leonard was disappointed enough by his performance to pull the pin. Getting dropped by a Howard level fighter was not good. Sure Leonard was mostly in control but he certainly wasn't dominant.

    You are extremely keen to promote Hagler's obstacles and negatives to the hilt yet go to extremes to gloss over and minimize everything that was against Leonard.

    Sure Hagler was close to retiring, Hagler was also in noticeable decline, absolutely. Sure he took some time to decide yes i want to fight on. These were the things against Hagler. Once committed tho he dedicated and trained like the 100% professional he is. There were even more things against SRL, and they are oh so obvious.

    The other intangible is that Leonard, if he didn't challenge then, would never have been able to face Hagler for the glory of it all. Hagler's titles would have been relinquished and beating him would have been tarnished if he too had to come out of retirement and was inactive.

    Barely anyone picked against Hagler. Were they taking into account his decline or were they also looking at what a great fighter Leonard had been? Regardless there were people picking Ali over Holmes. You almost always find that someone going for the underdog.

    I think you might be drawing a long bow believing their reasoning coincides exactly with yours.

    The thing is great scribes and trainers knew Hagler was declining. Futch, Clancy, the list goes on. They aren't stupid. They also knew and took into account what SRL was up against hence their choices. There are reasons these sort of "miracle" comeback victories just don't seem to happen.

    Another point is that you give Mugabi no credit. Now truth be told i am in your corner there - i believe Mugabi to be HUGELY overrated in here strictly based on the exciting Hagler fight. Still tho, there are a great many people that think he was amazing that night etc etc etc. The best i will give is that he rose to the occasion and was very good but again, many think he was something special on the night. So there's that, even if we are in, i think, just about the same camp.

    Leonard had been sparring with lighter gloves over full rounds yes. I'm not sure it was quite as dramatic as "Jeff Powell" implies. In fact i would be surprised if the story didn't get bigger and better after a couple of early comments snuck out of camp. Again, these are not real fights any which way and using these supposed events to lessen Leonard's achievement doesn't cut it for me. Not even a little.

    I assert the opposite - to be placing such extreme importantance on these rumored "events" is not a balanced viewpoint. I'm willing to bet Jeff Powell did not even see these claimed "fights" ;)

    As for the OP's question i would favor Hagler but i'd have SRL as a live underdog, that's for certain. We saw prime Hagler against Duran, 9 months after your Sibson fight and a younger active Leonard would be a lot harder to beat than Duran. I would not be counting Leonard out.

    I would agree Hagler would beat Mugabi with noticeably less drama at this earlier point.

    It's great any which way one looks at it. That's why it went down in history as one of the greatest achievements ever.

    I'm not buying "reality" on these glorified sessions one bit. As a matter of fact various rumors came out of camp and Powell's was just one take on one of them, and the most extreme.

    Yes Hagler had all these things going on but again you minimize Leonard and make sure Hagler's negatives are fully utilized.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 2:14 AM
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  14. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Part 2 -

    There is a reason why you won't find them.

    I get it why Leonard gets so much disdain and some can't see past that disdain, i do. I used to hate the guy myself. I despised him for not giving Hearn's a rematch at some point when he was on top of his game. Seeing how much hate he gets in here all those years ago actually softened me up and led to me giving him a bit of a go.

    Sure he's got some history. He beat so many of our favorite fighters, Duran, Benitez, Hearns, Hagler. Just about everyone is invested in one of those guys. He deprived us of a couple of years of his peak and mouth watering matches against peak Benitez, Hearns and Hagler.

    I can excuse the lost years as he really did have eye surgery and we know for a fact it was heavily on his mind.

    He also went after a quick rematch with Duran as Duran was partying and enjoying himself. This was actually at Mike Trainer's insistence and he had to be talked into it. What no-one ever talks about is that one of Leonard's handlers disagreed so strongly about fighting Duran again immediately he quit. It's still pretty commendable he backed straight up under any circumstances given Duran gave him one helluva tough time.

    Sure he decided to fight Hagler when Hagler was declined. Sure he got just about everything he wanted from ring size to gloves etc. Hagler and his camp thought they would dispose of him with great ease.

    This immense confidence tells us that despite all the Hagler talk they still thought him more than capable of putting a whooping on Leonard. It also tells us they knew what sort of history Leonard was up against.

    Anyways always a pleasure MM. Unless i see something i can't resist i will let you have the last post. I try not to get into too many epics nowadays LOL.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 2:16 AM
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  15. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

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    JT - Thanks for the reply/ies.

    Firstly, I have to refer you to a previous response...

    I think the crux of the disagreement stems from the position one took at the time. As I have previously stated, I fully expected Leonard to win and saw the media circus, as both a means to promote the event itself and, at the same time portray Leonard as Lazarus.

    Thus, it occurred to me from at the outset, that a guy, generally regarded as one of the greatest tacticians to grace the sport (both inside and outside of the ring) wouldn't be attempting a comeback, unless he knew he still had what it took. When you take Hagler's obvious decline into consideration, as well, combined with the fact he was taking his time over deciding whether to take the fight, then the pick for Leonard carries credence.


    Whether or not I was in the majority (and I was clearly in the minority) does not matter. Just because a lot of people think something will happen, does not mean it will. I've seen so-called experts get it wrong on many occasions; in boxing and other expert domains. Upsets happen all the time and events do not unfold by force of popular opinion. I honestly couldn't care less about my predictions forming part of a wider consensus; or, conversely, them being in the distinct minority. However, I would reiterate that, of those tipping Leonard, a fair few gave reasoning, much like my own. A long bow drawn or not, this is reflected in some of the pre-fight thoughts gathered from other 'experts'.


    Unbeknownst to me, at the time, was the fact Leonard had already begun early preparation for the fight, prior to him publicly announcing his intention to return; that he had pushed himself in several 10-round sessions with full-fight conditions to see where he was and what he needed to do, played a key part in the process, in my opinion. From this, Leonard grew confident in his ability to deliver on a 12-round bout; the number of rounds being another key part of the strategy.

    As it was and, in the days leading up to the fight, Leonard showed extreme confidence, stating that he'd been training for this fight for a year - since April '86.

    If you think, with both my sense at the time and the facts we can look back at in hindsight, that I've placed too much emphasis on these factors then that's your prerogative. We all interpret evidence differently - I do not in any way, however, think it imbalanced of me to have since considered the 'behind closed doors' bouts as a most significant part of Leonard's strategy and I find it somewhat paradoxical that Leonard fans will gush over how good Leonard looked on his return, but feel inclined to play down the amount of planning, time and effort Leonard put into making sure his showcase didn't flop.


    With regards to Mugabi, he was in some ways the perfect barometer, with which to gauge how far Hagler was removed from his prime. A young, strong, good boxer with heavy hands; undefeated, perhaps naive but, nonetheless, fearless challenger, who genuinely thought he would beat Hagler, showed up and tested the Champ. What more can I say?

    I think we at least agree on a prime Hagler dispatching Mugabi with much less of a struggle.

    I saw that bout being the close of Hagler's pro career and justifiably so. I would add that it is difficult to explain the impact of reaching a stage in your career, at which point one's heart and mind are no longer in what they do. A lack of mental and emotional commitment is a massive psychological barrier. Money, at the end of the day, may motivate people to do things, but it doesn't guarantee they will do those things well.



    I wouldn't say I have ever 'despised' Leonard. I was a massive fan, right up until his second retirement. But the Hagler bout was a turning point for me, for sure. I had predicted Leonard would win and proceeded to watch a fight in which I thought he had lost and this was probably the sealing of the idea that the whole affair had been a Leonard showcase all along.

    The Lalonde fiasco and the draw with Hearns just piled on a general dislike of the guy and, since then, his blatantly contrived and conceited demeanor in interviews has done little to endear me to him (Like he really cares :lol:).



    But there's no denying his talent. Leonard was just electric in his heyday and an undeniable great. I still love to watch the late '70s/early '80s bouts of his and can appreciate the dimensions he brought to the sport.



    Likewise, JT - I do find our discussions quite fun and you remain one of the handful of posters on here, who presents viewpoints, which actually give me pause for thought.





    PS - Personally - I am more impressed by Foreman's return than Leonard's. :lol:
     
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