The widow of ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler has spoken out against social media speculation that claimed the boxing icon had died due to the effects of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Hagler passed away at the age of 66 on Saturday in New Hampshire. His wife, Kay, announced the news to his fans on Facebook, writing: “Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire.”
Hagler’s website was later updated to state he had died of natural causes “near” his home, while one of the late boxing star’s sons, James, told US outlet TMZ that Hagler had been taken to hospital earlier on Saturday after experiencing breathing trouble and chest pains.
The family was reportedly notified of his death around four hours later, although no official cause of death has yet been given.
Hagler’s friend and former ring rival Tommy ‘The Hitman’ Hearns – with whom he shared an epic encounter in 1985 – triggered conspiracy theories with a message he posted on Instagram before the icon passed away, writing: “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!”
Kay Hagler has now refuted those claims in an emotional Facebook post, calling them “nonsense.”
“I would like to speak with my heart to all of you. I apologize if my English is not written correctly but I hope everyone understands me in this difficult moment,” she wrote.
“After 31 years the love of my life is gone and my life without him no longer makes sense, but I can feel him next to me even now and he’s telling me not to give up and be strong for him.
“Thank you for your love, he loved people so much, he loved you all he was happy when he read your comments he was a special person the most beautiful person I had ever met in all my life.
“I was the only person close to him until the last minute, and I am the only person that know how things went not even his family know all the details and I do NOT accept to read some stupid comment without knowing really what happen[ed].
“For sure wasn’t the vaccine that caused his death. My baby left in peace with his usually smile and now is not the time to talk nonsense.
“Marvin hated funerals and therefore there will be no funerals or church celebrations he wants to be remembered with a happy smile but I would be happy if each of you can light a candle for him.
“However there is something special that I will do because it was his wishes and you will be informed at the right time by me I just need time.”
Hearns has since deleted his post and issued a message claiming it was 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,” he added.
Hagler’s death drew an outpouring of grief from the boxing world and beyond. The Newark-born fighter ruled as undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987, as one of boxing’s legendary ‘Four Kings’ during a golden era.
In all, Hagler fought 67 times across 14 years as a professional, earning a staggering 52 knockouts and suffering three defeats and two draws.
He went undefeated for 37 fights, making 12 successive title defenses before losing a highly-contested split decision to fellow all-time great Sugar Ray Leonard at Caesar’s Palace in 1987. That was to be Hagler’s last fight before he retired, disgusted at the judges’ scoring.
Among the many tributes paid to Hagler was one from Mike Tyson, who tweeted: “Marvin Hagler was one of the best warriors in the sport. Condolences to his family. He will be missed.”
Marvin Hagler was one of the best warriors in the sport. Condolences to his family. He will be missed.
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) March 14, 2021