The quartet of Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler were known as the “Four Kings” in the 1980s because they all stepped into the ring and faced one another throughout the decade in memorable fights.
With the recent rise of the lightweights in Devin Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) and Gervonta Davis (24-0, 23 KOs), many have billed the foursome to be just as prolific as their eighties predecessors, despite the fact that none of them have even fought each other.
Matchroom Boxing head and Haney promoter Eddie Hearn believes the billing of the current 135-pounders is too ambitious.
“I saw ESPN put something out about the ‘Four Kings’ … which was a little bit adventurous,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “But they could be, but let’s look at that era. Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, they all boxed each other, and numerous times.
“That’s what we have to do … let’s start making the fights. They can have trilogies, it doesn’t matter, but they’re all so young and they’re willing to take the risks and the challenges,” said Hearn. “There is not one fight between those four that is not mouth-watering. I was winding up Teofimo in Texas, saying, ‘you’re not undisputed.’”
The four lightweights have a combined record of 86 wins, no losses, and all of them are in their prime, with Davis being the oldest at the age of 26, and Haney and Garcia the youngest at 22. Lopez is 23.
Following his win over Luke Campbell, Garcia used his stage to call out Davis. The two carried the conversation and trash talk over to Mike Tyson’s podcast in the following days.
Hearn doesn’t think a fight will be feasible between Garcia and Davis because of their promotional and broadcast affiliations.
“I’d rather focus on what can happen, and that’s Haney against [WBC mandatory challenger] Garcia,” said Hearn. “Let’s start this ball rolling for these wonderful four young fighters.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com