The past weekend’s bouts delivered good action without much in the way of surprise. Miguel Cotto abused Antonio Margarito’s robot eye and firmly placed himself back into the SuperFights conversation. If Pacquiao and Mayweather don’t get together, Cotto is a guy who can sell out a building and do good pay-per-view numbers all on his lonesome; in short, don’t be surprised to see Pacquiao-Cotto II or Mayweather-Cotto coming your way this spring.
It was a shame that the largely Puerto Rican crowd filling the Garden last Saturday in support of Cotto wouldn’t get loud for the undercard. In a high-paced fight, Delvin Rodriguez beat Pawel Wolak convincingly enough that the latter decided to retire, and Brandon Rios overcame weight issues to bloody (the) hell out of Brit John Murray until a merciful 11th round stoppage. Some nights, you’ve got to settle for good fights, not All Time Greats.
Here at The Promoter we can dip into greatness anytime (thanks Internet!) and our excuse this week is boxing’s Hall of Fame inductions. I am far from qualified to comment on all of the inductees into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, located in lovely Canastota, NY. The fight game doesn’t afford the would-be critic the easily wavable numbers that make it so easy to stomp feet about the neuroses keeping out a Blyleven or Santo for oh-so-many years. I’m sure there’s plenty of worthwhile fighters uninducted (although even boxing can’t compete with the Aging Rock And Rollers for HOF as Money Grab).
We’re going to ignore all of these worthy concerns, and focus on the undisputed headliner of this year’s IBHOF class: Thomas “The Motor City Cobra”/”The Hitman” Hearns.
Tommy Hearns’ career was not over until 2006-he waited five years for enshrinement-but his glory days were the 1980s. He was one of “The Four Kings” who ruled the sport, coming up from Detroit’s Kronk gym with ridiculous power, height and length for a welterweight.
Here’s Hearns winning his first title from Mexican Pipino Cuevas at the Joe Louis Arena in 1980. The cartoonish knockout comes around 5:30. Note the complete lack of advertising in the ring.
Hearns’ greatest achievement might be knocking out Roberto Duran. The Panamanian great had only been down twice in his career until this fight, having already fought professionally 70some times at the age of 32. Sugar Ray Leonard made Duran quit on his stool in the “No Mas” fight, but “Hands of Stone” had never been out cold. Until 1984:
There were lots more wins for Tommy Hearns, and a bunch of spectacular knockouts, but he’ll probably be remembered best for his three rounds in 1985 with “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler. Disgustingly good stuff.
What 2 Watch 4
This coming weekend’s premiere fight matches England’s Amir Khan with DC’s Lamont Peterson, in a title bout at 140 pounds. Khan has fast hands and good power, but his chin can be tested; Peterson’s a solid inside fighter who will have home ring advantage at Washington’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Keep it above the belt till we talk again.