Join Date: May 2010
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Emanuel Steward: I think Tommy and Ray are superior fighters than the fighters today"
In a quote from Geoff Ciani's Interview with hall of fame trainer Emanuel Steward, he was asked how he believes Hearns and Leonard would fare in today***8217;s welterweight division, and he said this.....
Similarities between Hearns-Leonard and Pacquiao-Mayweather:
Well with time, things have become a lot more complicated now. I mean the things today with blood testing, and so many charges of this or that, and Pacquiao suing Mayweather for slander. It***8217;s just a different time, but I think the fight should be made and will be made. But it was a lot easier then because at the time when we made our fight, we didn***8217;t have to speak to anyone about it. Trainer and I met. I was the one that spoke for Tommy, I was his manager and Mike was the guy represented Ray Leonard and we sat down, made a deal, and agreed to it. Fighting was just simpler. Everything now is just so much more complicated.
Then we got to check when one promoter may not get along with the other promoter and because of that, that***8217;s a major problem. Then when the fight***8217;s made, one promoter has to make sure how much he makes compared to the other promoter, and there is fighting over the foreign TV rights, and then sometimes one guy may be with Showtime and another guy***8217;s with HBO, which we had that problem which made it difficult for Lennox and Mike that time. But times have changed and everyone is fighting to try and get some edge but at that time it was much simpler.
What made Tommy and Ray such a great fight was it was two guys who gave a great display of everything. I mean Tommy being out on his feet in the sixth round, and battling his way back for the next six rounds to try and regain control, Ray coming storming back all out again. Even during the rounds themselves, at one point one guy would have a good spot and then the other guy would come back right away. It was just a really great fight and you don***8217;t see that today. The fighters today, everybody***8217;s fighting except for a few guys, a lot of them are fighting safety first fights. They land, they fight intelligently, they don***8217;t want to take risks. It***8217;s just a little bit of a different type of fight. Aside for Manny Pacquiao, and that***8217;s what makes him such a popular fighter I think.
Everything is more complicated now, and at that time you had two guys who were both balanced boxers, punchers, technicians, great amateur backgrounds, and all of the elements of a great fight. Then you had the element of Ray being so closely identified with people here in Detroit from where he stayed and trained at the Kronk Gym in ***8217;76 and then Tommy spent a lot of time back and forth in Maryland so Tommy even had a lot of friends from Ray***8217;s hometown. It was just one of those really great situations and you just don***8217;t get that anymore. You had even the two cities. In the amateurs, it would always be Kronk fighters in the finals would always have their hardest fights with the guys from the DC area. So it was just like a carryover from the amateurs where it was Kronk against the DC guys for a lot of finals and the National Championships.
But you don***8217;t have that today. None of these guys are really like that. Pacquiao***8217;s got his Filipino thing and that***8217;s about it. It***8217;s a fight that I think is going to be made because the public is going to make it happen.
On how he believes Hearns and Leonard would fare in today***8217;s welterweight division:
Beyond any doubt I think they would dominate. I think Tommy and Ray are superior fighters than the fighters today in the welterweight division.
Do you posters agree with how he feels Leonard and Hearns would do in today's boxing?
Assuming that they have not fought IMO the P4P rankings would look like this:
1. Ray Leonard
2. Thomas Hearns
3. Floyd Mayweather
4. Manny Pacquiao.
Last edited by Vadrigar.; 07-13-2010 at 01:18 PM.