Hearns was born in Memphis, Tennessee and began his professional boxing career in Detroit, Michigan under the tutilage of the legendary Emanuel Steward in 1977, after posting a 155-8 amateur record.
Although Hearns was frequently overshadowed by the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvelous Marvin Hagler during his career, he became a superstar in his own right, eventually posting a 59-4-1 (46) record, winning seven world championships in six weight classes during his 22 year pro career. During his career he beat such notables as Jose 'Pipino' Cuevas, Roberto Duran, Virgil Hill, Michael Olajide, Dennis Andries, Mark Medal and Wilfredo Benitez.
Hearns won his first championship by KO'ing the legendary Pepino Cuevas in the second round of their fight in 1980. After defending the WBC welterweight championship successfully three times, he suffered his first career defeat at the hands of Leonard in 1981. Four years later, matched with Hagler, he was KO'ed in the third round of a fight many observers called "the greatest three rounds of boxing in history".
See also: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns