Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns (2nd meeting)

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1989-06-12 : Sugar Ray Leonard 160 lbs drew with Thomas Hearns 162½ lbs by PTS in round 12 of 12


  • Leonard insisted on a catchweight of 164 lbs. Hearns would have had to pay Leonard $500,000 if he came in over 164 lbs.
  • The fight was shown live on closed circuit television in 1,600 locations and on pay-per-view.
  • Leonard was guaranteed $13 million and Hearns was guaranteed $11 million.
  • On the day of the fight, the brother of Thomas Hearns, Henry Hearns, was arraigned on a first-degree murder charge for shooting his 19-year-old girlfriend two days earlier after she threatened to leave him. Henry Hearns shot her in his brother's Detroit home and used his brother's gun. He was later convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to twenty years in prison. In 1992, Thomas Hearns agreed to pay the woman's family $685,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Leonard was a 3 to 1 favorite.
  • A capacity crowd of 15,300 watched the fight at Caesars Palace.
  • Leonard wore red and white striped trunks with the word AMANDLA on the waistband. Amandla means power in Zulu and was commonly used in anti-apartheid demonstrations. The day of the fight was the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela being sentenced to life in prison by the South African government for committing sabotage.
  • Hearns dropped Leonard with a right cross in the third round and knocked him down again in the eleventh round with a series of right hands. Each time, Leonard came back strong. In the fifth round, Leonard staggered Hearns with a left hook and battered him for the remainder of the round. In the twelfth round, knowing he needed a big finish, Leonard hurt the exhausted Hearns and dominated the final two minutes of the fight.
  • The result was controversial. Most felt that Hearns deserved the decision. Even Leonard has said that he feels Hearns deserved the verdict.
  • Negotiations for a third fight fell apart because the two fighters couldn't agree on a weight limit. Leonard wanted the same weight limit as the second fight, but Hearns said he could no longer make that weight.