Ring Legend Thomas Hearns Having To Sell Off Ring Memorabilia In Auction To Clear Tax Debt

by James Slater - Last week, the sad news broke about how living legend Thomas Hearns is in debt with the IRS, to the point that he owes close to $ half-a million dollars in back taxes. Despite earning many millions of dollars in his fabulous, all time great ring career, "The Hitman" is now in the position of having to auction off some of the ring wear he wore in his legendary battles.

The Detroit Free Press reports how the auction will take place this coming Saturday, and that robes, gloves and trunks Tommy wore into battle will be up for sale - though it is not yet known from which of the multi-weight champion's epic fights.. Also, Hearns' 1957 Chevy, a couple of his speedboats and his Harley Davidson motorcycle will be up for sale to the highest bidder.

Reminding one of the famous scene in "Rocky-Five," where the fictitious Rocky Balboa has to part with some of his treasured possessions so as to try and clear his debts, this situation with the beloved "Hitman" is even worse because it is a true story. Just what is it, though, with retired fighters and their inability to hold onto their hard earned cash?

Obie Moore, the man who will hold the auction in Detroit on Saturday, told The Detroit Free Press how doing his job will be a bitter sweet experience for him.

"This is bitter sweet. I've come to know Tommy over the past few months.," Moore said this week. "We're trying to put this together for him the best possible way - help solve some of his problems. We hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

Personally, I've never liked the idea of some rich guy with lots of cash to splash around, getting his hands on any ring paraphernalia of a boxing legend - a man who risked his life to achieve greatness. If a fighter wants to give a close friend his gloves or robe, then fine - but it rankles when someone who may not even like boxing, or even respect the fighter whose belongings he is buying, gets his hands on such sacred attire. But, hey, that's just my opinion.

Hopefully, Hearns will not have to go through another auction of this type, and this one will do the trick in freeing him from debt. Of course, Tommy is not the first boxer (nor will he be the last) who has had to auction off his ring gear. British legend Henry Cooper for, example, was forced to sell off his prized Lonsdale belts a few years ago. Still, it has come as a big shock to me that Hearns has found himself in such an awkward situation, I must say.

Again, hopefully, this auction will clear Tommy's debts - because we don't want the 51-year-old future Hall of Famer getting any ideas about another return to the ring to earn himself some money, do we!

Article posted on 01.04.2010

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