Marvin Hagler featured in the first-ever Showtime main event back in 1986

Marvin Hagler John Mugabi


It’s no secret that Marvin Hagler was looked up to by many boxing fans worldwide. But one of his biggest network achievements was helping to open the Showtime door.

Showtime Championship Boxing kicked off 35 years ago and is still going strong today. Partly due to the success of the first-ever broadcast, which one ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler topped.

Almost a year on from his crushing victory over Thomas ‘Hitman’ Hearns, Hagler took on the undefeated John Mugabi.

He won by knockout in the penultimate round in what doubled-up as his penultimate career bout.

Hagler would retire a year later when defeated by Sugar Ray Leonard.

At their most-recent taping topped by super-middleweight puncher David Benavidez, Showtime remembered Hagler fondly.

“The sports world lost an icon as the death of Marvelous Marvin Hagler was reported hours before the live telecast began,” said Showtime.

“A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Hagler was 66 years old. He fought in the first main event ever on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on March 10, 1986.

“Hagler was honored with a ceremonial 10-count before the main event.”

Benavidez, who also won in the eleventh round that night, reflected on Hagler’s passing after the fight.

He said: “I had met Marvin once before, and he was a great champion. Someone told me he fought the first fight on SHOWTIME.

“Someone on my team let me know a few hours before the fight that he had passed. It’s sad, and he will be missed. He was a true legend.”

Marvin Hagler
Top Rank


Former promoters at Top Rank also released a statement on the middleweight king’s passing. They listed a round-up of his achievements.

“Top Rank is devastated by the passing of the incomparable Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of boxing’s most beloved and accomplished champions.

“Born in Newark, New Jersey, and raised in Brockton, Massachusetts, Hagler overcame humble beginnings to forge a storied professional career that included 12 successful defenses of the undisputed middleweight world championship.

“He concluded his career in 1987 with a 62-3-2 record and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.

“Top Rank is honored to have promoted a fighter who embodied everything noble about the sport.

“The Top Rank family mourns the loss of a legend and sends our condolences to his loved ones and friends.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum concluded: “Marvelous Marvin Hagler was among the greatest athletes that Top Rank ever promoted.

“He was a man of honor and a man of his word, and he performed in the ring with unparalleled determination. Furthermore, He was a true athlete and a true man. I will miss him greatly.”