1992-03-20 Iran Barkley w pts 12 Thomas Hearns, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBA

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1992-03-20 Iran Barkley w pts 12 Thomas Hearns, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBA. Referee: Mills Lane. Scorecards: 114-113, 115-113, 113-114. Having struggled to make the weight would probably explain the champion’s disappointing display, but that should not detract from a best-ever performance by Barkley (174). Outboxed for the opening three rounds Barkley suddenly found a thudding left hook to the jaw in the fourth that sent Hearns (174½) down for the mandatory count, and from there on in he had his nose just about in front. Although Hearns continued to fire in heavy blows, it was Barkley’s work-rate that won the day. Both men finished with swellings over their eyes, and Barkley, carrying a broken left hand, stated afterwards that by staying in close won him the fight as it took away much of Hearns’ power.

Following Barkley’s decision to relinquish the WBA version of the title in April to concentrate on defending his IBF super middleweight crown, Virgil Hill and Frank Tate were matched to find a successor.