01.04.08 – by James Slater: Ronald Hearns, son of the legendary Thomas, of course, fights again on April 17th in Highland, California. Taking on one Alan Velasco, Hearns, now going by the nickname of “The Chosen One,” as opposed to his previous moniker of “The Motor City Cobra” like his father, will be having his 19th pro fight. At age 29 Hearns should be moving up in quality pretty soon..
Currently 18-0(14) the 6’3″ Hearns, now boxing at 154 pounds, has certainly been matched quite carefully so far. The 35 year old Velasco, however, with his modest record of 8-1-2(2) is no step up for the talented Hearns. No big puncher and with his eight wins coming against opposition that was moderate at best, Azusa’s Velasco is likely to be taken care of with a minimal amount of fuss by the long and rangy Hearns. Indeed, it is somewhat frustrating that the 29 year old has not been tested yet by a name fighter. With his skill level looking as good as it has done so far in a pro career that began back in April of 2004, the fans want to see if “The Chosen One” is as good as he’s appeared to be so far.
The overmatched Velasco isn’t going to be able to give us an answer to this question, that’s for sure. No disrespect intended, it’s just that the 35 year old has done nothing that suggests he is a formidable opponent for the fast and hard punching Hearns. On the plus side, though, is the fact that Velasco is durable enough, having never been stopped in any of his fights. His last bout did result in a loss, on points to the reasonable Jose Luis Gonzalez, but at least Velasco has been active. The problem is Velasco’s size. A natural welterweight, moving up to face the 154 pound Hearns will surely only result in defeat. More than likely his first stoppage defeat at that.
Hearns has definitely been active. Engaging in six fights last year, and four the year before, the 29 year old has been working regularly. He has also had good exposure, boxing as he has on the under-card of some big fights – the Pavlik-Taylor showdown for one. But when is the gifted boxer who is beginning to make a name in his own right going to face a contender or proven trial horse? One look down Ronald’s record and you can see he has not yet met either.
He looks more than good enough to take the step up in quality, we can only hope that Hearns does so this year, before running the risk of losing some of the interest of the fans.
Comparisons may well be meaningless, but by the time his father had had around the same number of pro fights his son has now had, he had been in with capable men like the 18-2-1 Bruce Finch and the two-time world welterweight tile challenger Harold Weston.
If Ronald is to come anywhere close to emulating his father’s accomplishments he will be making his move very soon then.