Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns ll


Leonard-Hearns II “The War”

Following “The Showdown,” Leonard defended the undisputed world welterweight championship once, knocking out Bruce Finch in the third round, and then retired after having surgery to repair a detached retina in his left eye.

Hearns moved up in weight and outpointed Wilfred Benitez to win the WBC light-middleweight title in 1982. Two and a half years later, he challenged Marvin Hagler for the undisputed world middleweight championship, losing by a knockout in the third round of a very exciting fight. In early 1987, he stopped Dennis Andries in ten rounds to win the WBC light-heavyweight title.

Leonard made a one-fight comeback in 1984 and stopped Kevin Howard in nine rounds. However, Leonard suffered the first knockdown of his career and was so disappointed in his performance that he once again retired after the fight.

In 1987, Leonard came back again and fought Hagler for the middleweight championship. Leonard, a huge underdog, defeated Hagler by a twelve-round split decision. The following month, Leonard retired again.

Hearns knocked out Juan Roldan in four rounds in late 1987 to win the vacant WBC middleweight title, becoming the first boxer to win world titles in four weight divisions. Hearns lost the title in his next fight, suffering a third-round knockout against Iran Barkley.

Hearns returned to win the inaugural WBO super-middleweight title against James Kinchen by a majority decision on 4 November 1988 to become the first boxer to win world titles in five weight divisions. Three days later, Leonard knocked out Don Lalonde in nine rounds to win both Lalonde's WBC light-heavyweight title and the vacant WBC super-middleweight title.

After almost eight years, the Leonard-Hearns rematch finally happened. It was promoted as “The War”. Leonard (35-1 with 25 KOs) and Hearns (46-3 with 38 KOs) met on June 12, 1989 at Caesar's Palace in a scheduled twelve-rounder for the WBC & WBO super-middleweight titles.

Hearns dropped Leonard with a right cross in the third round, but Leonard came back and battered Hearns around the ring in the fifth round. Early in the seventh round, Hearns hurt Leonard but punched himself out going for the knockout. With Hearns fatigued, Leonard came back and had a strong finish to the round. Rounds nine and ten were good rounds for Leonard, but he ran into trouble in the eleventh round. Three booming rights from Hearns sent Leonard down for the second time in the fight. Knowing he needed a big finish, Leonard fought furiously and had a big final round.

The judges scored the fight a draw, with both boxers retaining their respective titles. Judge Jerry Roth scored the fight 113-112 for Hearns, Judge Tom Kazmarek scored it 113-112 for Leonard, and Judge Dalby Shirley scored it 112-112. Shirley was the only judge to give Leonard a 10-8 margin in the twelfth. If he had scored it 10-9, as his two colleagues did, Hearns would have won by a split decision. The decision was soundly booed, as most felt that Hearns had won.[2] Eventually, Leonard admitted that Hearns deserved the decision. {{citation needed}}

There was talk of a third fight, but it never happened. Leonard had his attorney, Mike Trainer, pursue a third fight, but Hearns said that he could no longer make the weight and was returning to light-heavyweight.



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