03.07.05 - By Jim Amato: Author's note: In light of Tommy Hearns plan to embark on a comeback, I thought this piece was appropriate. It should remind us of how GREAT a fighter Thomas Hearns was 20+ years ago. I hope Tommy changes his mind and stays retired letting the fans keep their fond memories of him.
Roberto Duran was my idol. When he whipped Leonard in Montreal, well... That goes right up there in the important date column with the birth of my kids and March 8, 1971 when Joe whipped Ali's backside.
With that said, you can fully understand my disappointment when Roberto said "No Mas" during Leonard-Duran II. Still there was this feeling that it wasn't a complete victory for Leonard. Who knows what was going on in Roberto's head when he uttered those now famous words ? It left the door open for a rubber match that would take place years later.
It was so different when Hearns nearly tore Roberto's head off that June night in 1984. Up to this fight only the great Esteban DeJesus had put Duran on floor. Tommy CREAMED him. It was utterly unbelievable. To see Roberto flat on his stomach at the feet of the towering Hearns was humbling to Roberto and his fans. Roberto had just gone fifteen tough rounds with the "Marvelous One", Marvin Hagler.Leonard had been unable to put him down in either of their contests. Who would have thought that Roberto would be so easily dispatched ? They didn't call Thomas Hearns the "Hit Man" for nothing.
I don't recall Roberto ever pushing hard for a return match with Tommy ! Could you really blame him ?