Hearns makes own name on ShoBox
Like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Ronald Hearns has the name that pays in professional boxing.
Hearns (21-0, 17 knockouts), the son of former multi-division champ Thomas Hearns, hasn’t defeated anyone of note during his 5-year pro career but he is still able to secure valuable television dates, such as Saturday’s special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation.
Saturday’s fight will be Hearns’ second consecutive appearance on the Showtime network's boxing program dedicated to the young up-and-comers of the sport, even though, at age 30, Hearns is too old to be considered a prospect.
And despite a tall-rangy frame like his father's and solid technique, he hasn’t shown exceptional talent in his 21 pro outings. However, none of that matters when your father is one of the most exciting and accomplished American prize fighters of the past 30 years.
Hearns is a household name in the U.S. In Detroit, where both grew up, the father is as beloved as Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. is in Mexico.
The name has helped Hearns launch his boxing career, which he didn’t begin until after college at age 25, but it also adds a lot of pressure to his chosen profession.
“It’s been tough because the expectations have been set so high,” said Herans. “With the things he accomplished the bar is set pretty high.”
In 2006, when Hearns was only 7-0, he was on a card headlined by his father at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan (just outside of Detroit) and the show drew more than 15,000 fans to the arena, many of whom wanted a look at the “Hitman's” son.
If Ronald Hearns continues to win he may be able to draw than many fans or more to the same arena without his father’s help, especially if he is matched with a popular junior middleweight/middleweight like John Duddy (a fight that was almost made at the start of this year).
Of course, the perfect showdown for Hearns would be his Mexican counterpart, Chavez Jr., who is also in action Saturday night. With the large Mexican population in Detroit and the popularity of the Hearns name the two sons of legends could probably reopen the Pontiac Silverdome and attract 40,000 if the fight was promoted right.
However, before such grand plans can be made, Hearns must prove that he can beat a fellow unbeaten fighter who is just as hungry as he is.
He’ll get his chance against Harry Joe Yorgey (21-0-1, 9 KOs) in the opening bout to Saturday’s ShoBox broadcast (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) from the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.
Said Hearns of Yorgey, “Harry’s a great fighter. He’s a real good boxer and can be flashy at times.”
However, Hearns added that the 31-year-old Pennsylvania fighter is a “front runner”, a style he knows how to defuse.
“(Yorgey) always starts pretty quick,” he said. “I’m going to go out there and try to slow him down early. I’m just going to work off my jab and once I get my jab going everything else will fall into place.
“I’m ready to go out there and perform and show the people how I’ve progressed and how I’m trying now to make a name for myself. I believe this fight will prove to people that I can do some special things in boxing.”
Doug Fischer can be reached at [email protected]