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:
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 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:
“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:
“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:
On who would win between Mayweather and Pacquiao:
“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:
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org