How Marvin Hagler Adjusted to Roberto Duran’s Right Cross Counter
In 1983 the Boxing world saw a Super Bout between Middleweight Champion Marvin Hagler and another of the Fab Four and fellow great fighter, Roberto Duran. Now Duran as we know initially ruled the roost as a Lightweight and is arguably the greatest we have ever seen in that division, facing off against a 160lb Middleweight in Hagler who is one of the best ever at Middleweight is a huge task and is one of the reasons why Duran is considered by most as a top 10 boxer of all time. Duran was a skilful and crafty boxer who doesn’t get enough credit for his boxing skills and acumen, many seem to remember him as a brawler who liked to fight but Duran was as skilled as they came, especially at the inside game but would he want to fight inside against such a naturally bigger man like Marvin Hagler?
As the fight began we saw Duran fighting from the outside and immediately he was looking to time the jab of the southpaw Hagler. When Hagler would throw a jab, Duran would often throw his right cross at the same time, hoping to land flush and discourage Hagler from the jab, if Duran could take away Hagler’s jab as a southpaw it would make the rest of the fight much easier for him and perhaps get Hagler, who was a switch hitter, fighting in the orthodox stance which Duran no doubt would be more accustomed to and ready to deal with.
Duran’s timing was gradually getting better, from punching gloves or Hagler’s chest, eventually Duran’s right hand over the top of Hagler’s jab began to find it’s target – Hagler’s Head. So how did Marvin Hagler adjust to make sure Duran couldn’t continue to time his jab?
Marvin Hagler began to extend the feint when jabbing, by using multiple feints and different types of feints when jabbing, such as the double jab feint or feinting low and jabbing high, Hagler was able to create hesitation in Duran’s mind, this slight doubt from Duran was all Hagler needed to start having enough success with the jab to form the basis of his attacks, slow down Duran’s right hand counter and close the distance against his opponent. The fight was a hard fought battle which even with Hagler’s Ring IQ, adjusting to the jab by using the feint and bigger size, Duran was leading the fight until the final few rounds in which a last push by Hagler gave him the edge and won him the fight.