The one thing fans of boxing think of on a regular basis is how the stars of today would do against the legends of the past. One of the most intriguing match ups discussed is a fantasy match up between current p4p #1, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and former 5 division world champion, Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns. Many people believe the size and strength of Hearns would be too much, while others believe that Mayweather’s speed and elusiveness would keep Hearns from ever catching him with a big shot.
In the third and final part of my interview with Thomas Hearns, I get his thoughts on boxing’s number 1 fighter, and how he thinks Mayweather would compete in his era. I also ask him how he thinks he would do if they were to ever meet in their primes. Additionally Hearns gave his thoughts on Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, the legacy of both fighters, and also a message to all his fans. Here is what boxing legend Thomas Hearns had to say.
Jenna J: Tommy, people today say that if there was ever one fighter who would give Floyd Mayweather Jr. the most trouble, they say it would be you, with your size, reach and power. How do you feel about that?
Tommy Hearns: I feel that everybody is entitled to their opinion but me, myself, I’m not gonna try to ruin something that is great. I think the man is doing a great job for himself and I can’t come along and step on what he’s doing. He’s doing an awesome job and he’s making money for it, that’s all any man wants for their career, to be able to do well. I commend him for what he’s doing.
Jenna J: How do you think he would compete in the golden era of the 80’s; with Duran, Hagler, Leonard and yourself? Do you think he would be as dominant then?
Tommy Hearns: He’s doing well now and I think he would have done pretty good then. We had a lot of great fighters in my time, we had some great boxers. Things would have been a little different. I don’t think it would be so easy. Right now he has a great position, he’s doing excellent where he’s at and I’m just gonna keep it there. I can’t say anything to damage it or ruin it at all.
Jenna J: When people think of Mayweather, they say how impossible it is in today’s boxing to make a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. What do you think about the difference between then and now in terms of making big match ups?
Tommy Hearns: Well now these guys are more willing to fight each other, they are willing to get in there and mix it up and make their money. In my time, they weren’t too willing to get in there, even if the money was right because they didn’t wanna suffer the loss.
Jenna J: Well why do you think Mayweather and Pacquiao could never get it on? Why do you think that fight can never be made?
Tommy Hearns: I think they are in two different places in their mind, and they can’t seem to come together.
Jenna J: What do you think of Pacquiao being an eight division world champion and all the accomplishments he’s done?
Tommy Hearns: I think it’s wonderful, it’s awesome. Any man or any person that can accomplish as many titles as that, that’s a wonderful thing. He’s doing a great job, tremendous job.
Jenna J: The number one question that fans want me to ask is, if you and Mayweather got into the ring, how do you think that fight would play out?
Tommy Hearns: It would probably be a very exciting fight, I’m sure it would be. As far as me calling a winner or loser, I can’t do it. I don’t know how it would play out (laughs).
Jenna J: Oh come on, you have the long reach, the power.
Tommy Hearns: I would say, as long as I was able to box, I would have boxed. He’s not a knockout artist, he don’t have the ability to knock you out, so my boxing would probably have been good during the fight. Not saying he can’t fight, cause he can box, he’s a very slick boxer, but I think my reach and my ability would shine very well.
Jenna J: How do you think Floyd Mayweather stacks up against the all time great fighters?
Tommy Hearns: Well he’s done a great job. As far as where he would be compared to what the rest of the guys have done — like Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard — he has done a lot more stuff as far as being in boxing and creating his own legacy and making his own money. He has surpassed all of us in doing that.
Regardless of what we have accomplished in the ring, it’s all about the dollars and he has surpassed all of us as far as that. We gotta get in line, we’re behind him. He passed all of us in that.
Jenna J: Do you think Mayweather’s legacy will be affected if he doesn’t fight Pacquiao?
Tommy Hearns: No I don’t, I don’t think it’s gonna make a difference. Mayweather is already on top by himself.
Jenna J: Any message you want to pass to the fans that have followed you throughout your career?
Tommy Hearns: To all my fans, all the people who have supported me over the years and have been there for me and helped me out, I say thank God for you. Thank you, may God bless you all.