If you’re a boxing fan of a certain age then you remember where you were when you saw Marvelous Marvin Hagler knock out Thomas “The Hit Man” Hearns. The fight, which took place thirty years ago today, is so iconic people forget that before the fight it was Hagler who was considered the technician. Hearns was thought to have the better chance to knock his man out. Plus, anyone looking at their one common opponent would favor Hearns as well. Roberto Duran fought Hagler to a standstill over 15 rounds but Hearns later obliterated the Panamanian legend in two. So going in many actually considered Hagler, the long time champion, to be the underdog.
That’s not the way the fight played out. Hagler, making his 11th defense of the middleweight crown, unexpectedly waded into Hearns from the outset. This strategy nearly proved disastrous when Hearns caught the Champion flush only seconds into the first. Hagler, who had one of the best chins in boxing history, was wobbled for one of the few times in his career. But he fought through the fire in what is widely considered the best first round in boxing history.