Current superfight recalls Hagler vs. Leonard

April 14, 2015 3:00 AM


Superfight recalls Hagler-HearnsIt’s April 11, 1987 and GamingToday, then known as Sports Form, Volume 12, Number 15, has hit the streets in Las Vegas, and for that matter, all over the west and the nation.

Twenty-eight years after the mega-fight between “Sugar” Ray Leonard and “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler we’re gearing up for next month’s Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao showdown. “Money” Mayweather and the “Pac Man” have big shoes to fill to put on a superior show to Leonard vs. Hagler as “Sugar Ray” took Hagler’s middleweight crown on a split decision.

Sports Form reported this to be the richest fight in history as Hagler earned a guaranteed $12 million plus percentages and Leonard, a 3/1 underdog, took home a solid $11.5 million, expanded to at least a million more when his closed-circuit TV rights in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area were tabulated.

Publisher Chuck Di Rocco, ghost writing under his “Mike Bravo” moniker, forecast total fight revenue beyond $100 million and declared a new “Golden Era” of sports to be upon us.

Mayweather and Pacquiao are projected to divide up total gate and pay-per view revenues in the $300 million range.

Other front-page news, besides the fight, included the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings prepping for playoff runs under the watchful eye of columnist John Bennett. Greg Norman was posted by the Las Vegas Hilton as the 7/2 favorite to win the Masters with Seve Ballesteros at 9/2. Larry Mize, part of the 4/1 field, beat them both in a playoff for the only “major” win of his career.

Mize got $162,000. This year’s winner Jordan Spieth collected $1.62 million. That’s tipping money to Floyd and Manny.

The Colorado Belle in Laughlin was topped off this week in 1987 as it would soon become Circus Circus Enterprises’ sixth Nevada resort.

Popular Sports Form columnist Huey Mahl warned readers if they didn’t pay attention to money management their chances of being successful were greatly diminished. The weekly “Bingo Coverall” column suggested that to stay healthy hospitals and rest homes should offer daily bingo games as a “relaxer with high therapeutic value.”

Cryptoclearance and Temperate Sil were coming off wins in the Florida and Santa Anita Derbies respectively. However, when the Kentucky Derby day dawned in less than a month, it was Jack Van Berg’s Alysheba crossing the finish line first. Cryptoclerance was fourth and Temperate Sil, trained by Charlie Whittingham, took ill and never made the race.

Riviera race and sports book manager Jack Lysaght talked about his popular Twin Quinella wager. The 1987 jackpot started at $1,000 with 60 percent of all monies wagered added to the pool until the wager was hit. The Twin Q is now a staple at all the Stations race books where the jackpot starts most days at $5,000.

Sports Form and GamingToday friend and longtime supporter Gino Ferraro slashed prices at both his Italian delicatessens offering Citterio Genoa Salami, among other specials, for a mere $3.99 per pound. Sadly, that bargain is long gone.

While the venerable Riviera closes forever in May, and Hagler never fought again, the affable Gino is still serving some of the best food in Las Vegas at his fabulous Paradise Road eatery. Some things change in 28 years and some things do not.

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