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Thomas "Tommy" Hearns (born October 18, 1958) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 2006. Nicknamed the "Motor City Cobra", and more famously "The Hitman", Hearns' tall, slender build and oversized arms and shoulders allowed him to move up over fifty pounds in his career and become the first boxer in history to win world titles in five weight divisions: welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and super middleweight.
Hearns at Planet Hollywood, 2009
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Reach||78 in (198 cm)|
|Born||October 18, 1958|
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Wins by KO||48|
Hearns was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1980 and 1984; the latter following his knockout of Roberto Durán. Hearns was known as a devastating puncher throughout his career, even at cruiserweight, despite having climbed up five weight classes. He is ranked number 18 on The Ring's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. He currently ranks #18 in BoxRec ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time. On June 10, 2012, Hearns was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Hearns was born in Grand Junction, Tennessee on October 18, 1958, the youngest of three children in his mother's first marriage. With her second marriage, six children joined the first three. On her own, Mrs. Hearns raised Tommy and his siblings in Grand Junction until Tommy was five years old; then the family moved to Detroit, Michigan. Hearns had an amateur record of 155–8. In 1977, he won the National Amateur Athletic Union Light Welterweight Championship, defeating Bobby Joe Young of Steubenville, Ohio, in the finals. He also won the 1977 National Golden Gloves Light Welterweight Championship.
Hearns began his professional boxing career in Detroit, Michigan, under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward in 1977. Steward had changed Hearns from a light hitting amateur boxer to one of the most devastating punchers in boxing history.
He won six world titles in five weight classes during his pro career, defeating future boxing hall of famers such as Pipino Cuevas, Wilfred Benítez, Virgil Hill and Roberto Durán. Hearns started his career by knocking out his first 17 opponents. In 1980, Hearns carried his 28-0 record into a world title match against Mexico's Pipino Cuevas. Hearns ended Cuevas's 4-year reign by beating him by TKO in the second round. Hearns was voted "Fighter of the Year" by Ring Magazine in 1980.
Hearns vs. LeonardEdit
In 1981, Hearns the WBA Champion, with a 32-0 record (30 KOs), fought WBC Champion Sugar Ray Leonard (30-1) to unify the World Welterweight Championship in a bout dubbed "The Showdown." In this fight, Hearns suffered his first professional defeat when Leonard stopped him in the 14th round. In the 13th round, Leonard, behind on points on all 3 judges scorecards, needed a knockout to win. He came on strong and put Hearns through the ropes at the end of the round. Hearns was dazed, totally out of gas and received a count but was saved by the bell. Leonard, with his left eye shut and time running out, resumed his attack in the 14th. Hearns started the round boxing and moving, but after staggering Hearns with an overhand right, Leonard pinned Hearns against the ropes. After another combination to the body and head, referee Davey Pearl stopped the fight. Hearns and Leonard banked a combined 17 million dollars for the fight, making it the largest purse in sports history. The following year, Leonard retired due to a detached retina, and there would be no rematch until 1989.
Light Middleweight ChampionEdit
Hearns moved up in weight and won the WBC Super Welterweight (154 lb) title from boxing legend and three-time world champion Wilfred Benítez (44-1-1) in New Orleans in December 1982, and defended that title against European Champion Luigi Minchillo (42-1) (W 12), Roberto Durán (TKO 2), no.1 contender Fred Hutchings (29-1) (KO 3) and #1 contender Mark Medal (26-2) (TKO 8). During his reign at this weight, the 2 round destruction of Roberto Durán, in which he became the first boxer to KO Durán, is seen as his pinnacle achievement, earning him his second Ring Magazine "Fighter of the Year" award in 1984.
Hagler vs HearnsEdit
While remaining super-welterweight (light-middleweight) champion, Hearns ventured into the middleweight division to challenge undisputed middleweight champion Marvin Hagler in 1985. Billed "The Fight" (later known as "The War"), this bout has often been labeled as the three greatest rounds in boxing history. The battle elevated both fighters to superstar status. Hearns was able to stun Hagler soon after the opening bell, but he subsequently broke his right hand in the first round. He did, however, manage to open a deep cut on Hagler's forehead that caused the ring doctor to consider a stoppage. The fight, however, was allowed to continue at this point, with the ringside commentators remarking on the fact that, "the last thing Hagler wants or needs is for this fight to be stopped on a cut." The battle did go back and forth some, but Hearns was unable to capitalize on his early successes against Hagler. As a result of breaking his right hand, Hearns began to use lateral movement and a good jab to keep Hagler at bay as best he could. This tactic worked fairly well, but in the third round Hagler staggered Hearns and managed to catch him against the ropes, where a crushing right hand by Hagler knocked Hearns down. Hearns beat the count but was clearly unable to continue and the referee stopped the fight. Despite the loss, Hearns garnered a tremendous amount of respect from fans and boxing aficionados alike. Considering the popularity of the fight and the level of competition, a rematch seemed to be a foregone conclusion but never took place.
Hearns quickly made amends by dispatching undefeated rising star James "Black Gold" Shuler with a devastating first-round knockout in 1986. One week after the fight, Shuler was killed in a motorcycle accident. Hearns presented the NABF championship belt to Shuler's family at his funeral, saying he deserved to keep the belt as he had held it longer than Hearns.
In March 1987, Hearns scored six knockdowns of Dennis Andries to win the WBC light-heavyweight title with a tenth round stoppage at Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan. Later that year, his four-round destruction of the Juan Roldán (63-2) to claim the vacant WBC middleweight title made Hearns a four-weight world champion.
In a huge upset, Hearns lost his WBC middleweight title to Iran Barkley via a third-round TKO in June 1988 in a bout Ring Magazine named 1988 Upset of the Year. In November that year, Hearns returned to win another world title, defeating James Kinchen (44-3) via a majority decision to win the inaugural WBO super-middleweight title. Hearns became the first boxer to win a world title in five weight divisions.
Rematch with LeonardEdit
Hearns had to wait until 1989 for a rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard, this time for Leonard's WBC super-middleweight title and Hearns' WBO title. This was Hearns's sixth Superfight, a fight which much of the public believed Hearns won, flooring Leonard in both the 3rd and 11th rounds. However, the judges scored the fight a controversial draw.
Hearns had one last great performance in 1991, as he challenged the undefeated WBA light-heavyweight champion Virgil Hill. In Hill's eleventh defense of the title, Hearns returned to his amateur roots and outboxed the champion to win a convincing decision and add a sixth world title to his illustrious career. On March 20, 1992, Hearns lost this title on a split decision to old foe Iran Barkley but continued to compete and won his next 8 bouts.
On June 23, 1997, Hearns appeared on a WWE telecast, performing in a storyline where he was taunted and challenged by professional wrestler Bret "Hitman" Hart, who claimed that Hearns "stole" the "Hitman" nickname. Hearns ended up "attacking" Jim Neidhart and knocking him down with a series of punches before officials entered the ring and broke up the "confrontation."
On 10 April 1999, Hearns travelled to England and beat Nate Miller by unanimous decision in a cruiserweight bout. In his next fight in April 2000 he faced Uriah Grant. The first round was competitive, with Hearns appearing hurt by a solid right to the jaw. Both fighters traded blows in the second round until Hearns appeared to injure his right ankle. He was forced to retire injured at the end of the round. The crowd booed and Hearns took the microphone and promised his fans that he would be back. Hearns fought twice more, winning both fights by TKO. His final fight was on 4 February 2006 against Shannon Landberg.
Hearns' family is a fixture on the Detroit sports scene. His mother, Lois Hearns, is a fight promoter. Their company, Hearns Entertainment, has promoted many cards, including the Mike Tyson–Andrew Golota bout in 2000. His son Ronald Hearns is also a boxer, and he fought on the undercard of his father's last couple of fights. Hearns lives in Southfield, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit). Hearns serves as a Reserve Police Officer with the Detroit Police Department.
Due to personal financial issues, Hearns was forced to auction off his possessions at The Auction Block of Detroit, Michigan on April 3, 2010. Items included were a 1957 Chevy, 47' Fountain boat, and a slew of collectors memorabilia. His debt to the IRS was $250,000. He took responsibility for repaying the entire debt, which he said was accrued from being overly generous toward his large extended family.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|Professional record summary|
|67 fights||61 wins||5 losses|
|67||Win||61–5–1||Shannon Landberg||TKO||10 (10), 1:35||Feb 4, 2006||The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.|
|66||Win||60–5–1||John Long||TKO||9 (10)||Jul 30, 2005||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|65||Loss||59–5–1||Uriah Grant||RTD||3 (12), 3:00||Apr 8, 2000||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Lost IBO cruiserweight title|
|64||Win||59–4–1||Nate Miller||UD||12||Apr 10, 1999||MEN Arena, Manchester, England||Won vacant IBO cruiserweight title|
|63||Win||58–4–1||Jay Snyder||KO||1 (10), 1:28||Nov 6, 1998||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|62||Win||57–4–1||Ed Dalton||KO||5 (10), 2:47||Jan 31, 1997||Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.|
|61||Win||56–4–1||Karl Willis||KO||5 (10), 2:45||Nov 29, 1996||Civic Center, Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.|
|60||Win||55–4–1||Earl Butler||UD||10||Sep 26, 1995||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.|
|59||Win||54–4–1||Lenny LaPaglia||TKO||1 (12), 2:55||Mar 31, 1995||Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won vacant WBU cruiserweight title|
|58||Win||53–4–1||Freddie Delgado||UD||12||Feb 19, 1994||Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.||Retained NABF cruiserweight title|
|57||Win||52–4–1||Dan Ward||TKO||1 (12), 2:09||Jan 29, 1994||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Won vacant NABF cruiserweight title|
|56||Win||51–4–1||Andrew Maynard||TKO||1 (10), 2:34||Nov 6, 1993||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|55||Loss||50–4–1||Iran Barkley||SD||12||Mar 20, 1992||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Lost WBA light heavyweight title|
|54||Win||50–3–1||Virgil Hill||UD||12||Jun 3, 1991||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Won WBA light heavyweight title|
|53||Win||49–3–1||Ken Atkins||TKO||3 (10), 2:08||Apr 6, 1991||Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.|
|52||Win||48–3–1||Kemper Morton||KO||2 (10), 2:02||Feb 11, 1991||Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S.|
|51||Win||47–3–1||Michael Olajide||UD||12||Apr 28, 1990||Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained WBO super middleweight title|
|50||Draw||46–3–1||Sugar Ray Leonard||SD||12||Jun 12, 1989||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBO super middleweight title;|
For WBC super middleweight title
|49||Win||46–3||James Kinchen||MD||12||Nov 4, 1988||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Won NABF and inaugural WBO super middleweight titles|
|48||Loss||45–3||Iran Barkley||TKO||3 (12), 2:39||Jun 6, 1988||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Lost WBC middleweight title|
|47||Win||45–2||Juan Roldán||KO||4 (12), 2:01||Oct 29, 1987||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Won vacant WBC middleweight title|
|46||Win||44–2||Dennis Andries||TKO||10 (12), 1:26||Mar 7, 1987||Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won WBC light heavyweight title|
|45||Win||43–2||Doug DeWitt||UD||12||Oct 17, 1986||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Retained NABF middleweight title|
|44||Win||42–2||Mark Medal||TKO||8 (12), 2:20||Jun 23, 1986||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC, The Ring, and lineal light middleweight titles|
|43||Win||41–2||James Shuler||KO||1 (12), 1:13||Mar 10, 1986||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Won NABF middleweight title|
|42||Loss||40–2||Marvin Hagler||TKO||3 (12), 1:52||Apr 15, 1985||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||For WBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles|
|41||Win||40–1||Fred Hutchings||TKO||3 (15), 2:56||Sep 15, 1984||Civic Center, Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.||Retained WBC, The Ring, and lineal light middleweight titles|
|40||Win||39–1||Roberto Durán||TKO||2 (12), 1:05||Jun 15, 1984||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC and The Ring light middleweight titles;|
Won vacant lineal light middleweight title
|39||Win||38–1||Luigi Minchillo||UD||12||Feb 11, 1984||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Retained WBC and The Ring light middleweight titles|
|38||Win||37–1||Murray Sutherland||UD||10||Jul 10, 1983||Caesars Boardwalk Regency, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|37||Win||36–1||Wilfred Benítez||MD||15||Dec 3, 1982||Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.||Won WBC and vacant The Ring light middleweight titles|
|36||Win||35–1||Jeff McCracken||TKO||8 (10), 1:29||Jul 25, 1982||Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|35||Win||34–1||Marcos Geraldo||KO||1 (10), 1:48||Feb 27, 1982||The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|34||Win||33–1||Ernie Singletary||UD||10||Dec 11, 1981||Queen Elizabeth's Sports Centre, Nassau, Bahamas|
|33||Loss||32–1||Sugar Ray Leonard||TKO||14 (15), 1:45||Sep 16, 1981||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Lost WBA welterweight title;|
For WBC, The Ring, and lineal welterweight titles
|32||Win||32–0||Pablo Baez||TKO||4 (15), 2:10||Jun 25, 1981||Astrodome, Houston, Texas, U.S.||Retained WBA welterweight title|
|31||Win||31–0||Randy Shields||TKO||12 (15), 3:00||Apr 25, 1981||Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.||Retained WBA welterweight title|
|30||Win||30–0||Luis Primera||KO||6 (15), 2:00||Dec 6, 1980||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Retained WBA welterweight title|
|29||Win||29–0||José Cuevas||TKO||2 (15), 2:39||Aug 2, 1980||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won WBA welterweight title|
|28||Win||28–0||Eddie Gazo||KO||1 (10), 2:41||May 3, 1980||Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|27||Win||27–0||Santiago Valdez||TKO||1 (10), 2:56||Mar 31, 1980||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|26||Win||26–0||Ángel Espada||TKO||4 (12), 0:47||Mar 2, 1980||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won vacant USBA welterweight title|
|25||Win||25–0||Jim Richards||KO||3 (10), 2:27||Feb 3, 1980||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|24||Win||24–0||Mike Colbert||UD||10||Nov 30, 1979||Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|23||Win||23–0||Saensak Muangsurin||TKO||3 (10), 2:31||Oct 18, 1979||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|22||Win||22–0||José Figueroa||KO||3 (10), 1:17||Sep 22, 1979||Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|21||Win||21–0||Inocencio De la Rosa||RTD||2 (10)||Aug 23, 1979||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|20||Win||20–0||Bruce Curry||KO||3 (10), 2:59||Jun 28, 1979||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|19||Win||19–0||Harold Weston||RTD||6 (12)||May 20, 1979||Dunes, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|18||Win||18–0||Alfonso Hayman||UD||10||Apr 3, 1979||Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|17||Win||17–0||Segundo Murillo||TKO||8 (10), 2:25||Mar 3, 1979||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|16||Win||16–0||Sammy Ruckard||TKO||8 (10)||Jan 31, 1979||Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.|
|15||Win||15–0||Clyde Gray||TKO||10 (10), 2:03||Jan 11, 1979||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|14||Win||14–0||Rudy Barro||KO||4 (10)||Dec 9, 1978||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|13||Win||13–0||Pedro Rojas||TKO||1 (10), 1:09||Oct 26, 1978||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Bruce Finch||KO||3 (10), 2:01||Sep 7, 1978||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Eddie Marcelle||KO||2, (10, 2:59||Aug 3, 1978||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Raul Aguirre||KO||2 (10, 2:08||Jul 20, 1978||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Jimmy Rothwell||KO||1 (10), 1:49||Jun 8, 1978||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Tyrone Phelps||TKO||3 (10), 2:08||Mar 31, 1978||Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Ray Fields||TKO||2, 2:15||Mar 17, 1978||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Billy Goodwin||TKO||2, 1:18||Feb 17, 1978||Civic Center, Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Robert Adams||TKO||3 (6), 2:45||Feb 10, 1978||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Anthony House||KO||2, 2:00||Jan 29, 1978||Hyatt Regency, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Willie Wren||TKO||3 (6), 2:41||Dec 16, 1977||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Jerry Strickland||KO||3 (6), 1:27||Dec 7, 1977||Hillcrest Country Club, Mount Clemens, Michigan, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Jerome Hill||KO||2 (4), 1:59||Nov 25, 1977||Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
- Eisele, Andrew. "Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers". Boxing.about.com. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
- all time p4p rankings BoxRec
- Rafael, Dan. "Thomas Hearns Elected to Hall of Fame". ESPN. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Harry Mullan: "The Pictorial History of Boxing" p.295
- "Thomas Hearns - Lineal Junior Middleweight Champion". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
- Thomas Hearns takes his lumps at auctionDetroit Free Press April 4, 2010 Archived 2010-04-10 at the Wayback Machine
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Thomas Hearns|
- Official website
- Professional boxing record for Thomas Hearns from BoxRec
- Thomas Hearns amateur boxing record
- Thomas Hearns profile at Cyber Boxing Zone
|Amateur boxing titles|
| U.S. Golden Gloves
light welterweight champion
|Regional boxing titles|
|New title|| USBA welterweight champion
March 2, 1980 – August 1980
Title next held byKevin Morgan
| NABF middleweight champion
March 10, 1986 – October 1987
Title next held byMichael Nunn
| NABF super middleweight champion
November 4, 1988 – April 1989
Title next held byDon Lee
Title last held byOrlin Norris
| NABF cruiserweight champion
January 29, 1994 – February 23, 1994
Title next held byAdolpho Washington
|Minor world boxing titles|
|New title|| WBU cruiserweight champion
March 31, 1995 – September 1995
Title next held byJames Toney
Title last held byRobert Daniels
| IBO cruiserweight champion
April 10, 1999 – April 8, 2000
|Major world boxing titles|
| WBA welterweight champion
August 2, 1980 – September 16, 1981
Sugar Ray Leonard
| WBC light middleweight champion
December 3, 1982 – October 1986
Title next held byDuane Thomas
Title last held bySugar Ray Leonard
| The Ring light middleweight champion
December 3, 1982 – September 1986
Title next held byOscar De La Hoya
| Lineal light middleweight champion
June 15, 1984 – September 1986
| WBC light heavyweight champion
March 7, 1987 – November 27, 1987
Title next held byDonny Lalonde
Title last held bySugar Ray Leonard
| WBC middleweight champion
October 29, 1987 – June 6, 1988
|New title|| WBO super middleweight champion
November 4, 1988 – April 28, 1990
Title next held byChris Eubank
| WBA light heavyweight champion
June 3, 1991 – March 20, 1992
Sugar Ray Leonard
| The Ring Fighter of the Year
Sugar Ray Leonard
| BWAA Fighter of the Year
Sugar Ray Leonard
Matthew Saad Muhammad vs.
Yaqui López II
| The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Sugar Ray Leonard
Bobby Chacon vs.
Rafael Limón IV
| The Ring Fighter of the Year
| BWAA Fighter of the Year
José Luis Ramírez vs.
Edwin Rosario II
| The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Marvin Hagler
Steve Cruz vs.
Juan Meza vs.
| The Ring Round of the Year
vs. Marvin Hagler
Steve Cruz vs.