Oddly, no one has mentioned Tommy Hearns, who beat Benitez last December for the title and is the one fighter who could provide Hagler with a big payday. In the past, the Hagier camp has said that Hearns wants no part of Hagler, even though the two men almost met last year, before an injury to Hearns's hand canceled the bout.
"Not so," said Mike Trainer, the attorney for Hearns and his manager, Emanuel Steward. "That is the only big-money fight for Marvin. But not yet, although I'll sit down and talk with them about it tomorrow if they want. First Tommy has to defend his title. And then he has to move up and meet a few middleweights to make this a credible fight. Hearns is the only opponent Hagler has who can make him a lot of money. Roldan's a joke. And you can forget Duran and Benitez, because Benitez has beaten Duran and Tommy beat Benitez. If Marvin wants to make a lot of money, he has only one choice—Hearns."
But if Trainer really wants to talk to Hagler, he'll have to get in line. Sulaiman is already knocking on his rebellious champion's front door. "I believe the people with Hagler have abandoned the WBC title," Sulaiman said Saturday. "But I want Hagler to tell me this himself. I respect him; I like him. I will go anywhere to meet with him. I will pay my own way. Only then, after I have talked with Marvin, will I make up my mind whether he's still our champion or has abandoned us. And if he has, we'll find somebody else. At this moment he is still our champion."
Goody Petronelli said that Sulaiman is welcome to sit down and talk with the world champion anytime. "But my brother Pat and I will be there, too," he said. "Anyhow, right now all Marvin is thinking about is taking the summer off. He's worked long and hard, and he deserves a long rest. He's going to get it. In the fall he'll be a new man; he'll be raring to go. Then we can talk about his future."
As Hagler left Providence for his home in Brockton, Mass. on Saturday, he said that fall sounded like a nice time to make his decision. "I'll let you know in September or November." As everyone knows, October is for Halloween, which is almost as scary as Hagler.