(Photo: John Gichigi /Allsport/GettyImages)
Thomas “Hitman” Hearns left an impression on every challenger he faced and the sport of boxing in general, so it seems only fitting he is being honored.
Hearns, the first man to win titles in four divisions, is headlining the induction of 13 people into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum. It seems like an honor that is long overdue for a fighter who began boxing professionally in 1977 and was part of the dominant welterweight and middleweight years in the 1980s. Hearns last fought in 2006, so this is the first year he is eligible to go into the Hall of Fame.
There was no doubt the Detroit native would one day be inducted because of what he meant to boxing and because of Hearns's great bouts of the 1980s. He was involved in classic battles with Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran in mega fights between the welterweight and middleweight divisions.
Hearns was on the losing end of the big fights against Leonard and Hagler, but his 14-round loss to Leonard was epic while his third-round knockout loss to Hagler is considered one of the greatest fights ever despite only lasting three rounds.
Hearns and his vicious right punch won five titles in four weight divisions between junior welterweight and light heavyweight during his career. He compiled a 61-5-1 record with 48 knockouts as a pro.
Joining Hearns in the HOF are: famed trainer Freddie Roach; ring announcer Michael Buffer; Mark Johnson, a two-division champion; broadcaster Al Bernstein; and journalist Michael Katz.
Posthumous honorees are: Cocoa Kid, Newsboy Brown, Leo Houck and Jake Kilrain in the old-timer category; promoters Hugh D. McIntosh and Rip Valenti in the non-participant category; and James Wharton in the pioneer category.
Members of the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of international boxing historians selected the inductees.
The inductions will be held June 10, 2012, in Canastota, N.Y.
BET Sports News - Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.