Hearns, 51, had classic fights against Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and so many others. As is the nature of sports, Hearns had his highs and had his lows during a brilliant boxing career that saw him climb from the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit to the heights of boxing as one of the most devastating punchers of his era (mostly as a welterweight and as a middleweight). During the 1980s (one of the golden ages of boxing for middleweights and welterweights) and 1990s Hearns held numerous titles in different weight classes.
So many of remembered those famed gold Kronk Gym trunks her wore and loved his nickname: Hit Man.
That is part of the reason it was so sad to find out that he has been saddled with tax troubles so great it is virtually impossible not to think about the great but tax-troubled heavyweight champion boxer Joe Louis.
Hearns, earlier this month, watched as an auction (of some of his prized possessions) was held to help him pay a $448,000 tax debt. Apparently, according to an Associated Press story, the auction went well (although there was no dollar figure as to how much was raised to help Hearns pay off his sizable government tax debt. The auction had Hearns items such as a 1957 Chevy, three boats, all kinds of boxing memorabilia and more. The event was dubbed, the “Battle of His Life.”
It’s a sad and all-too-familiar tale for so many rich athletes who in one way or another fall from the pinnacle of fame and fortune.
Hopefully, others will learn from the painful lesson of Tommy Hearns. And, let us hope, Hearns will recover from this situation and get himself back on track (without trying to step back in the ring again).