Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Boxing Book Review

Title: Hit Man The Thomas Hearns Story
Authors: Brian and Damian Hughes
Pages: 240
Price: $17.95
Publisher: Milo Books

By Felix Chavez
In the late 1970s and much of the 1980s, boxing saw some of it biggest fights and was often times in the center of the sports world.
There were plenty of big names involved, i.e. Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler and Larry Holmes.
Also included in that list is the man known as the “Hit Man” Thomas Hearns. While there has been much written about Tyson, Leonard, Duran and Holmes, an in-depth book about Hearns had yet to be written until authors Brian and Damian Hughes collaborated on a Hearns biography entitled “Hit Man The Thomas Hearns Story.”
For sports fans, but specially boxing fans, the biography Hearns is an important one in many ways.
Hearns, who won 61 of 67 fights, was one of the most recognizable sports figures during the 1980s. He fought Leonard, Duran, Hagler, Pipino Cuevas and Iran Barkley and was a popular figure because of his aggressive style, which included a thunderous right hand.
The book also gives readers a detailed look into Hearns’ boxing career, where he got started in the rough and tumble world of Detroit and his relationship with legendary trainer/manager Emanuel Steward.
This detailed biography can also help boxing fans can judge where Hearns stands in boxing lore because it gives readers a detailed account of several of Hearns’ key bouts and revives key details from his fights with Leonard, Duran and Hagler among others.
A good boxing book will always including behind-the-scenes details of a fighter’s career, whether it’s in the gym, negotiations for a fight or the moments leading up to a big fight. The Hughes’ did an adequate job of this in their piece on Hearns. There are many interesting side notes and interesting facts about not only Hearns but also other fighters and participants in the sport that were unknown to this reader and could very well be unknown to many readers.
Hearns, who was raised in Detroit, was officially a professional from 1977 until 2006, but did much of his good work from 1977 until 1992. Overall the book does a very good job of taking the reader through the ups and downs of Hearns’ career as well as giving us a detailed record of what Hearns and his team were thinking as they tried to maximize his potential.
During his time as a fighter, Hearns was a popular figure, an exciting figure and part of a very successful line of fighters to come out of the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit. It’s unfortunate that a book on his career took so long to originate, but the wait was worth it with “Hit Man The Thomas Hearns Story.”

Felix Chavez can be reached at fchavez@elpasotimes.com; (915) 546-6374

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