Originally Posted by Hands of Iron
I'd agree with you, if only Leonard hadn't had Hearns hurt and in trouble as early as the sixth. In hindsight, he feasibly could've turned on the juice earlier than the 13th and stopped Hearns.
I agree Ray could have turned it on, but the risk of being countered was what made him hold back and follow Hearns and get hit by that jab. I think Ray figured take the jab but not the right since think Ray was afraid of being countered and nailed and also I think he was a little stunned at Hearns speed and didn't know what to do with the jabs that quick picking him up and down
. I also think Ray was not sure how much energy Hearns had left. He punched himself out a little in rounds 6 and 7 and here was Hearns still jabbing him fast to the body and head. Hagler when he fought Hearns figured he would take it all and hit Hearns and it worked out, but look what punches he had to take and he was solid at 160 in 1985 more than Tommy. But he won. Hagler just walked in and stood there and landed his punches.
When Ray finally hurt Tommy again in round 13, he went crazy to get the knockout because he knew he had the chance which took him 5 rounds to get back. He didn't want Tommy to recover anymore he saw his chance, and even then he had to keep punching to put Tommy down. By that point Tommy was exhausted. Ray was actually took more chances in the rematch I thought than the first fight. It was a more physical fight, but the skills were a lot slower.
By the way, at the time the fight was stopped in round 14,Tommy said he could continue, which I don't agree with. He could have gone on another 15 seconds, but Ray would have stopped him worse. I think the ref Davey Pearl gave Tommy a longer career by stopping it a little early. And Richard Steele with Barkley and Hagler prevented Tommy from taking punches after being hurt. That is part of the reason Hearns could have a long career. Many fighters who have short careers took those long beatings. They don't seem to recover well. I know I went off on another subject. My point is Davey Pearl helped Tommy have a great career.