Monday, March 12, 2007

Hit Man Poem

Originally published by Gulf Coast and At the Fishouse

Prayer in the Name of Saint Thomas Hearns

O Tommy Hearns, O blood come down.
Come down on the jaw, from the upper-

cut as the lights cut out on Park Street.
The Getto Brothers run beneath the fire

hydrants arc. I love you. Every inch.
And ask that you forget forgiveness

and find your way to Hungerford where my
father glowers over me. Show him

how the bag does penance, how it hobbles
back and forth so rapt. It speeds back to

your cocked fist. It cannot get enough, sings
Sorry, Sorry. Who cares. Amen

Gaby Calvocoressi, aka Gabrielle Calvocoressi, teaches at Warren Wilson College's MFA program and at California College of Art's MFA Program. She formerly taught at Stanford University. Her book, "The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart" (Persea Books), won the top poetry prize from the Connecticut Center for the Book in 2006. It contains a cycle inspired by the Hartford circus fire of 1944.
"Circus Fire, 1944," published in Paris Review, won the
B.F. Connors Prize.
When she received the Center for the Book prize, Calvocoressi said she got her first library card at the Hartford Public Library. Calvocoressi received her M.F.A. from Columbia University. She is currently working on a poem about Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Calvocoressi lives in Los Angeles.

About Thomas The Hitman Hearns, aka Motor City Cobra
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas Hearns (born October 18, 1958, in Memphis, Tennessee), is an American 7-time world champion professional boxer.

Blessed with exceptional height (6'1"), a broad back, and unusually long arms, Hearns has been known for his destructive punching power. His promotional fight names are "Thomas Hit Man Hearns," and "The Motor City Cobra."

He is known best for his devastating right hand, and for carrying his left hand low- a stance he uses to lure foes into an exchange, as well as to maximize the speed and change the angle of his jab, a technique called the "flicker jab". He has scored many memorable knockouts in his career, and is widely considered as one of the best boxers of all-time.

Amateur Career

Hearns had an outstanding amateur record of 155-8.
In 1977 he was named the National AAU Light Welterweight champion, decisioning Bobby Joe Young of Steubenville, OH, in the final.

Professional Career

Hearns began his professional boxing career in Detroit, Michigan, under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward in 1977.

He has won seven world championships in six weight classes during his pro career, beating such notables as Jose 'Pipino' Cuevas, Roberto Duran, Virgil Hill, Michael Olajide, Dennis Bolton, Mark Medal, and Wilfred Benitez.

Hearns won his first championship by KO'ing Pipino Cuevas in the 2nd round of their fight in 1980. After defending the WBA welterweight championship successfully three times aginst Luis Primera, Randy Shields, and Pablo Baez, he suffered his first career defeat at the hands of Leonard in 1981 (TKO in 14).

He won the WBC junior middleweight title from Wilfred Benitez in New Orleans in December 1982 and defended that title against Luigi Minchillo, Roberto Duran, Fred Hutchings, and Mark Medal (with only Minchillo going the distance). During his reign at this weight, Hearns also ventured to the middleweight division as well. His biggest-name foe in that class, world champion Marvin Hagler, beat him in three (Apr 1985), but he also scored wins over Murray Sutherland (decision, 1983), James Shuler (KO, 1986), and Doug DeWitt (decision, 1986) at the 160-lb. level.

Other notable title fights involving the Hit Man included his 10th-round TKO of Dennis Andries to win the WBC light heavyweight title in March 1987, his sensational four-round destruction of the feared Juan Roldan later that year to claim the vacant WBC middleweight title, his shocking TKO loss to Iran Barkley in his first defense of that same title, his convincing decision that halted Virgil Hill's winning streak (and won Hill's WBA light heavyweight title) in 1991, and his rematch loss to Barkley in 1992.

Despite having a top-class record, including a 2nd round KO of Roberto Duran, Hearns was frequently overshadowed by his losses to Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvelous Marvin Hagler, despite putting in stellar performances against both. In his 1981 welterweight unification fight against Leonard, billed as The Showdown, Hearns was ahead on the scorecards before losing by TKO. Four years later, when Hearns was pitted against Hagler, he was KO'ed in the 3rd round of a fight many observers called "the greatest three rounds of boxing in history".

Hearns had to wait until 1989 for a rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard, a fight which much of the public believed he won, flooring Leonard in both the 3rd and 11th rounds. However, the judges scored the fight a draw.

Hearns has continued to fight into his late forties. On February 4th, 2006, he beat Shannon Landberg at the Palace of Auburn Hills to raise his career record to 61-5-1 with 48 knockouts.


The Hearns family is a fixture on the Detroit sports scene. Thomas' mother, Lois Hearns, is a fight promoter. She owns, with her son, Hearns Entertainment, a company that has promoted many cards, including the Mike Tyson-Andrew Golota bout in 2000. Hearns' son Ronald Hearns is a rising boxer, and has fought on the undercard of his father's recent fights.

Hearns is a popular figure and participates in many charity and celebrity events in Southeastern Michigan. He is well known for his amiable personality and being very receptive to fans. As far back as 1983, Hearns sponsored events to help support the Detroit Public Library, and during Super Bowl XL in 2006, he helped benefit the The Greater Detroit Charitable Foundation gala dinner.

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