Maryland attorney Mike Trainer, who manages Sugar Ray Leonard's boxing career, discounted a news report out of Detroit yesterday that Leonard and archrival Thomas Hearns were close to signing for a third fight.
Leonard won the first match in 1981, stopping Hearns in the 14th round to win the undisputed welterweight crown. They battled to a 12-round draw in June 1989, with Leonard conceding that Hearns, who floored him twice, deserved the decision.
"The rematch is imminent," Hearns had told the Detroit News. "It must happen. I can't go on to the next fight until this one has been resolved."
Said Trainer, "We haven't discussed such a match with Hearns since shortly after Ray beat Roberto Duran over a year ago.
"At that time, Ray thought a third fight with Tommy was his next logical match. But Hearns had just split with his manager [Emanuel Steward] and he was also walking around at 185 pounds.
"Right now, they're going in opposite directions. Ray told him they could only fight again if Tommy got down to 165, and I can't see that happening. Hearns is basically a light-heavyweight , while Ray's normal weight is under 160."
Trainer was with Leonard at the Safety Harbor Inn near Tampa, Fla., where the six-time world champion is preparing for his Feb. 9 match against World Boxing Council super welterweight (154 pounds) champion Terry Norris at Madison Square Garden.
Hearns, 32, who has won five world titles, reportedly is in line for a championship match with WBC light-heavyweight king Virgil Hill this spring.
Leonard and Hearns last met at a ceremony in Atlantic City, N.J., Dec. 7, when Leonard was selected as the "Boxer of the Decade."
No plans for a third ring encounter were discussed. Hearns said he was more interested in luring former middleweight champion Marvin Hagler, now acting in foreign films, out of retirement.