March 18, 1995 in Sports

‘Hit Man’ Hearns Guns For Seventh Boxing Title, Challenges Ibo Champ

Compiled From Wire Services

Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, a winner of six titles in his career, will try for a seventh.

Hearns, 36, is challenging International Boxing Council cruiserweight champion Sean McClain on March 31.

“I have no timetable for how long I’ll go on,” Hearns said. “But I’ve been working out steadily for six or seven weeks and I’ll be ready March 31.”

Hearns has a 53-4-1 record and has held welterweight, junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Hearns, of Detroit, last fought Feb. 19, 1994, when he won a decision over Fred Delgado.

McClain, of Albuquerque, N.M., is 19-3-1 with 18 knockouts. The cruiserweight limit is 190 pounds.

“When you get older, they say your determination’s not there, but I tell you mine is the same,” Hearns said. “I want to do a great job, not just a good job, and win back my fans and show them I still have my desire.”

Hearns already is booked for a WBA fight May 20 on an HBO card with heavyweights Evander Holyfield and Ray Mercer in Atlantic City, N.J., trainer Emanuel Stewart said. Hearns also will fight in a WBC bout July 1 in Ghana.

Roy Jones Jr. will make the first defense of his super middleweight championship tonight against Antoine Byrd.

Jones has the earning potential of close to $10 million a year from HBO thanks to the contract he was awarded - three fights a year for six years, the cable network’s richest outside the heavyweight division.

But Byrd said he had little doubt that he would kill that deal by upsetting Jones, the International Boxing Federation champion whose 27-0 record includes 23 knockouts.

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