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Hearns Won't Try to Win Heavyweight Title

November 08, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — Thomas Hearns, who has draped title belts of divisions from 147 to 175 pounds around his 6-foot-1 frame, says he has reached his limit of world championships at four.

After stopping Juan Roldan for the vacant World Boxing Council middleweight title Oct. 29, Hearns said he no longer wishes to move up past the light heavyweight division. At the prodding of manager Emmanuel Steward and promoter Bob Arum, Hearns had briefly considered moving up to challenge heavyweight champ Mike Tyson after the Roldan fight. Steward and Arum even wanted to hire Mackie Shilstone, the nutritional guru who bulked Michael Spinks from a light heavy to heavyweight, to work with Hearns.

"As of right now, I can't mess with Tyson," Hearns said. "It was just a big thought I had. To go to heavyweight I'd have to gain about 30 or 40 pounds."

Hearns instead wants to pick on guys his own size, namely Marvin Hagler and Ray Leonard. He probably changed his mind about Tyson soon after making public his decision to move up several months ago.

Hearns said he wanted to fight Tyson during an interview on a cable television show filmed in Los Angeles. After the show ran later that day, Hearns ran into Tyson, who was staying at the same hotel.

"You don't really want to fight me, Tommy," Tyson told Hearns.

Apparently, he was convincing.

They talk a good rematch: Hagler and Leonard are more concerned with each other than fighting Hearns again. Hearns' fourth-round knockout of Roldan was a prelim to the exchange between Hagler and Leonard as post-fight closed circuit commentators. The subject was their April 6 bout, and they still disagree over the winner.

Hagler claims he was robbed, while Leonard says his split decision victory was just. Hagler repeated his claim that boxing politics did him in and Leonard called his opponent a "poor sport."

"That guy got under my hair," Leonard said afterward.

Later that night, and into the next morning, Leonard and Hagler shared a dance floor at a Las Vegas, Nev., nightclub, barely acknowledging each other. They did continue their argument in the men's room, however. Arum would love to get them to step outside.

The guardian of 15-rounders: The International Boxing Federation is the last of boxing's governing groups to sanction 15-round championship bouts, and IBF President Bob Lee says he has no intention of changing to 12 as did the World Boxing Association recently.

"We have no clear evidence that a 15-round bout is hazardous to a boxer's health," Lee said. "A 12-round fight is good for national or regional titles, but a 15-round world championship bout is the ultimate, a cut above the national or regional level."

Let's hear it for the little guys: After his Oct. 29 closed-circuit tripleheader at the Las Vegas Hilton, Arum took a shot at promoter Don King's heavyweight unification series staged at the same hotel.

"People in the VIP section of the Hilton told me it was the best fight card they'd ever seen," Arum said. "It was good but not the best card ever. They were just shocked because they're used to watching heavyweights."

Hearns' victory over Roldan was preceded by Charles Williams' upset ninth-round knockout over Bobby Czyz for the IBF light heavyweight crown and Michael Nunn's fourth-round knockout of Darnell Knox for the North American middleweight title.

One brave man: WBA light heavyweight champ Edwin Rosario predicts he will retire WBC super featherweight champ Julio Cesar Chavez after their Nov. 21 bout, but at least gives Chavez credit for fighting him.

"Pazienza is a coward, he doesn't want to fight me, Camacho doesn't want to fight me, Ramirez doesn't want to fight me," Rosario said. "So they bring this guy from another division to fight me."

Vinny Pazienza is the IBF lightweight champ, Jose Luis Ramirez is the WBC champ and Hector Camacho is the former WBC lightweight champ who has moved up to junior welterweight. Rosario has split two bouts with Ramirez and dropped a close controversial decision to Camacho.

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