Exclusive Interview With Ronald Hearns

04.05.07 - By James Slater: On the eve of one of the biggest fights in recent years - ďThe World AwaitsĒ - this writer had the pleasure of speaking with the son of a legendary boxer who had more than his share of super fights in his heyday. Ronald ďThe Motor City CobraĒ is that man, and he is now forging ahead in his own career as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of his all-time great father, Thomas. Currently in training for his next fight, to be held on the big bill in Memphis on May 19th, the modest Ronald, 13-0 (11) very graciously took time out to speak with me today. Here is what he had to say.

James Slater: Itís great to talk with you, Ronald. Firstly, how are preparations going for your fight with Dennis Sharpe (17-4-3) on May 19th?

Ronald Hearns: Preparations are going real good, the fight is only two weeks away now. We just winding down now and fine tuning.

J.S: What do you know about the guy?

R.H: Well, I donít really know too much about him, I just know heís a durable guy whoís fought some good fighters. He fought a guy named Andy Lee (great Emanuel Steward trained prospect) and he fought Buddy McGirt Junior. He lasted with those guys, so if I can stop him Iíll get the statement right there.

J.S: A KO will be on your mind when you enter the ring then?

R.H: Itís not going to be on my mind, Iím just gonna set him up and if it happens [the knockout] it happens. But it would be good if I could do something they [Lee and McGirt Junior] couldnít do.

J.S: The fight is on a big bill, with some great fights with Jermain Taylor, Cory Spinks and Edison Miranda etc. Is this your biggest fight so far?

R.H: Yes, I would say so, because itís going to be a very exciting card, with Jermain and Cory and Edison and Kelly Pavlik. Itís one of the best cards today.

J.S: I know youíre making steady progress at middleweight. Do you think this year will be your breakthrough year?

R.H: Yes, I think this will be my breakthrough year, because DiBella are moving me very well. I have a real good team around me and Iím looking forward to this year.

J.S: When you do eventually fight for a title, do you think it will be at middleweight, or do you think you might move up? I know youíre six foot, three.

R.H: No, I Donít think Iíll go to super middleweight. Actually, I might move down to 154, because Iím pretty light. After the next three or four fights weíll see and then take it from there.

J.S: Is there any particular world champion you have your eye on, who youíve been watching closely for a potential fight one day?

R.H: Not really. In my eyes itís whoeverís there. I donít want to say Iím going to fight this guy or that guy. Whoever stands in my way when I get the opportunity, Iím gonna go for it.

J.S: Being one of the ďJuniorsĒ that are fighting today, along with Chavez Jr., Paez Jr., McGirt Jr., etc, do you feel as though there is extra pressure on you as a fighter?

R.H: Yeah, thereís very heavy pressure trying to carry on my dadís name. He was known as being such an exciting fighter and for having a devastating right hand, so everyone is looking forward to me reaching those expectations. But Iím not looking for that, Iím trying to make my own mark in the game. I want to show the people what I can do, not what he did.

J.S: Does Tommy work your corner?

R.H: He will be there. Heíll be in the crowd, heíll be in the locker room before the fight. Then heíll go take his seat, you know.

J.S: Speaking about your dad, what fight of his do you remember the most vividly?

R.H: Of course, both of the Ray Leonard fights, the Marvin Hagler fight. The Dennis Andries and the Juan Roldan fights. I can remember a lot of his fights actually.

J.S: I donít want to take the shine off you by talking about Tommy. But what fight of his are you most proud of?

R.H: Probably, I would say the second Ray Leonard fight.

J.S: Yeah, he won that didnít he? I know it was officially a draw, but he won it, right?

R.H: Yeah. He definitely won that one outright.

J.S: Back to you, Ronald. Who has given you your toughest fight so far?

R.H: I fought this guy named Hector Hernandez. He took good head shots so I had to wear him down by going to the body. He was a real durable guy.

J.S: Do you consider yourself a big puncher, or are you more of a stylist?

R.H: I consider myself as a boxer-puncher. Iím trying to put my left hook into my arsenal right now. My left hook is looking pretty strong in camp now.

J.S: Itís been great talking with you, Ronald. Can I ask you, are you watching the big fight tomorrow, with Oscar and Floyd?

R.H: Oh, Iím definitely watching that one. I canít wait for that one!

J.S: And who do you pick?

R.H: Itís gonna be tough, but Iím hoping Floyd can pull it out. I would say that if Oscar can land a clean punch on him then De La Hoya can win because I think heíll be much stronger. But I think Floyd can pull it out.

J.S: When did you last talk with your dad?

R.H: Yesterday. Heís down there in Vegas for the fight.

J.S: Did he mention who he thinks will win?

R.H: No, he didnít say. He just wants it to be a good fight.

J.S: Itís been great, Ronald. I must say, I think in his prime, Tommy would have beat either guy. But thatís another story. Thanks and good luck for the 19th.

R.H: (laughing) Yeah. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it. Goodbye.

Article posted on 05.05.2007

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