“Hello” Thomas Hearns – Born 18 October 1958
Thomas Hearns (born October 18, 1958) is a retired American professional boxer. Nicknamed the “Motor City Cobra” and more famously “The Hitman,” Hearns became the first boxer in history to win world titles in four divisions. He would also become the first fighter in history to win five world titles in five different divisions. Hearns was named fighter of the year by The Ring magazine in 1980 and 1984.
Born in Grand Junction, Tennessee on October 18, 1958, Hearns was the youngest of three children in his mother’s first marriage. With her second marriage, six children joined the first three. On her own, Mrs. Hearns raised Tommy and his siblings in Grand Junction until Tommy was five years old; then the family moved to Detroit, Michigan.
Hearns began his professional boxing career in Detroit, Michigan, under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward in 1977. Steward had changed Hearns from a light hitting amateur boxer to one of the most devastating punchers in boxing history.
He won six world titles in five weight classes during his pro career, defeating future boxing hall of famers such as Pipino Cuevas, Wilfred Benítez, Virgil Hill and Roberto Durán. Hearns started his career by knocking out his first 17 opponents. In 1980, Hearns carried his 28-0 record into a world title match against Mexico’s Pipino Cuevas. Hearns ended Cuevas’s 4-year reign by beating him by TKO in the second round. Hearns was voted “Fighter of the Year” by Ring Magazine in 1980.
Hearns’ family is a fixture on the Detroit sports scene. His mother, Lois Hearns, is a fight promoter. Their company, Hearns Entertainment, has promoted many cards, including the Mike Tyson-Andrew Golota bout in 2000. His son Ronald Hearns is also a boxer, and he fought on the undercard of his father’s last couple of fights. Hearns lives in Southfield, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit).
Due to personal financial issues, Hearns was forced to auction off his possessions at The Auction Block of Detroit, Michigan on April 3, 2010. His debt to the IRS was $250,000. He took responsibility for repaying the entire debt, which he said was accrued from being overly generous toward his large extended family.