Why didn’t Marvin Hagler fight Wilfred Benitez in 1982?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Saintpat, Feb 6, 2022.

  1. Balder

    Balder Well-Known Member banned Full Member

    2,881
    1,839
    Nov 10, 2012
    Benitez would really be in the fight had he fought Hagler when he wanted to after Duran. Benitez fought Hearns at his peak and made a fantastic fight of it.

    I have never seen a fighter ( Benitez) make a man like Hearns miss so much. Benitez was a better boxer than Hagler, and a better counterpuncher. Considering ( how the much lighter) Duran was winning against Hagler after 12, I can see Wilfred managing a majority decision against him in 15.

    Against Leonard, (a fight he did not train for) he was stopped with 6 seconds to go in the 15th round. Leonard was a better boxer than Hagler - and Benitez was near his equal with a better defense to boot.

    Against Hearns - He made it till the end and lost a competitive decision. Hearn's had so many advantages it is hard to explain, but again could not hit him clean much.

    Against Duran - ( yes, Duran was out of shape) He dominated the smaller man on the inside, just being to strong for Duran who was BEATING Hagler through 12 rounds.

    The Benitez Hagler would have fought was the one between Duran and Hearns. Incredible defense and counter punching, with a good chin and with enough attitude and boxing ability to keep Hagler from going all out early. Much like Duran , I see Hagler losing after 12 rounds, and Benitez hanging on for the win over 15. Hagler would be able to win a rematch for sure, but at that stage Benitez was just good enough to spoil Haglers run.

    If Duran could push Hagler as the older lighter fighter, Benitez at his best could beat him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2022
  2. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 Resident Gadfly Full Member

    8,457
    8,793
    Sep 22, 2021
    Always wondered about this but never had concrete stuff on why it didn’t happen. Hopefully some clever guys can weigh in.
     
  3. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    16,894
    14,057
    Jun 26, 2009
    Hagler was too busy weighing in for resume-padders against Captain Caveman and Fully Overmatched to bother.
     
    SwarmingSlugger and Balder like this.
  4. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 Resident Gadfly Full Member

    8,457
    8,793
    Sep 22, 2021
    There may be more to it, I’m not sure I don’t know my history well enough but that doesn’t sound characteristic of Marvin Hagler perhaps it’s something that won’t surface from behind the scenes or maybe it wasn’t meant to be? Let’s say he did avoid Benitez with our evidence- I have to ask why would he? I don’t think losing ever detoured Marvin and the money was there he’d face plenty of tough guys on the way up and kept fighting them long after.
     
  5. HolDat

    HolDat Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,989
    2,141
    Sep 25, 2020
    You may be on to something. Benitez' slick style would be challenging.
     
    Saintpat likes this.
  6. HolDat

    HolDat Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,989
    2,141
    Sep 25, 2020
    Tough guys he was slicker than.
     
    Saintpat likes this.
  7. Eddie Ezzard

    Eddie Ezzard Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,958
    3,995
    Jan 19, 2016
    I wonder who Tommy Hearns might say he'd prefer to break his right hand against. Hagler or Benitez?

    Hagler was a top 5 all time middleweight champion. Benitez wasn't the best jr middle of the same era, coming second to a one-handed man - the same one-handed man who Hagler flattened.

    Not saying Marvin ducked the fight or didn't but I'm surprised how many are giving Benitez such a chance when his actual accomplishments, not potential, are dwarfed by Hagler's.

    Duran is Benitez' biggest scalp. The trouble is, in 1982, Kirkland Laing turned that trick too.
     
  8. Dynamicpuncher

    Dynamicpuncher Boxing Addict Full Member

    3,127
    5,162
    Jan 14, 2022
    I'm not saying Hagler would lose to Benitez especially at Middleweight, but Hagler in his title reign never really did fight any slick boxers, movers, etc. Majority of his opponents in his title reign were come forward sluggers.

    Looking at Hagler's record overall he did seem to have trouble somewhat against tricky boxers. Bobby Watts, Sugar Ray Seales, Willie Monroe, etc. Yes you could argue that these were early in his career, and to Hagler's credit he did revenge these losses and draws.

    But when did Hagler ever beat an elite slick boxer in his title reign ? i certainly think Benitez would be a better challenge than 90 percent of Hagler's opposition in his title reign, as would Nunn, Kalambay, Graham.

    Lastly i'm not saying Hagler avoided anyone, the man was a legend and a warrior in the ring. But it's just my opinion we never really see Hagler tested against that type of style in his title reign.
     
  9. Eddie Ezzard

    Eddie Ezzard Well-Known Member Full Member

    2,958
    3,995
    Jan 19, 2016
    Fair comments, DP. Can't argue with a word.
     
    Saintpat and Dynamicpuncher like this.
  10. Showstopper97

    Showstopper97 The Icon Full Member

    2,087
    2,276
    Oct 7, 2020
    Always wondered why this fight never happened. Would have been interesting too see the clash of styles, & Hagler dealing with an elite, slick fighter. I think Hagler wins via a competitive MD due, to being busier, fighting a big man's fight, & forcing most of the action (even if he's missing most of his punches). While Benitez was a defensive wizard, he didn't have much punching-power, & his offence & work-rate were woeful. He has nothing to deter Hagler from coming forward. He has a number of successful rounds & looks good in the fight, but comes up short in getting the decision.
     
    Turnip mk3 and young griffo like this.
  11. IntentionalButt

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

    379,079
    60,625
    Nov 30, 2006
    Not only would it have been a nice fight, but it would have officially inducted El Radar as the "Fifth King" (even if his only victory against the other four ended up being over Durán).
     
    Keleneki likes this.
  12. Blaxx

    Blaxx Member Full Member

    429
    474
    Feb 8, 2018
    Hearns already beat Benitez, with one hand, a point deduction and a bogus knockdown ruling by the ref. There wasn't much competitive about that fight, nor the Leonard one.
    Benitez would try to survive but Hagler would finish him or win a UD while always being ahead in that fight.
     
    young griffo and Journeyman92 like this.
  13. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    16,894
    14,057
    Jun 26, 2009
    Hearns had not already beaten Benitez at the time this fight could have been made.

    Coming off of beating Duran, he could have fought Marvin. He ended up fighting Hearns at the end of that year because Marvin had the all-important fights against Caveman Lee and Fully Obel II to occupy his entire calendar year. I mean Marvin himself had already knocked out Obel, and not loo long before.

    And when Marvin fought Roberto (and edged him by a slim margin, rallying from behind), Duran had already been beaten by Wilfred and Leonard. So I don’t understand your point.
     
  14. Rumsfeld

    Rumsfeld Moderator Staff Member

    47,641
    9,284
    Jul 19, 2004
    For what it's worth, Obel was ranked #1 by the WBA and WBC the first time he faced Hagler, and he was the #1 WBA mandatory in their rematch. Caveman Lee was a late replacement for Mickey Goodwin.
     
    Reinhardt, Pugguy and Journeyman92 like this.
  15. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    16,894
    14,057
    Jun 26, 2009
    Well neither Captain Caveman nor Mickey were exactly deserving of title shots. Wilfred, on the other hand, would have been a big fight — not as big as some but the biggest for Marvin at the time.

    Fully Overrated could have been paid step-aside second time around, or Marvin could have fought Wilfred in the middle of the year. This was before the two-fights-a-year era for champions.
     
    Rumsfeld likes this.