ADDENDUM: LOT HEADING AND MINIMUM BID UPDATED FROM CATALOG. DESCRIPTION UPDATED AS WELL.
Two of Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns' eight world titles came from the World Boxing Association. Founded in 1921, the WBA is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious of boxing's four recognized international governing bodies. Hearns' first WBA title was in the Welterweight (147-lb.)division when he defeated Pipino Cuevas of Mexico via 2nd round TKO on August 2, 1980 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. He retained this title through three fights, knocking out Luis Primera, Randy Shields and Pablo Baez in an 8-month span, before facing off against Sugar Ray Leonard on September 16, 1981. Leonard entered the highly-anticipated fight as the undisputed WBC Welterweight Champion, so both Hall of Fame fighters put their respective titles on the line. The epic 14-round bout ended with a TKO victory for Leonard. Ten years later, Hearns won his second WBA title, this time in the Light Heavyweight (175-lb.) division when he defeated Virgil Hill on June 3, 1991 in a 12-round unanimous decision at Caesars Palace.
This official presentation belt is most likely attributed to Hearns' first WBA title reign in the Welterweight division from August 2, 1980 (Cuevas) - September 18, 1981 (Leonard). The length (48") and design of this presentation belt is consistent with those officially issued by the WBA. Altogether, it weighs 9.4 lbs. The black genuine leather belt has an attractive burgundy trim with three gold-painted metal sculpture ovals - an 8-inch WBA-branded buckle-like center with two blank 4-inch gold-mirrored plates on either side. The large center sculpture buckle features a crown at the top lined with faux red gemstones (three missing). There is some tarnishing visible around each of the gloves flanking the WBA logo. Underneath the crown are two boxing gloves with a WBA enamel badge at the center. The badge reads "WORLD BOXING ASSOCIATION CHAMPION." The two smaller flanked plates feature a repeat of the faux gemstone lined crown on the large buckle, just on a much smaller scale. The back of the belt is simple black leather. Because later WBA belts featured a velvet or fur-like lining, this belt is most likely attributed to Hearns' earlier title. The exact date this presentation belt was presented to Hearns by the WBA is unknown (not ringside), but it most likely occurred at a WBA awards ceremony in the 1980s honoring his great Welterweight title reign that ended with Hearns-Leonard I. Aside from a few missing gemstones, it comes largely as-issued and problem-free from Tommy Hearns' personal collection.
Includes a Letter of Authenticity from Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns.
Thomas "Hitman" Hearns vs Pipino Cuevas