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September 18, 1981 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-18

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The Michigan Daily

Friday, September 18, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Leonard eyes middleweight title


LAS VEGAS (AP)- Sugar Ray
Leonard talked about another
challenge, while Thomas Hearns
cussed lessons learned at a news
nference yesterday, the day after
their bruising fight.
Leonard, trailing on all three official
cards, stopped Hearns in the 14th round
Wednesday night at Caesars Palace
and won the undisputed welterweight
championship to go with his World
Boxing Association junior middle
weight title.
"IF AARON PRYOR is anywhere in
e audience, this is your opportunity,
pal," said Leonard, challenging the
WBA junior welterweight champion to
a fight for the welterweight title.
Pryor has been making public
challenges to Leonard.
kYou'll be a tuneup," said Leonard,
as if talking to Pryor, who was not
LEONARD, WHOSE boxing bankroll
now totals about $35 million, did not say
what a fight with Pryor would be a
tuneup for. He could make a defense of
e junior middleweight title, although
he WBA likely is to strip him of that
title since it also now recognizes him as
welterweight champ. Leonard also is

down in the 13th round, he swarmed all

I 1

thinking about fighting for the mid-
dleweight title, but said he didn't feel he
"would be a full-fledged middleweight
until next year.''
The middleweight title, held by Mar-
vin Hagler, is the only other undisputed
championship in boxing.
As for Hearns' future plans, he said,
"Right now, I have no plans. I'm going
to take a vacation and let my manager-
trainer Emanuel Steward put things
"BASICALLY, I know I can come
back. If Ray gives me a rematch, I can
win it."
"I can't say about a rematch," said
Leonard, pointing out that a lot of
negotiations would be required to set up
a rematch.
Asked how he felt about his loss of the
WBA welterweight title, which is his
only defeat against 32 pro victories, 30
by knockouts, Hearns said, "To be a
'great champion, you have to lose a few
fights and come back."
LEONARD CAME back after suf-
fering his only loss in 32 fights to regain
the World Boxing Council 147-pound
class title from Roberto Duran.
Hearns said he didn't feel referee
Davey Pearl should have stopped the

fight at 1:45 of the 14th round after
Hearns had received a barrage of head
punches as he stood against the ropes.
But he didn't seem bitter about Pearl's
Steward said he had no qualms about
the referee's action. "It was a
judgment call," he said. "I thought it
was possible that Thomas could have
gotten out of it."
A MUCH BIGGER controversy was
the fact that one judge favored Hearns
by four points, another by three and a
third by two going into the 14th round.
Of course, Leonard made the judging
academic when, after knocking Hearns

down in the 13th round, he swarmed all
over the Detroit fighter to win in the
"I always felt a knockout helped a
great deal of the time," said Leonard,
who added that he felt the fight- was
close but that he was ahead. Much more
upset about the judgings were Janks
Morton, Leonard's trainer, and Mike
Trainer, the champion's attorney.
"I'm really disgusted with the way
,the judging was in this fight," said Mor-
ton, adding that if Hearns had won a
decision, "I would have been sick about

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