“There’s got to be a way!” the legendary Thomas Hearns speaking in the ring after making history and trying to get a rematch with either Marvin Hagler or Sugar Ray Leonard.
After he had demolished tough Argentine warrior Juan Domingo Roldan to take an unprecedented fourth world title in as many weight divisions, all-time great Thomas Hearns was greeted and congratulated by Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Hagler, who was doing TV commentary, told Hearns to “look after my belt real good until I come back…..if I come back.”
Hearns, thrilled at becoming the first man in history to win world titles at four weights, still craved a return fight with Hagler, as well as one with Leonard, these the only two men to have beaten him. And Hearns felt that with him making boxing history and doing something “that no man has ever done, not even Marvin Hagler or Ray Leonard, the two men to have beaten me,” it would inspire both of his rivals to “want to do it again.” As fans know, Hagler never did come back, this leaving “The Hitman” feeling disappointed. Hearns did get his revenge over Leonard, this in 1989, although not officially, the fight scored a draw with almost everyone feeling Hearns deserved the decision.
Hearns spoke about his wanting to get Hagler and Leonard back in the ring, and what might have happened had he done so, as he spoke recently with Slater’s Boxing on YouTube.
“I really tried, I wanted that fight [with Hagler],” Hearns said. “He said nobody wanted [to see] it, that it [our rivalry] was all over with. I told him, ‘it’s not all over, let’s do it again.’ I said I really wanted a chance to get some payback. I said I’d be really grateful for it, that I was thinking about him all the time. I’d have gone out there and I’d have still tried to get it [the KO win].”
On managing to get the return fight with Leonard and what might have happened had they fought a third fight.
“He knows it too [that I won]. I actually wanted the third fight real bad! He didn’t want it though. He was too small for light heavyweight. I think if we had fought again (a third time) it would have been at super middleweight. You can say that [I’d have knocked him out in a third fight] but if he hadn’t been able to take my best shots the way he did, he wouldn’t have been Ray Leonard. He could take a shot.”
On fighting at 175 pounds and at what weight he hit hardest.
“I punched hard in each weight class [I fought in]. I developed my punching power at each weight I was at. Each guy I fought, they felt the power….I gave it to them.”
On which of his many belts means the most to him.
“They all mean something to me. I can’t really put it in percentages…they all mean something to me. I had to work hard to win all of them. And actually, every time I fought it meant a whole lot to me. A whole lot.”
On how he celebrated the history-making win over Roldan.
“I went home and spent time with my family. Making history, it really didn’t affect me, I’d done it so many times. It was my job, that’s what I was supposed to do and that’s what I had to do. I thank God for blessing me and for allowing me to do what I did.”