Who really won the fight? Hearns or Leonard?

Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns II took place on June 12, 1989 at Caesars Palace in Paradise, Nevada for the WBC and WBO super middleweight titles.

The fight was quite different than the first match primarily because both boxers were fighting at super middleweight now, and Hearns especially, even though he was under weight for the match, was quite larger than in their first bout.

Tommy Hearns throws a left into Ray Leonard's mid section.
Hearns throws a left hand into Sugar Ray’s mid section during their re-match in 1989 in Las Vegas,

Leonard vs Hearns (1st Fight)

In their first match Ray rallied in the 14th round (many think he was losing the fight) to defeat Hearns by TKO. It was one of the best championship title fights in history. Every round was exciting and the fight had many momentum shifts.

Leonard came out strong for the first few rounds, then Hearns took over after being hurt by Ray and boxed him beautifully while piling up points in the middle rounds. It was Ray however, who rallied in the 14th, throwing a barrage of punches at Hearns eventually taking him out for the victory. It was unquestionably impressive.

Hearns vs. Leonard II (Takeaways)

  • Hearns scored two known downs in the fight, round three and round eleven.
  • Even though Ray did not technically score a knock down, round five was scored 10 – 8 for Leonard on all the 3 judges score cards. He had Hearns hurt and on shaky legs and almost took him out for the majority of the round.
  • Leonard found back valiantly in the 12th round to win it on all 3 judges score cards. He did not score a knock down again, however, one judge gave him a 10 – 8 score again (as in round 5) . This turned out to be the difference in the fight as it caused the split decision draw. Had the round be scored 10 – 9, rather than 10 – 8 for Ray, Hearns would have won the match.

Hearns vs. Leonard II (Score Card)

Our score card (BOXXXING) is below. I am sure there will be many who disagree with it. Click here for a list of other fan’s Hearns vs. Leonard II score cards.

RDS (1-6) 01 02 03 04 05 06 TOTALS
Leonard 10 10 8 9 10 9 56
Hearns 9 10 10 10 8 10 57
RDS (7-12) 07 08 09 10 11 12 TOTALS
Leonard 10 9 10 10 8 10 113
Hearns 10 10 9 9 10 9 114