Thomas “Hitman” Hearns was born on October 18, 1958, in Memphis, Tennessee. His started boxing professionally in 1977. In 1980, he conquer Jos “Pipino” Cuevas and won the World Boxing Association welterweight title. Hearns went to win eight world titles in six weight classes within the span of his boxing career. He retired in 2000 and entered the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the year 2012. His parents, John and Lois Hearns, divorced when he was 7. Hearns had several brothers and sisters: two from his mom’s first marriage, and six from her second.
A timid kid, Hearns used boxing to come from his shell. After viewing matches on television, he first acquired an interest in the sport in the age of 8. From the time he was 10 or 11, Hearns had started training under Emanuel Steward at Detroit’s Kronk Gym. In 1967, Hearns entered a 10-year stretch as an amateur fighter. Throughout that time, he earned value as a knockout puncher, establishing a record of 155 wins and eight losses.
Hearns’s professional boxing career started in 1977. Despite a winning streak of 17 fights by knockout, he failed to get much public acknowledgement in the beginning. That changed in 1980, when Hearns overcome Jos “Pipino” Cuevas in two rounds, earning himself the World Boxing Association welterweight title. In 1981, Hearns’s livelihood suffered a setback when he lost the unified welterweight title to Sugar Ray Leonard.
These titles contained the World Boxing Council junior middle weight title in 1982. In 1985, Hearns endured a crushing defeat in the hands of “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler. He was similarly successful in 1988, when he robbed James Kinchen of the World Boxing Organization super middleweight title following a grueling 12 rounds. He retired using a record of 59-5-1.
Still enamored with all the sport, following his retirement, Hearns became a boxing promoter. In 2011, his son, Ronald Hearns, followed in his dad’s footsteps by challenging Felix Sturm for the middleweight title. Although the younger Hearns lost the match, he made his dad proud by holding powerful until the seventh round. In the year 2012, another proud moment arrived for Thomas Hearns: After having been elected in his first eligible year, Hearns was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.