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View Full Version : Was Tommy Hearns the hardest punching welterweight of all time?



sr71ko
02-16-2008, 03:34 PM
Is Tommy Hearns the hardest punching welterweight of all-time? I know that some of old school fight historians/fans would say that honor belongs to Sugar Ray Robinson or Henry Armstrong, but IMO, I think that Tommy "Hit Man" Hearns was the hardest punching welterweight of all-time. What do you guys think?

dongee
02-16-2008, 04:46 PM
Because of his tremendous range Tommy Hearns must be regarded as one of the hardest "clean" punchers in the history of the welterweight ranks. "Clean" meaning he could take out an opponent with a single punch. In addition, he was a paralizing puncher, as in his win over Duran.

California's one great welterweight puncher during my days was a young man named Jackie Wilson. But he was much more than just a hard socker....Jackie was an accomplished boxer. He was an early victim of the war years when his career was interrupted by time in the military.

It was precisely while in the service that he made two consecutive memorable showings in the east, losing a spit decision to Sugar Ray Robinson and another duke to Jake LaMotta, who outweighed Jackie by an even 16 pounds; both bouts took place in a period of about 30 days.

The Briton Jackie KId Berg could belt with authority, as could a lighter left hook artist named Ray Miller, the only man to kayo Jimmy McLarnin.

The great Harry Balsamo began his kayo streak as a middleweight so we cannot include him among the game's better welter bangers.

hap navarro

Surf-Bat
02-16-2008, 05:38 PM
Is Tommy Hearns the hardest punching welterweight of all-time? I know that some of old school fight historians/fans would say that honor belongs to Sugar Ray Robinson or Henry Armstrong, but IMO, I think that Tommy "Hit Man" Hearns was the hardest punching welterweight of all-time. What do you guys think?

Let's not forget Joe Walcott, the Barbados Demon. He was a welter who knocked out much larger men on a regular basis, including heavyweights.

Michael Frank
02-17-2008, 02:00 AM
Hearns was the hardest welter puncher in my lifetime, and I daresay the most exciting fighter of his generation. He came to win by exciting KO and rarely disappointed in that mission. Also had almost unmatched speed and height/reach. Plus superb skills (other than the too-low left hand).

A Hearns fight was a uniquely exciting experience. Power? If he wasn't #1, he wasn't far down the list.

BDeskins
02-17-2008, 02:20 AM
While I would probably pick Robinson as number one there is no doubting that Hearns is right at the top. His upper body was huge for a welterweight. Some others worthy of mention at 147 would have to be Pipino Cuevas, Vic Patrick and as was mentioned already "Barbados" Joe Walcott.

As far as overall KO punching ability it would be hard to beat "Barbados" Joe Walcott. He only stood 5' 1 1/2," which to kind of put into perspective...Naseem Hamed was 5' 3." But unlike Hamed...Walcott scored knockouts over much bigger opponents than himself.

I think that I rate George "Kid" Lavigne higher at lightweight due to his vicious brawls with Walcott in which he won both encounters, but both men took fierce beatings. Lavigne nearly had his ear torn off in one of those bouts and I think that Lavigne was one of the only fighters that Walcott was concerned about fighting.

Walcott did not care about fighting "Mysterious" Billy Smith as Smith told Walcott that he was going to bite his ear off when they were in close, which would not really be a concern coming from most other fighters, but if Smith said that he was going to do something that extreme then the possibilities were very high that he would do it. Things turned out better for Walcott against Smith though as he would go 3-1-1 (1 KO) in their series and of course being that Smith was most likely the dirtiest fighter to ever step in the ring...one of the losses to Walcott was by DQ.

hawk5ins
02-17-2008, 09:53 AM
And I'm not saying he is or isn't, He's certainly on a rather short list and definitely in the discussion.

Hawk

walshb
02-18-2008, 03:30 AM
I'm putting Ray Leonard as just as hard a hitter as Tommy at Welter....

Obama fan
02-18-2008, 04:19 PM
Walcott would be number one.

McLarnin, Sam Langford (he fought for a time at this weight).

Basilio was no slouch. He knocked down Kid Gavilan--something Robinson couldn't do in two bitter fights with Gavilan.

sr71ko
02-23-2008, 06:28 PM
I appreciate the information on California Jackie Wilson from dongee. I was surprised that Wilson was a silver medalist in 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Wilson did SRR some tough fights and did score a lot of kayos. I had forgotten about Joe Walcott, he did in fact kayo Joe Choynski(who had kayoed a young Jack Johnson), and Sugar Ray Leonard was a underrated puncher at the welters, but Hearns kayoed fighters from welter-crusierweight. Every time I watch Hearns on tape kayoing Cuevas and Duran, I get chills down my spine. Hearns was just a crippling puncher at welterweight.

wpink
02-24-2008, 02:38 PM
I would say based on the leverage that he generated, the reach, the 32-0 with 30 kos record he had at one point at welterweight...I think he along with Robinson were up there. Trinidad has to be considered as well.