Boxing was in mourning on Saturday night after the shock death of one of its all-time greats, Marvin Hagler, at just 66, after he reportedly suffered side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The American boxer – born in Newark, New Jersey – dominated the sport’s middleweight scene, which he was champion of between 1980 and 1987.

He was also named as the Fighter of the Decade for the 1980s by Boxing Illustrated magazine and won the Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year award twice.

The man who was floored officially only once in his incredible brutal career ­- and that was actually a slip – finally took the count.

Earlier on Saturday, former professional boxer Thomas Hearns – who was knocked out by Hagler during their famous bout in 1985 – wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of his old opponent: ‘A real true warrior Pray for the king and his family… he’s in ICU fighting the after-effects of the vaccine! He’ll be just fine, but we could use the positive energy and Prayer for his Full Recovery!’

Following his death, Hearns shared: ‘Allow us to have our peace. Our love and respect to Marvin and his family, this is not an anti-vaccine campaign… it’s outrageous to have that in mind during the passing of a King, Legend, Father, Husband and so much more.’

Rapper R.A. the Rugged Man tweeted before Hagler’s death: ‘One of the greatest athletes of my lifetime Marvelous Marvin Hagler is in ICU fighting the after-effects of taking the Vaccine. Tommy Hitman Hearns just posted about it. I hope this great champion recovers. One of our GOATS #boxing.’

His son James told TMZ his father was rushed to hospital with chest pains and was experiencing trouble breathing before dying about four hours later.

A statement on Hagler’s website read: ‘We are very sad to report that Marvelous Marvin Hagler died on March 13 of natural causes near his home in New Hampshire. He was a champion until the end. His family asks for privacy at this time of sorrow.’

The unfashionable Hagler, who turned pro in 1973 out of Brockton, Massachusetts, took seven years to earn his first middleweight title crack after almost beating everyone in his path.


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