Sugar Ray Leaonard vs. Tommy Hearns signed ticket stub (PSA)
Sugar Ray Leaonard vs. Thomas “Hitman” Hearns 1981 ticket stub signed by both fighters. In the summer of 1981, only two boxers mattered in America: WBA welterweight champion Thomas Hearns, and WBC welterweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard. Ever since the previous fall, when both men won huge fights â€“ Hearns knocking out Pipino Cuevas; Leonard forcing Roberto Duran to quit â€” this was the biggest match boxing could offer, the contest the whole world wanted to see. It was the classic confrontation: boxer vs puncher. Leonard filled the former category, his fast feet and faster hands thwarting even the toughest fighters, as all saw in his rematch with the dangerous Duran. Hearns was the knockout artist, the boxer they called â€œThe Hitman.â€ He boasted a thunderous right hand and 30 knockouts in 32 wins.
The backgrounds and personalities of the two champions contrasted sharply as well. Sugar Ray, the Olympic gold medalist, enjoyed celebrity status, his dazzling smile selling cars and soda pop. Hearns was more stoic, soft-spoken, exuding an air of mystery and menace. A native of Detroit, his climb up the ranks, while just as fast and impressive as Leonardâ€™s, was also more blue-collar, unaided by constant television exposure and lucrative endorsement deals.