Thomas Hearns had many, many great nights and as we all know “The Hitman” gave us many epic fights. From welterweight to cruiserweight, Hearns fought the best and he often came away with the win.
If Hearns didn’t win, he walked away knowing that he had given everything, that he had done his part to make the paying fans happy; this is something very important to Hearns.
On that day in 1987, Hearns, who had set himself the lofty goal of making boxing history by becoming the first man to win world titles in four different weight classes, scored a landslide victory that took him to the placed in the history books – for all time. . Hearns had won welterweight, light-middleweight and light-heavyweight titles. Now he needed the middleweight belt to reach his goal of four titles.
Hearns had failed in a 1985 challenge for the middleweight crown – this against Marvelous Marvin Hagler, in the epic, never outdone WAR – but now he had another shot. Hagler had retired, disgusted with the decision against him in April 1987, when the return of Sugar Ray Leonard claimed the victory by split decision in what may well be the most debated boxing match of all time.
Then Sugar Ray retired (again) and the WBC middleweight belt was left vacant. Hearns, the No.1 contestant, met Argentinian warrior Juan Domingo Roldan, who was the No.2 contestant, and Las Vegas put on another memorable prize fight.
Hearns was a strong favorite against Roldan, and the history-seeking modern great almost won quickly as his lethal right hand tackled Roldan twice in the first round. In the second round, Hearns tackled Roldan again, this time with his left. But Roldan – credited as being the only man to drop Hagler, this in their 1984 fight, when an enraged Hagler was adamant he had simply slipped in the first round – fought back. “The Bull” injured Hearns in the fourth quarter, his own left hand doing the damage. Hearns had to hold on, his chance to make history dangerously close to being taken away.
It was all in action, then Hearns ended the affair with another bomb on the right hand, this one sending Roldan face first. It was over and Hearns had done it. Hagler was there at ringside and the former champion stepped into the ring to congratulate the new champion. Plus, Hagler teased us, and he teased Hearns, about his comeback. âTake good care of my belt until I come back, if I come back,â Hagler told Hearns.
As we know, Hagler never returned, leaving Hearns to defend his middleweight title against Iran Barkley. We all know what happened in that fight, in June 1988. But so far, Hearns was King of Kings. “The Hitman” had done something that no other fighter had ever been able to do. How sweet to Tommy!