By Kevin Davis
Many young boxing fans don't quite understand, how much these fighters changed the face of boxing in the early 80's. In the late 70's, the boxing torch was being passed on to Sugar Ray Leonard. Muhammed Ali was nearing the end of his career, this new grew of underrated fighters where starting to make there mark on the game. Thomas the Hitman Hearns, tall strong power puncher at welterweight, made the biggest slash on the scene as the threat to Leonard, and at middleweight Marvelous Marvin Hagler, was fighting for respect in a division that didn't want him. He kept winning fights and hoping one day a huge fight would happen with one of the welterweight greats.
Roberto Duran came along and gave Leonard his first loss and the fans around the globe thought maybe they were wrong about him being the next great fighter, but after the Hearns victory Leonard was truly viewed as the best welterweight and a match-up against Hagler should be next but he retired from the sport before it could happen. While he was gone Hagler and Hearns used Duran drawing power to make classic matchups and big gates. When Leonard returned Hearns was still great and so was Thomas Hearns. Even after Hearns was defeated by Hagler in three rounds in an all action packed fight, the boxing world didn't dump on Herans they celebrated both men as champions and appreciated the effort that was giving for their dollar.
So who saved boxing in the 80's they all did, the interest they created, brought eyes to other fighters coming up in the boxing game. When Mike Tyson came along he brought life back to the dying heavyweight division, but the market was stable because of these boxing champions.