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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

VINE VOICEon 15 September 2017
Thomas Hearns is my favourite boxer of all time - his blend of blurring hand speed and vicious power offset by a suspect chin and a pair of pipe-cleaner legs that often threatened to betray him made him one of the most exhilarating fighters to watch in the 80's - winning a then-unprecedented haul of world titles in five separate weight divisions (six if you want to count a couple of lightly regarded belts at cruiserweight)

This is a fairly workmanlike chronological account of the Hitman's career, from his debut in 1977 to his final bout in 2006 at the age of 48.

It's hardly essential reading but fellow Hearns should enjoy it
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on 27 June 2011
I can remember watching one boxer in particular growing up in the 1980s who always guaranteed drama and excitement every time he fought, that boxer was Thomas `The Hit Man' Hearns. Firmly in the `hit or be hit' category Hearns always figured in thrilling edge of your seat contests where the outcome was never certain. His fights with Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran have sealed his credentials as a boxing superstar. His eight world titles at six different weights have ensured he is considered an all time great of the sport. No one has tackled the life of this legendary boxer until now...

Brian Hughes is a respected trainer of champions and has served British boxing loyally for forty five years. He has already written many sports biographies on footballers as well as boxers and is amply qualified to tell the Thomas Hearns story. His son, sports psychologist, Damian is also an accomplished writer in his right. So with this undoubted pedigree, does their book deliver on its promise?

Well, my answer after completing its 234 pages is an emphatic yes! I was so relieved that I enjoyed this book and both Hughes' did justice to one of my heroes from the eighties. Hughes Sr actually witnessed first hand Hearns' training at the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit. It was here in this tough, no-nonsense environment that master technician and boxing coach Emmanuel Steward helped to hone the skills of a slew of talented young boxers from deprived backgrounds and turned them into world class operators, including his most famous protégé, Thomas Hearns.

Like the man himself this book is a down to earth straightforward account of one of boxing's most celebrated and loved sons. In lesser hands it could easily have descended into hyperbole, but the Hughes' have produced a balanced, well researched and accurate account of an extraordinary and exemplary career.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning how the tall, skinny amateur who won most of his contests on points was developed and nurtured into one of the most destructive and concussive punchers of the modern era. Hearns' power is chillingly evoked here; the reader gets a true sense of the menace and power that Hearns brought with him into the ring. A fierce competitor inside the ropes he was (and still is) a quick-witted, charming and almost shy man outside them. Hughes Sr and Jr manage to bring out Hearn's personality onto the page.

The book is full of insight from those that knew Hearns, among them are: Emmanuel Steward, Jackie Kallen, Bob Arum, his stable mates at the Kronk gym as well as old ring adversaries. Although as a biography relying mainly on research, archives and personal recollections without interviews from the man himself this is no warts and all account. Don't go reading this expecting to get too close to the enigmatic multi weight champion. Rather this explores what made him such a fantastic fighter and how he generated such excitement whenever and wherever he performed.

The first contest with Leonard (for example) was a huge event and this is very well conveyed as is the enormity and sheer drama of the Hagler fight. Younger readers will appreciate just how much these fights meant and their place in boxing history and folklore. Older readers will bask in some wonderful memories of some momentous and special boxing nights.

A boxer like Hearns deserves remembering and in Brian and Damian Hughes' he has worthy and knowledgeable chroniclers providing readers with a meticulous and entertaining look at a sparkling career. I recommend this book to all serious Hearns fans, compulsive reading.
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on 22 December 2009
Was initially thrilled to discover a well overdue book on the great Thomas Hearns. I have been a huge fan for years and although the book is accurate , the only slight letdown was there was,nt more depth about the man himself. Most importantly the book is honest and even though Hearns was/is my favourite fighter he did lose the two big ones, this should not however detract from his legacy. A huge part of Hearns appeal strangely was his own vulnerability , you never quite knew which way his fights would go.People will forever reference the Hagler match, but Hearns purists will acknowledge other memorable bouts such as his cruiserweight war with Freddie Delgado who had Hearns on the brink of defeat in several rounds.For sheer bravery I implore any one to seek out this fight, and although in his mid thirties still produced one hell of a display.The Hughes book was critical of his defences against the likes of Mark Medal ,although Hearns looked distracted in that bout I rememember moments of terrific switch hitting to body and head the likes of which are rare today.If Hearns had beaten Hagler and then Spinks as opposed to Roldan/Andries his four title feat would be held in higher esteem.A magnificent achievement never the less and a great read, enjoy as we may never see his like again !
13 people found this helpful
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on 23 February 2015
Arrived on time. An interesting read about one of the great boxers from the golden age of middleweight- ish boxers. Not too much from the man himself but some more interesting info. about the reasons some fights weren't made. Also lots of info. about his erratic performances. Just has to go into the library with the books about Hagler, Leonard etc.
One person found this helpful
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on 25 August 2016
What a great read , magic time for boxing , hearns , hagler . Duran . Sugar ray ,
A must for any hearns fan , loved the book .
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on 15 January 2018
Good book great boxer
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on 24 May 2012
I enjoyed reading about The Hitman and Emanmuel Steward. I felt sad that The Hitman never avenged his losses and that will always hang over him. But that shouldn't detract from the fact that he was a fabulous Boxer and right up there with some of the greatest of all time. A real legend who deserves all the riches that Boxing brought him.
A good book about a great fighter.
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on 13 March 2018
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on 13 January 2013
A very thorough and well researched book, clearly the result of a great effort on the part of the authors,

Tommy is synonymous with the eighties especially and this book does not disappoint.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone interested in the Hit Man story.
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on 30 August 2017
Really good boxing book - full of detail
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