Famed boxing champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler died unexpectedly on Saturday, March 13, at 66. The middleweight champion, who battled in the 1980s with the likes of Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard, was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
Prior to Hagler’s death, Hearns, his friend and former opponent, posted on Instagram, “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!”
That post caused the internet to run wild as those who are opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine took the message as a rallying call for their support, but Hearns immediately shut down the rhetoric.
“Our love and respect to Marvin and his family, this is 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,” Hearns posted soon after.
Kay G. Hagler, the champ’s wife, also shut down the rumors with a post on the boxer’s Facebook fan page in a statement:
TMZ reported that one of Hagler’s sons said his father was hospitalized Saturday “after experiencing trouble breathing and chest pains at home.” That statement also fueled the vaccination rumors.