Estrada edges Gonzales in a pulsating encounter as boxing remembers a fallen great

Greatness, true greatness, borne of excellence and deployed over an extended period, is not a prize many fighters acquire. The term is liberally used. An affectation encouraged by a culture of over-promotion and the superficiality of the social media age. Perception, however unsubstantiated it may prove, is always king.

Last night, as two of the modern era’s greatest, Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzales, waited to provide another example of their outstanding talent and devotion to the craft, the news Marvellous Marvin Hagler, the former Middleweight champion had passed away, aged 66, was revealed to the arena. A silence and sadness fell across proceedings, punctuated only by the trill of the ring bell, struck ten times in keeping with boxing’s tradition.

Michael Buffer was clearly emotional in announcing the news to the gathered audience and those of us fighting the call to sleep in the early hours of the morning shared his emotion too.

The fight was thankfully not subdued and served as a pulsating reminder of how greatness, of the type Marvin Hagler represented a luminous example, was once earned.

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