50-year old Thomas "Hitman" Hearns told the Detroit Free Press that he'd like to fight one more fight, and he hopes to have his Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward in his corner.
Hearns (61-5-1, 48 KO) turned 50 last October, the night that Bernard Hopkins beat Kelly Pavlik. The Detroit native has in recent years mostly supported the career of his son, Ronald, but has been semi-active this decade, fighting once in 2000, 2005 and 2006 each. In 1999 he won the IBO cruiserweight title, but lost it via second round TKO in 2000 against journeyman Uriah Grant. In 2005 he beat John Long, and in 2006 he defeated Shannon Landberg.
He hasn't fought top competition since losing to Iran Barkley in 1992, nine months after winning the WBA light heavyweight title from then-unbeaten Virgil Hill. He also held world titles at welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight and super middleweight.
"The more I think about it, the more I want to fight. It's always on my mind. Manny knows how I feel about boxing -- to have one final bout."
"I want to do it. ... I will do it. I think people will support me, and I know what I'm capable of. I've had plenty of calls from Europe to come over there and fight."
"If Manny doesn't agree with me, I'll go around and make it happen myself. It's got to happen ... to complete my career ... have one final title fight. I respect what Manny thinks, but I have my thoughts. Everyone has a right to make a decision when he or she is finished. When God gives you a blessing, you have to use it through. God has this plan. It's all in the plan."
Hearns should not fight at the age of 50. Period. Manny Steward is right to not want to see him go out there, because the chance of him getting really hurt is seriously elevated given his age, particularly if he fought someone legit. What's the youngest guy he could fight, really? 35-40? We're talking 10-15 years younger, and this isn't Hopkins-Pavlik territory (Hopkins was 17 years older than Pavlik when he smoked him on Tommy's 50th birthday). Hearns is eligible for an AARP membership. It's just a different thing.
Few fighters have fought professionally at this age. He should be in the Hall of Fame by now and is an obvious shoo-in whenever he does actually retire for good. The itch to fight is real; we've seen it hit countless guys that should've stayed out of the ring. I'm hoping Hearns won't go through with it, but someone will fight him, and some promoter will back it.