||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
|Real name||Thomas Hearns|
Motor City Cobra
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Reach||80 in (203 cm)|
October 18, 1958 |
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
|Wins by KO||48|
Thomas Hearns (born October 18, 1958) is a retired American professional boxer. Nicknamed the "Motor City Cobra" and more famously "The Hitman," Hearns became the first boxer in history to win world titles in four divisions. He would also become the first fighter in history to win five world titles in five different divisions. Hearns was named Ring Magazine fighter of the year in 1980 and 1984 and is best known for his fights with Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Durán.
Born in Grand Junction, Tennessee on October 18, 1958, Hearns was 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. Leonard
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 legendary 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 caused by Hearns' jab and there would be no rematch until 1989.
Light Middleweight Champion
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 (KO 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 the legendary 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 Hearns
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 Superbout is often labeled as the three greatest rounds in boxing history. The legendary 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 over Hagler's nose 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 materialized.
Hearns quickly made amends by dispatching undefeated rising star James "Black Gold" Shuler with a devastating first round knockout in 1986. Two weeks 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 Leonard
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. Leonard later admitted that he believed Hearns had beaten him and that he was gifted the draw, stating the fighters were 1-1 in his book.
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).
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 record
|61 Wins (48 knockouts), 5 Losses (4 knockouts), 1 Draw|
|Win||61-5-1||Shannon Landberg||TKO||10 (10), 1:35||2006-02-04||The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan|
|Win||60-5-1||John Long||TKO||9 (10)||2005-07-30||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan|
|Loss||59-5-1||Uriah Grant||RTD||2 (12), 3:00||2000-04-08||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan||Lost IBO Cruiserweight title.|
|Win||59-4-1||Nate Miller||UD||12||1999-04-10||M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, Greater Manchester||Won vacant IBO Cruiserweight title.|
|Win||58-4-1||Jay Snyder||KO||1 (10), 1:28||1998-11-06||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||57-4-1||Ed Dalton||KO||5 (10), 2:47||1997-01-31||Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California|
|Win||56-4-1||Karl Willis||KO||5 (10)||1996-11-29||Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, Virginia|
|Win||55-4-1||Earl Butler||UD||10||1995-09-26||The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan|
|Win||54-4-1||Lenny LaPaglia||TKO||1 (12), 2:55||1995-03-31||Detroit, Michigan||Won vacant WBU Cruiserweight title.|
|Win||53-4-1||Freddie Delgado||UD||12||1994-02-19||Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina||Retained NABF Cruiserweight title.|
|Win||52-4-1||Dan Ward||TKO||1 (12), 2:09||1994-01-29||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won vacant NABF Cruiserweight title.|
|Win||51-4-1||Andrew Maynard||TKO||1 (10), 2:34||1993-11-06||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Loss||50-4-1||Iran Barkley||SD||12||1992-03-20||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Lost WBA Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||50-3-1||Virgil Hill||UD||12||1991-06-03||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won WBA Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||49-3-1||Ken Atkins||TKO||3 (10), 2:08||1991-06-03||Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Win||48-3-1||Kemper Morton||KO||2 (10), 2:02||1991-02-11||Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California|
|Win||47-3-1||Michael Olajide||UD||12||1990-04-28||Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained WBO Super Middleweight title.|
|Draw||46-3-1||Sugar Ray Leonard||PTS||12||1989-06-12||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained WBO Super Middleweight title.
For WBC Super Middleweight title.
|Win||46–3||James Kinchen||MD||12||1988-11-04||Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won NABF & vacant WBO Super Middleweight titles.|
|Loss||45–3||Iran Barkley||TKO||3 (12), 2:39||1988-06-06||Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada||Lost WBC Middleweight title.|
|Win||45–2||Juan Roldán||KO||4 (12), 2:01||1987-10-29||Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won vacant WBC Middleweight title.|
|Win||44–2||Dennis Andries||TKO||10 (12), 1:26||1987-03-07||Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan||Won WBC Light Heavyweight title.|
|Win||43–2||Doug DeWitt||UD||12||1986-10-17||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan||Retained NABF Middleweight title.|
|Win||42–2||Mark Medal||TKO||8 (12), 2:20||1986-06-23||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained WBC & The Ring Light Middleweight titles.|
|Win||41–2||James Shuler||KO||1 (12), 1:13||1986-03-10||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won NABF Middleweight title.|
|Loss||40–2||Marvin Hagler||TKO||3 (12), 1:52||1985-04-15||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||For WBC, WBA, IBF, & The Ring Middleweight titles.
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1985)
|Win||40–1||Fred Hutchings||TKO||3 (15), 2:56||1984-09-15||Civic Center, Saginaw, Michigan||Retained WBC & The Ring Light Middleweight titles.|
|Win||39–1||Roberto Durán||TKO||2 (12)||1984-06-15||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained WBC & The Ring Light Middleweight titles.|
|Win||38–1||Luigi Minchillo||UD||12||1984-02-11||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan||Retained WBC & The Ring Light Middleweight titles.|
|Win||37–1||Murray Sutherland||UD||10||1983-07-10||Caesars Atlantic City, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained WBC & won vacant The Ring Light Middleweight titles.|
|Win||36–1||Wilfred Benítez||MD||15||1982-12-03||Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana||Won WBC Light Middleweight title.|
|Win||35–1||Jeff McCracken||TKO||8 (10), 1:29||1982-07-25||Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||34–1||Marcos Geraldo||KO||1 (10), 1:48||1982-02-27||The Aladdin, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||33–1||Ernie Singletary||UD||10||1981-12-11||Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Nassau|
|Loss||32–1||Sugar Ray Leonard||TKO||14 (15), 1:45||1981-09-16||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Lost WBA Welterweight title. For WBC & The Ring Welterweight titles.
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1981)
|Win||32–0||Pablo Baez||TKO||4 (15), 2:10||1981-06-25||Astrodome, Houston, Texas||Retained WBA Welterweight title.|
|Win||31–0||Randy Shields||TKO||12 (15), 3:00||1981-04-25||Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona||Retained WBA Welterweight title.|
|Win||30–0||Luis Primera||KO||6 (15), 2:00||1980-12-06||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan||Retained WBA Welterweight title.|
|Win||29–0||Pipino Cuevas||TKO||2 (15), 2:39||1980-08-02||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan||Won WBA Welterweight title.|
|Win||28–0||Eddie Gazo||KO||1 (10), 2:41||1980-05-03||Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||27–0||Santiago Valdez||TKO||1 (10), 2:56||1980-03-31||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||26–0||Ángel Espada||TKO||4 (12)||1980-03-02||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan||Won vacant USBA Welterweight title.|
|Win||25–0||Jim Richards||KO||3 (10)||1980-02-03||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||24–0||Mike Colbert||UD||10||1979-11-30||Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Win||23–0||Saensak Muangsurin||TKO||3 (10), 2:31||1979-10-18||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||22–0||Jose Figueroa||KO||3 (10), 1:17||1979-09-22||Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California|
|Win||21–0||Inocencio Mao De la Rosa||RTD||2 (10)||1979-08-23||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||20–0||Bruce Curry||RTD||3 (10), 2:59||1979-06-28||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||19–0||Harold Weston||RTD||6 (12)||1979-05-20||Dunes Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||18–0||Alfonso Hayman||UD||10||1979-04-03||The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||17–0||Segundo Murillo||TKO||8 (10), 2:25||1979-03-03||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||16–0||Sammy Ruckard||TKO||8||1979-01-31||Saginaw, Michigan|
|Win||15–0||Clyde Gray||TKO||10 (10)||1979-01-11||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||14–0||Rudy Barro||TKO||4 (10)||1978-12-09||Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||13–0||Pedro Rojas||TKO||1 (10), 1:09||1978-10-26||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||12–0||Bruce Finch||TKO||3 (10), 2:01||1978-09-07||Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||11–0||Eddie Marcelle||KO||2, 2:59||1978-08-03||Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||10–0||Raul Aguirre||KO||3||1978-07-20||Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||9–0||Jimmy Rothwell||KO||1 (10)||1978-06-08||Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||8–0||Tyrone Phelps||KO||3||1978-03-31||Saginaw, Michigan|
|Win||7–0||Ray Fields||TKO||2||1978-03-17||Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||6–0||Billy Goodwin||TKO||2||1978-02-17||Saginaw, Michigan|
|Win||5–0||Robert Adams||KO||3||1978-02-10||Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||4–0||Anthony House||KO||2||1978-01-29||Knoxville, Tennessee|
|Win||3–0||Willie Wren||KO||3||1977-12-16||Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||2–0||Jerry Strickland||KO||3 (6)||1977-12-07||Mount Clemens, Michigan|
|Win||1–0||Jerome Hill||KO||2 (4)||1977-11-25||Detroit, Michigan||Hearn's professional debut|
Titles in boxing
Major World Titles:
- WBA Welterweight Champion (147 lbs)
- WBC Light Middleweight Champion (154 lbs)
- WBC Light Heavyweight Champion (175 lbs)
- WBC Middleweight Champion (160 lbs)
- WBO Super Middleweight Champion (168 lbs)
- WBA Light Heavyweight Champion (175 lbs)
Minor World Titles:
- USBA Welterweight Champion (147 lbs)
- NABF Middleweight Champion (160 lbs)
- NABF Super Middleweight Champion (168 lbs)
- NABF Cruiserweight Champion (200 lbs)
- List of boxing triple champions
- List of boxing quadruple champions
- List of boxing quintuple champions
- List of boxing sextuple champions
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Thomas Hearns|
- Thomas Hearns' Official Website
- Professional boxing record for Thomas Hearns from BoxRec
- Thomas Hearns' Amateur Boxing Record
- Highlight Video
|WBA Welterweight Champion
August 2, 1980 – September 16, 1981
Sugar Ray Leonard
|WBC Light Middleweight Champion
December 3, 1982 – 1986
Title next held byDuane Thomas
Title last held bySugar Ray Leonard
|The Ring Light Middleweight Champion
May 1983 – September 1986
Title next held byOscar De La Hoya
|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
|Inaugural Champion||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
Title last held byRobert Daniels
|IBO Cruiserweight Champion
April 10, 1999 – April 8, 2000
Sugar Ray Leonard
|Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
Sugar Ray Leonard
& Salvador Sánchez
Sugar Ray Leonard
|BWAA Fighter of the Year
Sugar Ray Leonard
|Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
& Donald Curry
|BWAA Fighter of the Year