This video features a “round table” type discussion involving CBS Sport boxing broadcast team of Tim Ryan and Gil Clancy, renowned boxing referee Arthur Mercante Sr., sports journalist Hugh McIlvanney from The London Times and then light heavyweight champion Thomas Hearns….wherein the discussion is all things Sugar Ray Leonard verses Marvelous Marvin Hagler, for the undisputed world Middleweight championship.
Arthur Mercante Sr. (January 26, 1920 – April 10, 2010) was an international boxing referee….whose career lasted from the 1960’s until 2001….with his first title bout being the 2nd fight between Floyd Patterson and Ingemar Johansson. Mercante was also the referee for many notable bouts including the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight on March 8, 1971….the first bout between George Foreman and Joe Frazier….the first bout between Alexis Arguello and Alfredo Escalera….the Wilfredo Gomez vs Lupe Pintor fight….the first bout between Edwin Rosario vs. Jose Luis Ramirez….and Rosario’s bout with Hector Camacho.
Mercante served in the Navy during World War II and his commanding officer was heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. His refereeing career began professionally in 1956 and ended in 2001 at the age of 81. In 1995 he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.
Hugh McIlvanneyOBE (2 February 1934 – 24 January 2019) was a Scottish sports journalist….who had long stints with the British Sunday newspapers The Observer (30 years until 1993) and later 23 years with The Sunday Times (1993–2016). After nearly six decades in the profession, he retired in March 2016 at the age of 82.
His writing has been described as striving for perfection….with much attention paid to the detail. Any expression of joy for the writing he submitted was deferred until he had seen what had actually been printed. He was not shy in offering his analysis of sports stars. In 1974, immediately after The Rumble in the Jungle, he made an approach to Muhammad Ali and was granted a two-hour interview. In September 1980 he reported from Los Angeles on the professional fight where Johnny Owen was defeated and knocked unconscious.
Thomas Hearns (born October 18, 1958) is an American former professional boxer….who competed from 1977 to 2006….and was nicknamed the “Motor City Cobra”, and more famously “The Hitman”….as Hearns’ had a tall and slender build….which allowed him to move up over fifty pounds in his career….and become the first boxer in history to win world titles in four weight divisions including the welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight titles. By later winning a super middleweight title, he also became the first to win world titles in five weight divisions.
Hearns was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine….and the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1980 and 1984….with the latter following his knockout of Roberto Durán. Hearns was known as a devastating puncher throughout his career….even at cruiserweight….despite having climbed up five weight classes. He is ranked # 18 on The Ring’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. He currently ranks #18 in BoxRec ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time. On June 10, 2012, Hearns was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.