Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of the greatest boxers to climb into the ring, received a hero’s welcome from an enthusiastic audience when he was guest of honour at a Laureus fund-raising event in Hong Kong.
Laureus World Sports Academy Member Hagler, who won 52 of his 67 fights by knockout and only lost three times in his career, attended the boxing evening to help raise funds for the Laureus-supported Operation Breakthrough community sports project, which he had visited earlier in the day.
Hagler, who was world middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987, said: ”It was a great pleasure to be here to visit the young people at Operation Breakthrough in Hong Kong and share my experiences and passion about boxing as well as some skills with them. It is great to see that boxing is helping young people to change their lives.”
During a busy visit, Hagler and Laureus Chairman Edwin Moses also took part in the ‘Sport Can Change Lives’ forum which was held at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, which brought together Hong Kong and international sporting legends to exchange inspirational ideas on how sport can make a real difference in young people’s lives.
Among those present was boccia star Leung Yuk Wing, who is a Nominee for the 2015 Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award. The winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards will be announced in Shanghai on April 15.
Edwin Moses said: “I was delighted to be invited to the forum and to connect with experts and enthusiasts in the sport for good field in Hong Kong. It was great to meet some of the top athletes who are giving up their time to help young people and to take part in an event that spreads positive messages and good practices. I hope it helped to stimulate thought and change.”
Operation Breakthrough is an organisation that uses sport as the means to help, rehabilitate and enhance opportunities for young people. The boxing programme was the first sport used to help fight crime, reduce juvenile delinquency and reoffending among young people from low income and immigrant communities. Now ten sports activities are offered each week throughout Hong Kong.
Operation Breakthrough Director, Barry Smith commenting on the support of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation said “I am delighted that Marvelous Marvin Hagler can be here with us today especially as boxing was the first sport we introduced into the programme. To have a legend such as Marvin to visit and give our young people tips is priceless. Everybody had a great time and this will be one of the great memories certainly for me and for all our boys.”
The very first professional boxer from the Operation Breakthrough Boxing Team, Surez Gurung, said “I am so happy that one of the great legends was here today. I still can’t believe I was actually getting tips from a legend such as Marvelous to help me improve my skills.”