This Day in Boxing

Hagler Stops Scypion This Day in Boxing May 27, 1983

Hagler Stops Scypion This Day in Boxing May 27, 1983

Marvin Hagler retains the middleweight crown



Marvin Hagler 160 lbs

Wilford Scypion 160 lbs

KO at 2:47 in round 4 of 15

Location: Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Referee: Frank Cappuccino

Judge: Larry Hazzard 30-27

Judge: Joe Cortez 30-27

Judge: Stuart Kirshenbaum 30-27

Promoters: Top Rank and Robert M. Andreoli Productions

IBF Middleweight Title (inaugural title fight)



Hagler was the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council Middleweight Champion.

Scypion was ranked #1 by the WBC and #2 by the WBA. He also held the USBA Middleweight Title.

Hagler made $1.25 million, and Scypion got $325,000.

The fight was originally scheduled for May 13, but it was postponed for two weeks due to an inflamed tendon in Hagler’s left knee.

The fight aired live on HBO.

There was a crowd of 13,101 at the Civic Center in Providence.

Hagler put Scypion down for the count with a flurry of punches late in the fourth round.


Sanctioning Controversy

In the case of unified champions, the WBA and WBC agreed that they would take turns acting as the “host” organization for title defenses. In Hagler’s previous fight, a sixth-round knockout of Tony Sibson, the WBC provided the officials and the supervision.

On March 11, Bob Arum, the co-promoter of the bout, was told by Dr. Elias Cordova, the chairman of the WBA championship committee, that the Scypion fight would have WBA officials and be scheduled for 15 rounds. Subsequently, however, WBC president Jose Sulaiman, using the argument that Scypion was the WBC’s #1 contender but only #2 according to the WBA, convinced WBA president Gilberto Mendoza to allow the WBC to run the show. When Dr. Cordova objected, they reached a new agreement: In exchange for the control of Hagler’s next two defenses, the WBA agreed to let Sulaiman direct Hagler vs. Scypion.

Sulaiman ordered the fight to be re-scheduled for 12 rounds. When Hagler refused, the WBC emergency committee voted to sanction the fight for 15 rounds. However, the WBC later rescinded their sanction because two of the bout’s officials, referee Frank Cappuccino and judge Joe Cortez, were not members of the WBC.

The WBC and WBA continued to recognize Hagler as champion, but they said the titles would be declared vacant if Hagler lost to Scypion.

The fight was sanctioned only by the newly formed United States Boxing Association-International, which later became the International Boxing Federation.

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