Ronald Hearns - Can He Bounce Back From His First Loss?

by James Slater - Following in the footsteps of your father when he happens to be an all-time great fighter can be extremely tough; as 30-year-old light-middleweight Ronald Hearns knows only too well. Wanting so much to attempt to emulate his legendary father, Thomas Hearns - to the point of constantly asking his dad to let him become a fighter - Ronald began his own professional quest in April of 2004. Turning pro relatively late at the age of 25, Hearns Junior showed genuine ability as he won his first 21 fights, 17 by KO..

But then, this past March 28th, Hearns took his biggest fight to date - against fellow unbeaten Harry Joe Yorgey. A fine battle ensued, with both boxers scoring knockdowns in an action-packed fight, but eventually Hearns was stopped in the 9th-round. The question now is, can the 30-year-old put the loss behind him and come back?

According to BoxRec, Hearns is scheduled to return against an as yet unannounced foe on August 13th in Rochester, New York. This does at least show that Ronald is keen to come back, as he has not opted to disappear for long months after what happened against the talented and hungry Yorgey. Less than five months on from his first setback, Hearns has his very first comeback bout on the cards.

All fighters are different, and sometimes a first loss can ruin a man. Hearns Senior, as he proved in 1982 when he won his second world title against Wilfredo Benitez, was able to suck it up and come back from his maiden defeat. Maybe it's unfair to in any way compare Ronald with Tommy - even though some fans and experts have already been unable to avoid doing so - but the critics will be watching and waiting to see if it's time to write Ronald off. For should he lose or even struggle against the not too tough a return opponent he will likely meet next month, the knives will be out.

However, some fighters can come back stronger from a first loss and maybe Ronald will fit into that category. Although he's 30 - which is far from young for a fighter who is still not too far beyond prospect level - Hearns is a very young 30. Having taken far less punishment than many other fighters his age or even younger, "The Chosen One" cannot be written off yet.

On the plus side from the stoppage loss to Yorgey (who, interestingly, has no next fight scheduled as of yet) is the fact that Hearns showed real heart and reacted well after being floored earlier on in the fight. He may not have a great chin, but Ronald, as was the case with his father, really has to be beaten up before he can be taken.

Hearns weighed-in at a light 151-pounds for the Yorgey fight; maybe he will drop down to welterweight from now on? Whatever weight he chooses to fight on at, it's good to see that Hearns has a real stomach for his sport - as he has proven by deciding to get back in the ring so quickly.

In the end, one loss should not mean the end for any fighter. Ronald Hearns will be out to prove this next month.

Article posted on 09.07.2009

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