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Biofile Thomas Hearns Interview

 

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: First man to win world titles in five different weight divisions.

Ht: 6-2  Wt: 190

DOB: October 18, 1958   In: Grand Junction, TN

Childhood Heroes:  Muhammad Ali. That’s who I grew up watching. That’s who I grew up patterning myself after. It was in the early 80’s when I first met Muhammad Ali. He’s a big kidder. Likes to kid around, likes to box with you. He was kind of slapping me around a little bit [smiles]. That was like fun to me. Then when I fought Pipino Cuevas (for WBA Welter title in Detroit in August, 1980), he was right there at ringside. He was showing me punches from the audience… before the fight started, and even during the fight [laughs]. I remember he was showing me the right hand. He likes the right hand (Hearns imitated Ali’s gesture of a right shoulder thrust.) To see him out there was a major plus.

Hobbies/Interests:  I’m basically a sports person. I like basketball and four-wheeling.

Early Boxing Memory:  Just number one was winning everything. That was always a plus to me as a kid. It seemed like early success gave me so much energy to go out there and constantly keep winning. And winning in style.

Pre-Fight Feeling:  It’s always nervous before a fight or when you go out there in competition with another person. I’m an eager person. Just so eager to go out there and get the job done. I’m ready to go out there and put on a show. (After entering the ring) I look at him most very hard. Just to see him. To let him know I’m here for business and I’m going to take care of business.

 

Favorite Movies:  I’m a western man. I like The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. A Fistful of Dollars. I’m a Clint Eastwood man.

Musical Tastes:  Various music. As long as it’s kind of in the groove, I like it.

Favorite TV Show: Don’t have a favorite.

First Job:  I started working when I was sixteen in a small factory – Builder’s Auto Parts in Detroit. I was building transmissions for cars. That was a good time for me. Because I got the chance to know how to go out and make my own money. And make it the right way, without getting into trouble. That was a plus for me.

First Car:  1964 powder blue AMC Rambler station wagon.

Childhood Dream:  Muhammad Ali is my idol and he’s the man who got me interested in becoming a world champion in the boxing world.

Greatest Sports Moment:  Probably winning my titles. Winning all the titles was a big moment for me. But winning the first title was a great moment for me. When I received the belt after the fight. Knowing I just beat a great man, Pipino Cuevas, a legend.

Most Painful Moment(s):  Probably the Leonard fight (TKO 13 in 1981 in Las Vegas). And Marvin Hagler fight (KO 3). Probably the most painful things I went through. Because of the loss. And to Marvin Hagler, the way I lost.

Funny Boxing Memory:  Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield was kind of funny. Then when I really thought about it, then it was serious. Kind of scary. But first seeing it, it was kind of funny.

Favorite Meal:  I’m a Southern boy. I like friend chicken, yams, greens and some light cornbread.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Vanilla or strawberry.

Favorite Breakfast Cereal(s):  I like Golden Grahams, shredded wheat and I also like Raisin Bran [smiles].

Favorite Boxers To Watch:  Me!

Career Accomplishments: Boxed as a pro from 1977 to 2006; Record was 61-5-1 with 48 KOs; Won WBA Welterweight title vs Cuevas, WBC Super Welter title vs Wilfred Benitez, vacant WBC Middleweight title vs Juan Domingo Roldan, and WBC Light Heavyweight title vs Dennis Andries and WBA Light Heavyweight title vs Virgil Hill; Is the first man to win world titles in five different weight divisions.

About Scoop Malinowski

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