Ronald Hearns - Is There Still Time For "The Chosen One" To Make It Big?

by James Slater - Nobody is, or ever was, expecting Ronald Hearns, son of the legendary Thomas Hearns, to make it even half as far as his father did. This negative thinking looked to have been justified last March, when the 31-year-old light-middleweight hope was beaten inside nine-rounds by Harry Joe Yorgey, thus losing his unbeaten record. But Ronald Hearns is not done yet, and since losing to Yorgey (in a very exciting fight that saw both men hit the mat) "The Chosen One" has bounced back to win two in a row - admittedly against so-so opposition..

Next up for the now 23-1(18) 154-pounder is a slot on the upcoming Arthur Abraham-Andre Dirrell "Super Six" clash, set for The Joe Louis Arena in Detroit next month. Scheduled, according to BoxRec, to meet an as yet unannounced foe over an also as yet undetermined number of rounds, the once-beaten son of a living legend will look to keep his post-Yorgey momentum going. The question is, can the young Hearns (well, young in terms of number of hard fights had, if not in actual years) still see his ultimate ambition realised and become the holder of a world title one day?

In possession of genuine boxing skills and with heart and courage also his, Hearns has looked good in a number of fights. Despite not showing anywhere near the withering power the man he will always inevitably be compared to had, in his father, Hearns can certainly bang as well. Unfortunately, as we saw in the Yorgey setback, it seems Ronald's chin is a factor that could serve to hold him back at top level or maybe even anything close to it (the loss to Yorgey is put in perspective when you consider how Yorgey was subsequently destroyed inside three-rounds by Alfredo Angulo).

However, if matched correctly, Hearns can continue on and win some pretty big fights. At one time, there was talk of a "Battle of The Juniors," with Hearns facing Julio Cesar Chavez' light-middleweight offspring. Despite having troubles of his own recently, the still unbeaten Chavez Jr. is a fighter I would actually pick Hearns to beat. Okay, that result, if achieved, would still leave Ronald with a fair way to go with regards to reaching anywhere near the top of the 154-pound division, but the win would sure get some attention; maybe even some respect. And maybe that's what it's about for Hearns - respect.

Tommy Hearns - who won a whole armful of world titles and won the hearts of millions of fans as a result of this success along with his amazing stomach for battle - never once had to worry about getting respect from the fans. But Ronald now finds himself having to get some eye-catching wins to do so. Looking at the current 154-pound ratings, there are a number of possible fights that Hearns could take, where a win would help his cause. How about a return with Yorgey, for example? A revenge win would do quite a lot for Hearns. Or how about another match-up with a fellow "Junior," in a fight with Hector Camacho Junior? As with the still possible Chavez Jr. fight, this one would attract some decent interest.

In wrapping things up, and in answering the question posed by the title of this article - no, I don't think Hearns will ever make it "big," but this does not mean he cannot make something of a name for himself in his own right - which is what Ronald told me he wanted to do, so as to not be compared with his dad all the time.

Though a genuine world title may well allude him, Ronald has what it takes to give us some further exciting fights, win them and maybe even crack the world's top dozen or so light-middles. That may be a fair distance short of what he wanted to achieve back when he was persuading his father to allow him to box, but at least Hearns Junior, if he goes that far, will have won some respect.

Article posted on 27.02.2010

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