In the second round, rushing in again, Minter had the crowd screaming as his jabs pushed Hagler back, but the challenger's counterpunching was steady. Now Minter's left eye and nose were bleeding, and there was a more pronounced desperation in his wildness. "I told Marvin," Petronelli said later, " 'Just keep that snapping speed going. He isn't going to last as long as we thought.' I just couldn't believe how Minter was trying to force the fight. Coming after Marvin, the damn fool. We did our damage and kept back."
The damage, by the end of the second round, was almost more than Minter's corner could handle in the one-minute break, and by the middle of the third, Hagler was hitting the champion at will. Minter was blinded by a reopened cut over his left eye, and a final, fearsome right uppercut brought the referee between them with about 75 seconds left in the round. Then came the tumult, and a new champion who wasn't proclaimed but smuggled out of the ring, leaving the dazed and defeated Minter with his handlers, who tried to stanch wounds that later would require 17 stitches.
At Bailey's, as the bad memories faded and the joy sank in, as Hagler in his best three-piece pinstripe moved around the room to shake hands, there was no one more happy than Promoter Bob Arum. "I finally got me a winner," he exulted. "Big John Tate, Marvin Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, they all went down. But this is the end of the ignominy." Delighted, like a child with a box of chocolates, Arum began to pick through future opponents for Hagler: Fulgencio Obel, the No. 2 contender from Venezuela; Ruben Pardo from Argentina; Mustafa Hamsho, who fights out of New York. He thought for a while, and then, suddenly, said, "Antuofermo."
"That draw with Marvin," Arum said defensively. And, indeed, there across the room was Vito himself. Challenged, he replied, also defensively, "I'd like to. I'm having an operation on my eyes."
For Minter, though, nobody held out a chance. No rematch, said Arum. "Marvin would do this to him every time." It certainly looked like it. But even if he gets another shot, it seems quite likely that Minter's days of trumpets and banners are over.