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Boxing – 1989 – HBOs WBC Super Middlewt Title PreFight Show – Thomas Hearns Vs Sugar Ray Leonard

Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns are considered to be two of the best boxers of all-time….who fought twice….with Leonard winning in 1981 for the WBC Welterweight Title…..and a draw in 1989 bout for the WBC Super Middleweight Title….to which this pre-fight video seen herewith is from….as both fights are considered to be classics.   

After almost eight years, the Leonard verses Hearns rematch finally happened…..as Leonard (35-1 with 25 KOs) and Hearns (46-3 with 38 KOs) met on June 12, 1989 at Caesar’s Palace in a scheduled twelve-rounder for the WBC & WBO super-middleweight titles. The closed circuit commentary was provided by Tim Ryan, Gil Clancy and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Hearns bossed the opening two rounds by out-boxing his opponent….when he dropped Leonard with a right cross in the 3rd round….but Leonard came back and battered Hearns around the ring in the 5th round….when at the end of the round, Hearns’ trainer Emanuel Steward exclaimed to him, “This is what makes a great fighter!”  Early in the 7th round, Hearns hurt Leonard but punched himself out going for the knockout….then with Hearns fatigued, Leonard came back and had a strong finish to the round. Rounds nine and ten were good rounds for Leonard as Hitman looked tired. Emanuel Steward provided what turned out to be inspirational advice. “Throw the right hand Tommy. That’s what’ll get you home. If you want to win the fight, let it go!”  In the 11th round, three booming rights from Hearns sent Leonard down for the second time in the fight. Knowing he needed a big finish, Leonard fought furiously and had a big final round.

The judges scored the fight a draw….with both boxers retaining their respective titles….as Judge Jerry Roth scored the fight 113-112 for Hearns….Judge Tom Kazmarek scored it 113-112 for Leonard….and Judge Dalby Shirley scored it 112-112….whereby Shirley was the only judge to give Leonard a 10-8 margin in the twelfth even though rounds are traditionally only scored 10-8 when a knockdown has been achieved….for If he had scored it 10-9, as his two colleagues did, Hearns would have won by a split decision. The decision was soundly booed, as most felt that Hearns had won. 

In this video, the HBO boxing crew of Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant provide an indepth look into the background of each fighter going into this fight….with insightful individual profiles of both Leaonard and Hearns.

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