Hagler vs. Leonard: A Unanimous Decision for Emerging Markets

Jordi Visser

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Below is an excerpt from President and CIO Jordi Visser's whitepaper titled, Hagler vs. Leonard: A Unanimous Decision for Emerging Markets. You can access a full copy of the document by clicking here.

As a young kid growing up in New Jersey, I was a huge sports fan. I would watch anything. Some of my greatest childhood memories are of the great sporting events of the 1980s - the U.S. Olympic Gold Medal Hockey team, the Mets 1986 World Series, Georgetown vs. St. John’s, Jack Nicklaus winning the masters, Borg vs. McEnroe at Wimbledon and the fight between Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard. That fight was the best I can remember watching. Not only did the fight itself leave a lasting memory, but both the decision and the reaction were equally as gripping. You can ask ten people who they think won the fight and you will get passionate arguments on both sides. Seldom do you end up with a sporting event when so many people watch the same event but come up with totally different views on the outcome. Here are two examples of sports writers’ analysis of the fight:

“What Ray Leonard pulled off in his split decision over Hagler was an epic illusion. He had said beforehand that the way to beat Hagler was to give him a distorted picture. But this shrewdest of fighters knew it was even more important to distort the picture for the judges. His plan was to "steal" rounds with a few flashy and carefully timed flurries and to make the rest of each three-minute session as unproductive as possible for Hagler by circling briskly away from the latter's persistent pursuit. When he made his sporadic attacking flourishes, he was happy to exaggerate hand speed at the expense of power, and neither he nor two of the scorers seemed bothered by the fact that many of the punches landed on the champion's gloves and arms.”

“It wasn't even close...He didn't just outpoint Hagler, he exposed him. He made him look like a guy chasing a bus. In snowshoes. Leonard repeatedly beat Hagler to the punch. When he did, he hit harder. He hit more often. He made Hagler into what he perceived him to be throughout his career—a brawler, a swarmer, a man who could club you to death only if you stood there and let him. If you moved, he was lost.”

The passionate arguments surrounding the decision in this fight have been on my mind a lot since reading the news from Davos a few weeks ago. I have been writing about the growing risk of a recession for over a year now, so the discussion around the possibility of a recession is not the issue. What hit me was how extreme the viewpoints have become in such a short period of time. Many macro managers were calling for a systemic event similar to 2008. There were other annual industry conferences and events in January where the same message was being delivered.

Download the full copy of the document by clicking here. At Weiss, our mission is to make our decades of expertise in alternatives universally accessible. Please email us at CIO@gweiss.com if you would like to discuss any of these topics in greater detail.

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