Three rounds. That's all. After waiting more than three years for an honest chance, it took an obsessed Marvin Hagler only nine minues and 45 seconds to dispose of England's Alan Minter and become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world.
Hagler's self control, however, won him the fight. Unlike his performance in some recent fights, Hagler was on target with almost all of his blows; he missed, at most, ten punches during the fight.
Hagler landed the first punch of the bout, a sharp right to Minter's face. The quick pace of the opening stanza seemed more to Hagler's advantage, and Minter tried, somewhat successfully, to slow things down near the end of the round. The second round also belonged to Hagler, as he landed solid combinations to Minter's eyes and nose, which had been bloodied in the first stanza. Fearing the fight would be stopped on cuts, the champion abandoned his stand-up style and began to slug it out with Hagler. A mistake.
The third round began with Minter's eyes a bloody mess. Once again the Briton tried to toe-to-toe it, and once again Hagler prevailed. A leaping right hook, sort of a reverse Joe Frazier job, hurt Minter. After a few more Hagler flurries, the referee brought Minter to his corner, where his seconds recognized the obvious and had the fight stopped. To the Minter partisans, however, it appeared that the referee had stopped the fight on his own, and that he had done so unfairly. While Hagler celebrated his victory by dropping to his knees a la Bjorn Borg, the spectators took a different view, and showered the ring with beer bottles. A swarm of Bobbies surrounded Hagler and ushered him to safety.
After the fight Hagler said he hadn't noticed the debris. "Trouble? I thought everything was happening just because I was so famous."
Marvin Hagler was unbeatable three years ago when then-champ Hugo Corro turned down a number of offers to fight him. Marvin Hagler, 28, was unbeatable on Saturday. And even with Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns promising to make a bid in the near future for the middleweight crown, it is likely that three years hence, Marvin Hagler will still be unbeatable.