Early 1986 Fantasy Matchup 160 lbs - Hearns vs Mugabi

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by biglads, Nov 20, 2023.

Who Wins?

  1. Hearns

    10 vote(s)
  2. Mugabi

    5 vote(s)
  1. biglads

    biglads Climbing the WBO Rankings Full Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    It's early 1986 and instead of Hearns-Shuler and Hagler-Mugabi we have Tommy Hearns on the comeback trail following his fight with Hagler taking on the then peaking and undefeated John "the Beast" Mugabi.

    How do you see this one panning out? Does Tommy use his physical advantages to try to avoid a brawl and keep Mugabi at bay, or does he trust his healed right hand to do the job that it narrowly failed to do on Marvin? Can Mugabi get to Tommy's chin, hurt and stop him?

    I see this as a genuine 50-50 fight at this juncture. Move ahead to 1987 or later and Tommy wins but Mugabi at the time was pretty frightening and whilst the Hagler fight probably finished him as a top-tier fighter, arguably it took an awful lot of what Hagler had left in the tank. For Tommy, this would have probably presented a much higher risk than Shuler and would have been seen as a gutsy move.

    I can see either guy winning this, I'd like to side with Tommy due to his much greater overall legacy and talent, but a confident, peaking Mugabi might just be too much for him as a first fight back after The War.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2023
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  2. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo VIP Member Full Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Both men hit like a truck and both had chins which could be cracked. Hearns had the much higher skill level which could be the tie breaker but if he gets foolishly lured into a trading match it could be his undoing.
    biglads likes this.
  3. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 VIP Member Full Member

    Apr 27, 2005
  4. Titan1

    Titan1 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    I think Tommy wins in about 8 or 9 rounds. But he better be on his P's and Q's for this one.
    biglads likes this.
  5. Dynamicpuncher

    Dynamicpuncher Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 14, 2022
    I'll go with Hearns by early KO but Mugabi has a punchers chance for sure. Hearns had a few shaky performances at Middleweight.
    biglads likes this.
  6. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Oct 4, 2016
    I remember reading KO magazine back then and one article stated that insiders said Emanual Steward wanted to steer Hearns away from Mugabi.
    The risk reward was too great. In my opinion Tommy would be very successful early boxing as Steward wouldn't want him exposing himself by getting into exchanges but the Beast, was a Beast back then and I think his team would have him go right at Tommy as everyone knew that even a glancing hook from Mugabi would stagger Hearns. If they'd have fought I'm certain Tommy would have been the favorite and I'd have bet on Mugabi. Not confidently mind you but at that time at 154 pounds the Beast was calling out Hearns not the other way around.
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  7. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    Hearns should win, but this could be like the first Hearns - Barkley fight.
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  8. apollack

    apollack Boxing Addict Full Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Hearns by early KO.
  9. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
  10. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Oct 4, 2016

    Excellent observation.
    Fergy likes this.