Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns (61-5-1, 48 KOs) is undoubtedly one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of all time – winning world titles in five weight divisions: welterweight through to light heavyweight. “The Hitman” had a great jab, which controlled the distance and helped set up a monster right cross, knocking out many opponents. 

Despite losses to Iran Barkley and others – the legacy of Hearns – cannot be questioned, and at Big Fight Weekend, we love to pay homage to the greats, and the Tennessee native is one of the best.

5 Memorable Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns Fights

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Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns vs. Roberto Duran

On June 15, 1984, “The Hitman” recorded one of his most impressive wins, defeating Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran via 2nd round TKO. This memorable win ensured Hearns successfully defended his WBC and Ring Magazine super-welterweight titles. Becoming the first fighter to KO Duran has become one of his most memorable achievements. “The Hitman” used his left jab brilliantly throughout and followed up with hard right hands, which stunned his opponent on a number of occasions. The fight ended with a monstrous right hand, which sent Duran crashing to the canvas, unable to continue.

Virgil Hill

Hearns rolled back the years on June 3, 1991, beating the former Olympian and current unbeaten WBA light-heavyweight champion Virgil Hill via unanimous decision, with the scorecards reading 116-112, 115-113 x 2. “The Hitman” showed his excellent repertoire of skills by outboxing and outpunching his opponent, who was the clear favourite for the fight. It was the first loss on Hill’s record.

Wilfred Benitez

On December 3, 1982, Hearns moved up in weight and defeated three-time world champion Wilfred Benitez, winning the WBC and vacant The Ring light middleweight titles. “The Hitman” used his reach advantage to great effect throughout the fight and showed his punching power in the 5th round, knocking Benitez to the canvas with a bullet right hand. Despite a controversial ninth-round knockdown against Hearns, he went on to win the fight by majority decision, with the scorecards reading 146-137, 144-139 Hearns and 142-142.

Marvin Hagler

On April 15, 1985, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns treated us to what many consider – the greatest three rounds in boxing history. This fight elevated the status of both. Hearns started the faster, hitting Hagler with a big right hand in the opening round – breaking his hand in the process. Hagler had a huge cut on his forehead, which almost caused the fight to be stopped. “The Hitman” couldn’t capitalise on his early success as Hagler rallied in round three and staggered Hearns against the ropes. “The Hitman” beat the count – but couldn’t continue – as the referee waved the fight off. Despite being stopped in round three, Hearns contributed to an unbelievable action-packed three rounds, which has gone down in boxing folklore. 

Sugar Ray Leonard II

On June 12, 1989, almost eight years since Sugar Ray Leonard inflicted Hearn’s first loss as a professional – the rematch finally happened. It occurred for Leonard’s WBC super-middleweight title and Hearns’s WBO title. “The Hitman” controlled most of the fight with his effective left jab and big straight right, which knocked Leonard down in rounds three and eleven. The judges controversially scored the bout a draw, with the scorecards reading 113-112 for Hearns, the second card reading the same but for Leonard, and the last scored 112-112. 

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