by Miguel Mike Medina
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is one of the greatest middleweight champs of all time. He is without a doubt one of the best fighters of the 1980s. He was part of the Fabolous Four alongside Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, and Roberto Duran. I would call it the Fabolous Five because Wilfred Benitez deserves to be included in there. But let’s focus on Hagler’s work ethic, fundamentals, and daily routine.
There’s a video on YouTube about Marvin Hagler and his training routine. It’s a 17-minute clip but it was worth watching it. The YouTube channel is called “Boxing Life.” Great content. Hagler had an incredible work ethic. I wanted to learn more about Hagler and how he prepared himself for these fights. Sugar Ray Leonard and Hagler are two of my favorite boxers from that era and fighters that I didn’t get to see through my TV screen. I didn’t get into boxing until 1999. They were both retired by that time. But thank the good lord for YouTube because I can see their fights through there.
Marvin Hagler trained with Goody Petronelli at the Petronelis Bros Gym. Goody was instrumental in developing Hagler into one of the best middleweights ever. Hagler would work with Goody in doing manual labor jobs. This helped build up his strength, power, and stamina. Hagler would work on cement, cutting trees, etc. Hagler’s daily routine would consist of the following:
7am-8:30am: 6-mile run plus steep hills plus running backward
10am-6pm: Rest, Watch TV/Film, Read, Sleep, Late lunch
6pm-8pm: Boxing training and strength conditioning
Hagler would always do the hard work. He never took the easy route and stayed disciplined with his cardio workouts. The speed bag is part of his boxing training and sparring. In his preparation for the Hearns fight, trainers would bring tall fighters for Hagler to fight and Goody would bring extra heavy boxing gloves to make it more challenging for Hagler. As you can see, Hagler had a great teacher.
Hagler is one of those fighters that didn’t get much of the respect he deserved. He didn’t get the respect as a fighter until he beat Thomas Hearns in their classic 1985 bout. The first round known as “The War” is one of the greatest boxing rounds ever.
In conclusion, Hagler learned from the greats like Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali in the sense that they trained in isolation. They put themselves in jail. Great champions put themselves in that situation.
Photo Credit: Manny Millan /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images