Connect with us

Featured Articles

Thomas Hearns Would Be A Star Of Incredible Magnitude Today

Frank Lotierzo



He was about a half inch shorter than former undisputed light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks and possessed the same 78 inch reach, yet he was a welterweight who never had to kill himself to get down to 147. His left jab was straight, fast, accurate and not only set up his finishing punches, it also kept his opponents on their heels and made it suicide for them to try and take the fight to him. His left hook to the body was debilitating and his right hand only had to land once for him to turn out the lights for fighters who fought between 147/175. In fact, many of Hearns’ foes fell face forward after being hit by his right hand because they were out.

His name is Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, and he won legitimate championships/titles from welterweight up to light heavyweight. In a career that spanned over a quarter century, Hearns fought the biggest names and best fighters around who either fought for or won a piece of the welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight, super-middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Hearns scored 48 knockouts in 61 career victories and lost five times in 67 fights. As a welterweight he was 32-1 with 30 KO’s, a 91% knockout ratio.

Thomas Hearns turns 55 today. He’s one of the most iconic fighters to emerge from the city of Detroit, which is known for producing great fighters. He’s a certified all-time great and yet he may be underrated. Hearns had very fast hands, put his punches together in combination and threw them with hurtful intentions. He has to be regarded as one of the top five pound-for-pound punchers in boxing history. Hearns was taller, with a longer reach, with faster hands and a bigger punch than practically all the other great welterweight champs. There isn’t a worthy knockout compilation on YouTube that doesn’t feature some of Hearns’ most sensational knockouts.

Hearns fought during a time when there was intense competition at 147/160 and stars the likes of himself, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Wilfred Benitez, to a slightly lesser degree, emerged. Hearns beat up Sugar Ray Leonard more than any other fighter ever did while Ray was in his prime during their first fight, in a close but losing effort. And their rematch eight years later was scored a draw, despite Leonard having gone on record admitting that Hearns deserved the decision. During his junior middleweight title bout versus Benitez, who’d only lost to Leonard at the time, Hearns out-boxed perhaps the slickest fighter in boxing at the time to capture the title. Hearns knocked out Duran with one right hand during the second round of their junior middleweight title bout, and despite Roberto fighting on, he’s never been counted out in a fight before or after facing Hearns. In his fight for the undisputed middleweight title versus champ Marvin Hagler, Hearns shook Hagler more so than any other opponent ever did before he was stopped by Hagler in the third round.

Hearns went on to stop Juan Roldan in four rounds for a piece of the middleweight title and lost it to Iran Barkley via a TKO in the third round. He won a piece of the light heavyweight title twice with a stoppage in 10 rounds over Dennis Andries, and then four years later out-boxed the undefeated Virgil Hill to win the WBA version. From 1994 through 2000 Hearns won regional and fringe titles fighting as a cruiserweight. For historical purpose you could say that Hearns did his best work between 1977-91. And during those 14 years Hearns never ducked or backed down from any fighter who was in the running to fight him. He had the heart of a wounded lion and was fearless. He also was involved in some of the most exciting and thrilling fights in boxing history.

Sadly, he doesn’t get his just due by some because he lost the two biggest signature fights of his career, versus Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler. What’s often overlooked is how Leonard is regarded by most fight experts as the greatest welterweight in history after Sugar Ray Robinson. Leonard was at his peak when he faced the 22 year old Hearns in their first fight, being that he had already defeated Benitez and Duran heading into his showdown with Hearns. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao would be significant underdogs to the vintage Sugar Ray Leonard of 1981. And remember, Hearns was leading in the fight and had marked up Leonard’s face and distorted his vision badly before running out of gas in the 14th round. Leonard would’ve been the betting favorite over every other welterweight in history except Robinson the night he fought Hearns. So I can’t write Hearns off for losing their first fight. And he did get Leonard back in their rematch and dropped him twice during the fight.

In regards to Hearns’ middleweight title bout versus Hagler, he did fracture his right hand in the first round after rocking Hagler in what may be the most ferocious round in boxing history. At the worst Hagler is among the five greatest middleweights ever. How many middleweights are beating Hagler the night he fought Hearns? On that night Hagler would’ve stopped Gennady Golovkin and Sergio Martinez one after the other on the same night. Again, is it justified to hold Hearns back because he couldn’t beat Hagler and never got a rematch? And he did move up to light heavyweight, something Hagler talked about but never did. Marvin’s career wins were over fighters his weight or ones who moved up in weight to challenge him.

Thomas Hearns was a victim of his birth certificate, being that he was in his prime during an era when the second greatest welterweight and an all-time top five middleweight were also in their prime. Hearns was born at the right time in the sense that he had other greats to measure himself against during his career. And what we found out was his punch, heart and character were the real deal. On the other hand, he came up at the wrong time because Leonard and then Hagler were at the top when he was seen as the next guy on the food chain.

Imagine how big of a superstar, hands down, Hearns would be today? He was willing to go up and fighter bigger champions without haggling over catch-weights. He’d be willing to fight anybody between 147/175 and fans would always come away feeling they got their money’s worth, unlike today. He’d have a picnic fighting today’s welterweights and junior middleweights. Hearns would’ve devastated Saul Alvarez with hooks to the body and right hands to the chin. Pacquiao could’ve never gotten close enough to land against Hearns without getting knocked out in the process. If Marquez put him away face first, he’d fly out of the ring as if he were wearing a cape against Hearns. As for Mayweather, well, Floyd turned a deaf ear when Paul Williams, a poor man’s version of Hearns, was willing to fight him under any conditions Mayweather wanted. Hearns would’ve pounded Mayweather’s arms and shoulders and hurt him bad before going in to finish him. Assuming Mayweather agreed to the fight without forcing Hearns to weigh in at 143 or less.

There’s not one active fighter around today who has a resume that is equal to that of Thomas Hearns. Ask yourself whether anyone genuinely believes that, were Hearns around today, Floyd Mayweather would be on boxings’ biggest stage by himself?

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at


Featured Articles

Pulev Wins Heavyweight Clash and Magdaleno Bests Rico Ramos in Costa Mesa

David A. Avila




COSTA MESA, Calif.-Eastern European heavyweights slugged it out in Orange County with Kubrat Pulev scoring a knockout win over Bogdan Dinu on Saturday evening. The win keeps him in line for a possible showdown with Top Rank’s newly signed Tyson Fury.

After a slow start the Bulgarian heavyweight Pulev (27-1, 14 KOs) scored the knockout win over Romania’s Dinu (18-2, 14 KOs) before a large supportive audience who arrived with Bulgarian flags and hats at the OC Hangar in Costa Mesa.

Until the fifth round the action lacked with both heavyweights not eager to fire. But an angry exchange of blows by Dinu saw Pulev emerge with a cut over his left eye. It also opened up the action between the European heavyweights.

Pulev increased the pressure and caught Dinu in the neutral corner where he unloaded right after right on the ducking Romanian fighter who dropped to a knee and was hit behind the head with a blow. The knockdown was ruled down by an illegal punch and a point was deducted from Pulev.

It didn’t matter. The Bulgarian heavyweight proceeded to unleash some more heavy rights and down went Dinu again. The Romanian fighter beat the count and was met with more right hand bombs and down he went for good this time at 2:40 of the eighth round. Referee Raul Caiz ruled it a knockout win for Pulev.

“Sometimes its good and sometimes it’s bad,” said Pulev about his actions in a heavyweight fight. “Sometimes blood makes me very angry.”

Dinu felt that illegal blows led to his downfall. But the winner Pulev was satisfied.

“It doesn’t matter, I was prepared and really good in this moment. I think I was very good boxing today and showed good punching today,” Pulev said.

Former champions

An expected battle between flashy ex-super bantamweight world champions didn’t deliver the goods as Jessie Magdaleno (26-1, 18 KOs) defeated Rico Ramos (30-6, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds in a featherweight contest for a vacant WBC regional title.

A tentative Magdaleno was cautious and deliberate against Ramos who seemed to be stuck in slow motion for the first half of the fight. Behind some lefts to the body and snappy combinations Magdaleno mounted up points for six rounds.

Ramos stepped up the action in the seventh round and began stepping into the danger zone while delivering some threatening combos inside. Magdaleno resorted to holding and moving as the action shifted in Ramos’s direction.

But it was never enough as Ramos seemed to lack pep. The last two rounds saw Ramos engage with Magdaleno but neither landed the killing blows. After 10 rounds all three judges saw the fight in favor of Magdaleno 97-93, 98-92, 99-91 who now holds the WBC USNBC featherweight title.

“It was a long layoff and I took a fight against a tough, tough veteran and former world champion,” said Magdaleno, whose last fight was the loss of the WBO super bantamweight title to Isaac Dogboe last May. “Got to go back to the drawing board. I boxed as good as I could, he’s just a tough fighter.”

Other Bouts

Max Dadashev (13-0, 11 KOs) was dropped in the second round by muscular Filipino southpaw Ricky Sismundo (35-13-3, 17 KOs) and had a look of surprise. He turned it up in the third round and caught Sismundo rushing in with a slick counter left-right combination on the button. Sismundo was counted out by referee Tom Taylor at 2:30 of the third round of the super lightweight clash.

Former Olympian Javier Molina (19-2, 8 KOs) had a rough customer in Mexico’s Abdiel Ramirez (24-4-1, 22 KOs) who never allowed him space to maneuver in their super lightweight match. After eight close turbulent rounds Molina was given the decision by scores 78-74 twice and 79-73.

South Africa’s Chris Van Heerden (27-2-1, 12 KOs) thoroughly out-boxed Mexico’s Mahonry Montes (35-9-1, 24 KOs) until a clash of heads erupted a cut over his right eye. The fight was stopped in the sixth round and Van Heerden was given a technical decision by scores 60-54 on all three cards.

Welterweights Bobirzhan Mominov (10-0, 8 KOs) and Jonathan Steele (9-3-1, 6 KOs) slugged it out for six back and forth rounds at high intensity. There were no knockdowns but plenty of high level stuff going on. The bigger Mominov had the advantage and tried to take out Mitchell, but the smaller welter from Texas was just too tough and skilled to be overrun. Judges scored it 59-54 three times. Good stuff.

Detroit’s Erick De Leon (19-0-1, 11 KOs) survived a knockdown in the fifth and rallied to win by technical knockout over Mexico’s Jose Luis Gallegos (16-6, 12 KOs) in the seventh round of a lightweight clash. A barrage of unanswered blows by De Leon forced referee Ray Corona to halt the fight at 1:55 of the seventh round.

L.A.’s David Kaminsky (4-0, 2 KOs) out-pointed rugged Arizona’s Estevan Payan (1-7-1) to win by unanimous decision after four round in a middleweight contest.

Tyler McCreary (15-0-1, 7 KOs) fought to a draw with Mexico’s Roberto Castaneda (23-11-2) after six rounds. He got all he could handle from the Mexicali featherweight as both traded blow for blow throughout the contest. It was good experience for the young McCreary who looked good but tried too hard to take out the hard headed Castaneda.

Eric Puente (2-0) beat Alejandro Lopez (1-4) by decision after four rounds in a lightweight match by 39-37 scores all three cards. It was a very close match with little separation between the two.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

U.K. Boxing Update: Gorman, Bowen, Edwards, Quigley, and More

Arne K. Lang




For the second time in the last three months, Great Britain’s top promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren went head-to-head with dueling fight cards in England. When this last happened, back on Dec. 22, Warren had the stronger card from top to bottom, but Hearn’s show had the more compelling main event, namely the rematch between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. Today the roles were somewhat reversed. Hearn’s show had the stronger undercard, but the fighter attracting the most eyeballs, undefeated heavyweight Nathan Gorman, is promoted by Warren.

Leicester / Queensberry (Frank Warren) Promotion

In a predictably desultory affair, Nathan Gorman (16-0, 11 KOs) outpointed Kevin Johnson (34-13-1). This being a 10-rounder, the referee was the sole arbiter and he gave every round to Gorman, a distant cousin of Tyson Fury.

Kevin Johnson, a pro since 2003, took Vitali Klitschko the distance in 2009 and Tyson Fury the distance in 2012 and more recently went the full route with Daniel Dubois and Filip Hrogivic, but he won scarcely a round in those fights and in recent years has degenerated from a journeyman into a trial horse. He came into the fight 20 pounds heavier than in his last start 13 weeks ago and fought to survive, allowing Gorman to initiate what action there was.

Frank Warren can’t be blamed for promoting this snoozer. Johnson was a late replacement for Fabio Maldonado, a Brazilian who, although something of a mystery, was expected to provide Gorman with a sterner test. But Maldonado reneged after getting a better offer and will now fight Oleksandr Teslenko in Toronto next week.

The 22-year-old Gorman, who carried 253 pounds on his six-foot-three frame, is very light on his feet and some expect him to out-box his harder punching countryman Daniel Dubois when they eventually meet.

In the featured bout, Sam Bowen, a Leicestershire man, retained his British 130-pound title with a ninth round stoppage of Scotland’s Jordan McCorry. Bowen improved to 15-0 with his 10th stoppage.

London / Copper Box / Matchroom (Eddie Hearn) Promotion

In the main event of Hearn’s card, baby-faced Charlie Edwards (pictured on the left) put on a clinic in the first defense of the WBC world flyweight title he won with an upset of Cristofer Rosales. Edwards (15-1, 6 KOs) won every round over determined but outclassed Angel Moreno (19-3-2), a 35-year-old Spaniard and former sparring partner. Edwards scored a flash knockdown with a counter right hand in round six. All three judges had it 120-107.

Irish middleweight Jason Quigley, who signed with Golden Boy coming out of the amateur ranks and had fought exclusively in the United States, improved to 16-0 (12) with a second round stoppage of Mathias Eklund (10-2-2). Eklund was on his feet, but the ref thought it wise to keep the overmatched Finn from taking more punishment after Quigley blistered him with a series of unanswered punches. Quigley’s dream fight would be a match in Ireland with stablemate Canelo Alvarez.

Joshua Buatsi, an emerging star in the light heavyweight division, chopped down Liam Conroy to win the vacant BBBofC 175-pound title. Buatsi had taken out his last three opponents in the opening round but Conroy, who came into the match riding a nine-fight winning streak, lasted into the third. Buatsi, a Londoner born in Ghana and a bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics, improved to 10-0 (8). Conroy, who was on the deck twice, fell to 16-4-1.

Conroy’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirms that Buatsi’s next fight is likely to take place at Madison Square Garden on June 1 underneath Joshua-Miller.

In a cruiserweight fight with British and Commonwealth titles at stake, Lawrence Okolie improved to 12-0 (9) with a fourth round stoppage of Wadi Camacho (21-8). Okolie knocked Camacho to his knees with a hard combination and finished him off with a big right hand.

The most inexperienced British boxer to ever compete in the Olympics, the rangy six-foot-five Okolie has sparred with Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury and will almost assuredly compete as a heavyweight when he grows into his body.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE


Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Meet Tom Schwarz, Tyson Fury’s Next Opponent

Arne K. Lang



Fury vs Schwarz

Someone can’t keep a secret.

Top Rank honcho Bob Arum said he would not reveal Tyson Fury’s next opponent until tomorrow (Saturday, March 23) when he would “unseal the envelope” during the ESPN telecast of his show from the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA. But, as the saying goes, the cat is out of the bag. Multiple sources, including ESPN’s Dan Rafael, are reporting that Fury will fight Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas on June 15, likely at the MGM Grand although other Las Vegas venues are in the running.

The reaction has been overwhelmingly negative. By choosing Schwarz over a rematch with Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury’s reputation in the court of public opinion has taken a big tumble. “Tyson Fury fight with bum Tom Schwarz makes mockery of Gypsy King’s big claims and is bad news for fans,” reads the headline in the online edition of the infamous (but widely read) London Sun. “It’s yet another blow for boxing fans; the paying public is being shortchanged due to a current TV bidding war,” reads the article by the un-bylined author.

Bob Arum and his comrades at ESPN are facing a lot of damage control. We’ll give them a booster shot by saying that Tom Schwarz, a 24-year-old German who customarily carries 240 pounds on a six-foot-five-and-a-half frame, isn’t too shabby.

Here’s the negatives; let’s get them out of the way.

Although undefeated in 24 fights with 16 knockouts, Schwarz has defeated no one of note. The folks at BoxRec are so unimpressed with his strength of schedule that they rate him 41st among heavyweights which, for reference purposes, is 35 slots below Anthony Joshua’s next opponent Jarrell Miller and 31 places below Deontay Wilder’s next opponent, Dominic Breazeale.

Schwarz has had the home field advantage in most of his fights. He’s fought only twice outside Germany and he didn’t venture very far. Six of his fights, including his match with Kristijan Krstacic earlier this month, were in Magdeburg, his hometown.

But there are some plusses that a PR man can seize upon. Although records in professional boxing are notoriously deceiving, it seems relevant that Schwarz’s last six opponents are a combined 84-5-1. He hasn’t fought a real tomato can since October of 2014 when he met Tomas Mrazek, a fellow whose current record shows only 10 wins in 86 fights.

Schwarz’s fight with Krstacic can be found on YouTube. One can’t learn much from it as Krystacic, a 38-year-old Croatian, was outweighed by 31 pounds, but one could see that Schwarz has good fundamentals. He landed some good body shots in the opening round and then clubbed his man into submission in the next stanza, scoring three knockdowns.

German heavyweights, in the main, have performed poorly on American soil although it’s worth noting that many ringsiders thought Axel Schulz deserved the nod when he fought George Foreman at the MGM Grand in April of 1995. Foreman won a majority decision and then relinquished his IBF belt rather than give Schulz a rematch.

If Tom Schwarz is looking for inspiration, he should summon the 1936 ghost of Max Schmeling who was a big underdog when he knocked out the seemingly indestructible Joe Louis. That was a non-title fight, by the way, as will be true of Schwarz’s fight with Tyson Fury unless one of the four major sanctioning bodies creates a hole for it by declaring their title vacant. And as for that possibility, don’t bet against it.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading