Marvin Hagler vs. Vito Antuofermo (2nd meeting)

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1981-06-13 : Marvin Hagler 160 lbs beat Vito Antuofermo 158¾ lbs by RTD in round 4 of 15

Bout Summary

It came as everybody knew it would: a bright, ragged blossoming of blood over Vito Antuofermo's brow that coursed down into his eye sockets and the fissures of his wrecked face. The only surprise was the speed with which it happened: barely 30 seconds into the first round of his challenge for Marvin Hagler's world middleweight title at Boston Garden on Saturday night. An elemental howl from the crowd signaled that the cutting had started and that once again there would be no chance in the world that Antuofermo would finish the fight.

A flurry of rights from Hagler had taken him to the ropes; then, as he straightened to escape, heads collided. An accidental butt, seemingly on Antuofermo's part. But suddenly the mask of blood was there again. Blindly, he hung on as more of Hagler's rights pounded him and, with the bell, just as blindly he stared out at the crowd, oblivious of the necessity for speed in getting the cut attended to. In his corner, assistant trainer Panama Lewis was screaming incomprehensibly and Freddie Brown, Antuofermo's veteran trainer, a cut man of extraordinary skills, was in the middle of the ring, shouting at the referee. Brown contended that Hagler had butted Antuofermo and wanted Referee Davey Pearl to stop the fight and rule it a technical draw. Nearly three minutes passed before the fight was resumed, an extra two minutes that Antuofermo and Brown desperately needed.

And then, coldly, precisely, Hagler went to work on the cut again, opening it once more with a five-blow combination that started with a right uppercut. "I don't care how I did it," the champion said later. "That's the game of boxing."

Antuofermo came out for the third, and Hagler put him down briefly with a straight left. And then that tormented, flailing courage of Antuofermo's was seen for a moment or two as he pressed forward. Effortlessly, Hagler kept him at bay with steady rights. There was more patching by Brown before the fourth, and then a hard right opened a new cut under the right eye. Finally, an apparent butt by Hagler made the worst split of all—just above the same eye. Arms waving, his mouth full of cotton, Brown was in midring again to protest at the bell, but in Antuofermo's corner, Tony Carione, Antuofermo's co-manager, had already conceded.

It was called a TKO in the fifth.


Sports Illustrated - June 22, 1981

Preceded by:
Hagler vs. Obelmejias I
WBA Middleweight Title Fight
# 42
WBC Middleweight Title Fight
# 42
Succeeded by:
Hagler vs. Hamsho I