THE SIDELINES : 3rd Match for Hearns, Leonard

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Longtime boxing rivals Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard say they will fight a third time.

“The rematch is imminent,” Hearns told The Detroit News in a story in today’s editions. “It must happen. I can’t go on to the next fight until this one has been resolved.”

Leonard agreed.

“We’ve spoken at length about it together and we both can’t get any farther in our careers without it,” he said from Tampa, Fla., where he is training for a Feb. 9 title fight against World Boxing Council super welterweight champion Terry Norris.


Leonard, 34, and Hearns, 32, fought to a draw in June, 1989, although many believed Hearns should have won the decision. Leonard stopped Detroit’s “Hitman” in the 14th round of their first fight in September, 1981.