It Was 39 Years Ago, Hagler-Hearns, Al Bernstein Recalls



It Was 39 Years Ago, Hagler-Hearns, Al Bernstein Recalls

Al Bernstein jogged the memory storage unit this afternoon, milling his ringside call of an ATG for eternity, Hagler-Hearns.

They don’t and won’t make em like that so much anymore, I thought to myself.

That’s a shame, mostly, though there will probably less Ali Parkinson’s and CTE scarring in the people plying the trade in these “softer” times.

That brutality wasn’t “beautiful,” that’s just pleasing phrasing. Brutal, yes.

The intensity manufactured by the site of one human stalking the other, going on for the figurative (?) kill.

Al Bernstein was ringside for Hagler-Hearns

So, I asked Al, a bastion at ESPN then, does he

see that fight same as he did on April 15, 1985?

Al Bernstein Worked With Another Al (Not Albert)

“Both men did some tremendous work. My feelings about the fight have not changed dramatically as I’ve rewatched it. You pick up different things in rewatching. The first right hand by Hearns still seems frantic and Marvin once told me that was as hard as he had ever been hit.”

Btw, this “The Fight” ran on HBO, with Barry Tompkins doing duty with Sugar Ray Leonard and Larry Merchant. Al B and Al Michaels (!) worked the Closed Circuit call.

From Wikipedia


“And the urgency of Hagler based on the severity of the cut stand out to me every time I watch it again,” said the Hall of Famer, building his work calendar back up after Showtime Sports shuttered. He called a heavyweight bout from Bulgaria last week.

“The crowd that night actually felt subdued to me a bit but that changed so dramatically when the walk in started,” Bernstein said when I waxed nostalgic about the good old days.

And yes, how our super fight Saturday night will pale in comparison and long term impact. “Of course the excitement during the fight was so palpable,” said Al Bernstein. “Everyone there knew they were watching something truly remarkable and historic.”

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.