Marvelous Marvin Hagler, put a cold, hard stop to the comeback story of Roberto Duran #OnThisDay in 1983 with a 15-round decision to retain the undisputed middleweight championship.
Former lightweight and welterweight ruler Duran was coming in off a romantically brutal dethroning of light-middleweight champion Davey Moore.
The decision for Hagler was unanimous but close. The three judges had Duran ahead after 13 rounds. If Duran, and not Hagler, had won the 15th round on two of the cards, the 32-year-old Panamanian legend would have become the first boxer in history to win titles in four different weight classes. But Hagler won the final two rounds on all three official cards to prevent what could have been a controversial decision.
After winning seven consecutive title defences by knockout, Hagler was forced to go the distance for the first time as champion.
"It seemed everybody was disappointed that I didn't knock him out." said Hagler. "I felt that way myself. But he wasn't that vulnerable to a knockout. It was hard to hit him with a solid punch....You don't barrel in there on a guy like Roberto Duran. Why take unnecessary punishment unless you have to? I'd been effective and was winning the fight, so it isn't like I had to go in there and take the punishment to bomb him out."
Duran was less than complimentary: "He came to tear my head off, but when he saw that I could hit him hard, with strength, he got scared and became a coward. That's why he didn't take too many chances and mix it up with me. Everyone was saying he was a destroyer, but when he hit me, he didn't do anything to me. His punches absolutely did me no damage. He got scared every time he threw a jab because I could get my right in under it. That's why he held off so much."
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