Hearns mulls Mayweather, Pacquiao against himself, Leonard, Hagler
Hearns (61-5-1, 48 knockouts) won six major titles in five weight classes. And he didn’t need to fight at any catch weights to do it. Here’s how he won his belts:
- Weighed 146 pounds when he stopped Pipino Cuevas in the second round to win the WBA welterweight title in August 1980.
- Went up in weight to earn the WBC junior middleweight belt with a 15-round majority decision over Wilfredo Benitez at 153.5 pounds in December 1982.
- Climbed to light heavyweight and weighed 173.5 for his 10th-round knockout of Dennis Andries for the WBC title in March 1987.
- Dropped to 159.5 for his very next win, a fourth-round stoppage of Juan Domingo Roldan in for the WBC middleweight belt in October 1987.
- Weighed 165.5 when he defeated James Kinchen by a majority decision two fights after the Roldan bout to win the WBO super middleweight belt in November 1988.
- Weighed 174 when outpointed Virgil Hlll to win the WBA light heavyweight title in June 1991.
Also, Hearns weighed 189 pounds when he won the fringe IBO cruiserweight title by a unanimous decision over Nate Miller in April of 1999.
Hearns was stopped by Sugar Ray Leonard in the 14th round of a classic welterweight unification bout in Sept. 1981 and KO’d by Marvin Hagler in three unforgettable rounds in his bid for the undisputed middleweight title in April of 1985. In another notable fight, Hearns stopped former beltholder Roberto Duran in the second round in June of 1984.
In a subject-response talk with RingTV.com, Hearns mulled how Mayweather and Pacquiao would fair against each other as well as against himself, Leonard, Hagler, Benitez and Duran.
Hearns’ thoughts on Mayweather:
“Floyd Mayweather Jr. is an excellent fighter. I will give credit where credit is due. I can not take anything away from Floyd Mayweather.
“Floyd Mayweather is a very smart fighter in the ring. He feints well, and he punches pretty good. I mean he’s pretty active while he’s in there.”
On how Mayweather and Pacquiao would do against himself, Leonard, Hagler, Benitez and Duran:
“I think that [Mayweather] would do pretty good. He’s got good head movement and I can’t put him down. … I have to give him his props. He could last.
“Manny Pacquiao, I think that he’s a pretty good fighter too. I think that he would do well. He would do OK. I think that he would do pretty good.”
On what his strategy would be in a fight against Mayweather:
“Against me, I would have to respect him. I think that he could go the distance with me. I would have to out-think him and definitely out-jab him. He’s a shorter man, so he can’t get to me.
“I would have to keep the jab on him and keep him at a distance and force him to use his head movement all of the time. Somewhere down the line, I would probably hit him with a couple of right hands.
“I would probably get him with a good right hand if not an average right hand. If I was to go to the body, you know that might play into what he is probably trying to do strategically.
“I think that if I got closer to him trying to land a body shot, that would be what he wants. So I think that my best thing would be to stay on the outside and just box him. But I think that he could go the distance with me.”
On his strategy against Pacquiao:
“He would definitely have to come to me. I would probably just box him and keep boxing him and look for the shot. Yeah, definitely, I would box him and look for the opening. I would give him a good boxing lesson. [Laughs.]”
On who would win between Mayweather and Pacquiao:
“I would say that it would be an awesome fight between the both of them, but I think that Floyd should win the fight. If Floyd does what he’s supposed to do, then I think Floyd wins.
“If he doesn’t, then Pacquiao will take over the fight. Manny Pacquiao comes to fight. That’s all that he wants to do. But I think that the only way that Pacquiao could win is by knockout of Floyd.
“The way that Floyd is going to win is to out-box Manny Pacquiao and to make Manny Pacquiao fall apart.”
On whether either Mayweather or Pacquiao could beat him:
“[Laughs.] Listen, they’re good fighters, right? Can’t take anything away from those guys. But you know anybody who was in my weight division, you know, I would give them hell.
“They would have to be really fighting hard and be ready to absorb a lot of punches to beat me. Because, you know, I ain’t going to let anybody just come in and beat me.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]