Lot # 827: TOMMY "THE HITMAN" HEARNS' WBA PRESENTATION BELT ATTRIBUTED TO LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE (HEARNS LOA)

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Item was in Auction "Summer Premier Auction 2014",
which ran from 8/6/2014 5:00 PM to
8/24/2014 8:00 AM



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 today. Hearns' first WBA title was in the Welterweight (147-lb.) division when he defeated Pipino Cuevas of Cuba 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 fellow Hall of Famer Virgil Hill (of Native American descent) on June 3, 1991 in a 12-round unanimous decision at Caesars Palace.

This presentation belt is most likely attributed to Hearns' second WBA title won over Virgil Hill in the Light Heavyweight division. The length (46") and design of this presentation belt is consistent with those officially issued by the WBA. Altogether, it weighs 7.8 lbs. The black genuine leather belt has an attractive burgundy trim with three gold-painted metal sculpture ovals, an 8-inch WBA-branded center buckle 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 (one 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 features a burgundy velvet interior lining and Velcro closure on the straps. The velvet interior indicates a more modern style consistent with later WBA belts; thus it is attributed to his more recent Light Heavyweight title. The exact date this official belt was presented to Hearns by the WBA is unknown, but it most likely occurred at a WBA awards ceremony during the 1990s honoring Hearns for his 2nd WBA title in two weight classes, won over 10 years apart. It comes largely as-issued and problem-free from Tommy Hearns' personal collection.

Includes a Letter of Authenticity from Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns.

Thomas Hearns vs Virgil Hill June 3, 1991