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

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

  1. Rumsfeld

    Rumsfeld Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't disagree with you in principle. I'd have loved to have seen the fight, and I think there may have been a window of opportunity for it to happen. But then again, maybe not. Hagler was scheduled to face Hearns in late May 1982, but Tommy withdrew because of injury and it never happened. Well, it did happen, 3 years later. But it was never rescheduled in 1982, and if I am not mistaken, it was originally considered postponed. Would have been great if Wilfred could have stepped in instead of Tommy, but that didn't happen, and I suspect it may have had more to do with the uncertainty regarding whether Hagler-Hearns would be rescheduled.
     
  2. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I can clear it up for you Pat.

    Hagler and Hearns were signed to fight May 24 and then Hearns hurt his right hand which put it back to July 12. It was cancelled before that date. This is why Hagler - Benitez wasn't in the mix at that point.

    On top of this Hagler fractured a rib in training late June. This (and being signed to fight Hearns in the lead up) is why he didn't fight until the end of October. He fought Obel because two contenders above Obel got beaten and one moved to 175 while Obel didn't lose in that period. This led the WBA in all their wisdom to make Obel the mandatory and Hagler got him out of the way while the superfight coast was clear.

    Hearns - Benitez was signed late June as soon as the Hagler bout fell through.

    Remember too that Leonard wasn't retired and actually fought just after Benitez beat Duran. Benitez hoped he could gain revenge on Leonard and then beat Hagler. Leonard was slated to fight Stafford in May at this point so there was a lot going on.

    Lastly if Benitez beat Hearns he would have waltzed into a Hagler bout as Hagler was dying to fight the winner. On top of this he had another chance to meet Hagler as his fight with Hamsho was a WBC eliminator for a shot as Marvin but he lost again.
     
  3. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Then why did it take so long for him to face the winner of Hearns-Benitez? Were there more delays?
     
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  4. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Hagler wasn't the hold up.
     
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  5. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Ok. Do you know what happened?
     
  6. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Hagler had to wait until the Hearn's camp was ready. It's that simple. There was a feeling Steward didn't want to fight Hagler when they were initially supposed to fight after Hagler looked so devastating against Kronk's Caveman Lee. Hearn's was only a couple of fights removed from the SRL loss at welterweight so regardless of how the cancellation came about it was beneficial to Hearn's as he grew into the weight and gained experience. After he decimated Duran they pulled the trigger on the deal.
     
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  7. Boxed Ears

    Boxed Ears this my daddy's account (RIP daddy) Full Member

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    I have it on good authority that behind-the-scenes Marvin actually wanted Benitez to live.
     
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  8. IntentionalButt

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

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    "Construct and constroy" were his exact verbiage, the gospels say.
     
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  9. Blaxx

    Blaxx Member Full Member

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    I wasn't refering to it in real time but rather in hindsight - Hearns beat him with one hand for a portion of the fight despite two bad calls going against him.

    And I'm in the corner that believes Hagler was always ahead in the Duran fight, Duran gave a good account of himself but to me Hagler was always ahead and turned it up a notch when he needed to. The scorecards for that fight are even more baffling than Leonard-Hearns 2 and Leonard-Hagler IMO.

    Furthermore, boxing math doesn't work.
     
  10. Titan1

    Titan1 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Probably a hint to Wilfred to get his crap together so they could really do it. Hagler would've won anyways, but still.
     
  11. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    No doubt a Hagler-Benitez fight would have happened had the latter won his fight with Thomas Hearns.
     
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  12. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Sugar Ray Leonard was supposed to fight Roger Stafford in May 1982.

    During the lead-up to that fight, Mike Trainer, Leonard's advisor, said he was in talks with both the Lightweight Champion Alexis Arguello's people and with Hagler's people for a fight that fall.

    But Leonard suffered a detached retina late in camp. The Stafford fight was cancelled. He had surgery. Hagler and everyone else waited around for Leonard to decide what he was going to do next.

    In the meantime, Hagler fought his mandatory (Obel for a second time) so there would be no roadblocks to fighting Leonard.

    Leonard said he would make an "historic" announcement on resuming his career at a black tie event at the Baltimore Civic Center in Maryland, his home state. 12,000 people attended. Hagelr came in a tuxedo. A ring was sent up in the center of the arena. Everyone was drinking and having fun. When it came time for the reveal. Leonard entered the ring in a tux and spoke directly to Hagler and said a fight between he and Hagler would be "Would be one of the greatest in history. Unfortunately, it will never happen." Then he retired.

    Hagler the Petronelli brothers left in a rage. They all felt they were played and were invited there under false pretenses.

    It's one of the main reasons why Hagler hated Leonard so much.

    So, long story short, Benitez wasn't even on Hagler's radar in 1982. It was all about getting a fight with Leonard that year. And Ray drug it out, and then flipped the script on him.
     
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  13. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Marvin wanted big fights and big purses. His first big fight — closed circuit and all that — was Duran.

    Benitez wasn’t quite in the Leonard-Hearns-Duran stratosphere as far as that but he was above the others Hagler was fighting and it could have been made into a PPV to demonstrate MMH had some drawing power.

    If he could fight Caveman Lee, he could have fought Wilfred for a lot more in $$$ and prestige/interest.
     
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  14. Saad54

    Saad54 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Hagler was going to fight Hearns in 1982 but it got cancelled

    Unlike Benitez, Hearns actually fought a few fights at 160 lbs in late 81 and into 1982
     
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  15. Saad54

    Saad54 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Benitez would have fought Hagler but he lost to Mustafa Hamsho in an official title eliminator in 1983
     
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