|Real name||Pernell Whitaker|
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Reach||175 cm (69 in)|
January 2, 1964 |
Norfolk, Virginia, USA
|Wins by KO||17|
|Competitor for the United States|
|1984 Los Angeles||Lightweight|
|Pan American Games|
|World Amateur Championships|
Pernell Whitaker (born January 2, 1964 in Norfolk, Virginia), nicknamed "Sweet Pea," is a professional boxing trainer and retired American professional boxer. Whitaker was the lightweight silver medalist at the 1982 World Championships, followed by the gold medalist at the 1983 Pan American Games and the 1984 Olympics. Whitaker then embarked on a pro career in which he became world champion in four different weight divisions. During his career, he fought world champions such as Julio César Chávez, Oscar De La Hoya and Félix Trinidad. For his achievements, he was named the 1989 Fighter of the year by Ring Magazine.
Whitaker is also a former WBA Light Middleweight Champion, WBC Welterweight Champion, IBF Light Welterweight Champion, WBC, WBA & IBF Lightweight Champion and NABF Lightweight Champion. He is universally heralded as one of the top 5 lightweights of all time.
After his retirement, Whitaker returned into the world of boxing as a trainer. Among his trained boxers are Zab Judah, Dorin Spivey, Joel Julio and Calvin Brock. In 2002, Ring Magazine ranked him at number 10 in their list of 'The 100 Greatest Fighters of the Last 80 Years.' On December 7, 2006, Whitaker was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility.
- 1 Fighting style
- 2 Amateur career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 Nickname
- 5 Personal life
- 6 After Boxing
- 7 Professional boxing record
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Whitaker was a "southpaw" (left hand dominant) boxer, known for his outstanding defensive skills and for being a strong counterpuncher. He was not an over-powering hitter on offense but applied a steady attack while, at the same time, being extremely slippery and difficult to hit with a solid blow.
Whitaker had an extensive amateur boxing career, having started at the age of nine. He had 214 amateur fights, winning 201, 91 of them by knockouts, though he says that he has had up to 500 amateur fights. He lost to two-time Olympic Gold medalist Ángel Herrera Vera at the final of the World Championships 1982 but beat him four times, notably in the final of the Pan American Games 1983 in Caracas. He crowned his amateur career with an Olympic Gold Medal in 1984.
In just his eleventh and twelfth pro bouts, Whitaker beat Alfredo Layne on December 20, 1986 and former WBA Super Featherweight title holder Roger Mayweather on March 28, 1987. Whitaker won both bouts before hometown crowds at the Norfolk Scope, less than a mile from where he lived as a child in a Norfolk housing project. Whitaker would fight nine times in the Scope arena during his career.
On March 12, 1988, he challenged José Luis Ramírez for the WBC Lightweight title in Levallois, France. He suffered his first pro defeat when the judges awarded a split decision to Ramirez. The decision was highly controversial, with most feeling that Whitaker had won the fight with something to spare. In his 1999 edition of the 'World Encyclopedia of Boxing,' Harry Mullan stated that the decision in this bout was "generally considered to be a disgrace." To date, the decision is rated at or near the top 5 in many observer's worst ever boxing decisions lists.
Whitaker trudged on, winning a decision over Greg Haugen for the IBF Lightweight title on February 18, 1989, becoming the first boxer to knock Haugen down by dropping him in the sixth round. He then added the vacant WBC belt by avenging his loss to Ramirez on August 20.
Now a champion, Whitaker proceeded to dominate boxing's middle divisions over the first half of the 1990s. In 1990, he defended his Lightweight title against future champion Freddie Pendleton and Super Featherweight Champion Azumah Nelson of Ghana. On August 11, 1990, he knocked out Juan Nazario in one round to win the vacant The Ring and WBA titles, becoming the first Undisputed Lightweight Champion since Roberto Durán. His highlight of 1991 was a win over Jorge Páez and a fight against European Champion Poli Díaz that ended in another win.
On March 6, 1993, he decisioned James (Buddy) McGirt to become the Lineal and WBC Welterweight Champion.
Whitaker vs Chávez
Whitaker was gaining momentum and boxing experts and fans felt that he needed to win against the pound for pound best boxer in the world: Julio César Chávez. The two met in a welterweight superfight simply named "The Fight" on September 10, 1993 in San Antonio, Texas. In the eyes of many of the spectators, Whitaker outboxed the Mexican legend. However, 2 of the 3 judges saw an even bout with the other judge scoring in favor of Whitaker, resulting in a majority draw. Sports Illustrated featured a cover titled "ROBBED!" after the conclusion of this fight and believed that Whitaker had won 9 of the 12 rounds in the fight. The now defunct Boxing Illustrated magazine, whose editor-in-chief was boxing historian Bert Sugar, had a heading on the cover of its post-fight edition telling readers not to buy the issue if they really believed "The Fight" was a draw.
Whitaker continued on to dominate for the next few years, defending his welterweight title in a rematch against McGirt on October 1, 1994.
For good measure, in his next fight on March 4, 1995, Whitaker added Julio César Vásquez's WBA light-middleweight title to his collection. This was a history-making fight for Whitaker, as he became only the 4th fighter - joining Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran - to have won a legitimate world title in 4 different weight classes, but he chose to remain at welterweight.
Return to welterweight
Whitaker successfully defend his WBC belt against Scotland's Gary Jacobs on August 26, 1995. In January, 1997, Whitaker put his title on the line against Cuban fighter Diosbelys Hurtado. Hurtado gave Whitaker all he could handle and then some. Hurtado had Whitaker down on all the judges scorecards going into the 11th round: Hurtado scored flash knockdowns against Whitaker in rounds 1 and 6, and Whitaker had a point deducted in the 9th round for hitting Hurtado behind the head. But midway in the 11th round, Whitaker landed a left hook that hurt Hurtado and, in a rare display of aggression & power, unleashed a barrage of left-handed power shots, pummeling Hurtado into the ropes, knocking Hurtado out and almost completely out of the ring before referee Arthur Mercante Jr. stopped the fight at the 1:52 mark, giving Whitaker the come-from-behind TKO win. The win set up a showdown with undefeated 1992 Olympic gold medalist Oscar De La Hoya.
Whitaker vs De La Hoya
He met Oscar De La Hoya on April 12, 1997, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Whitaker, defending his WBC championship and the mythical status as the best fighter "pound for pound", succeeded in making De La Hoya look bad through his crafty defense, but he was unable to mount a sufficient offense to convince the judges. Whitaker was awarded an official knockdown in the 9th round and, according to CompuBox stats, outlanded De La Hoya in overall punches & connect percentage, using the jab as his primary weapon; but De La Hoya threw and landed almost twice as many power punches & had a slightly higher power punch connect percentage than Whitaker, which may have been the key factor in De La Hoya winning by a disputed unanimous decision. At the end of the fight, the judges' scores were 111-115, 110-116, 110-116. The fight was a whole lot closer than what the final scorecards showed, and there were many boxing analysts & sportswriters at ringside who felt that Whitaker actually won the fight. It was another controversial decision against Whitaker, but it wasn't seen as a blatant robbery like the Ramirez or Chavez fights.
For his part, De La Hoya didn't seem too pleased with his own performance and had hinted at giving Whitaker a rematch to prove that he could do better against him. However, his promoter at that time, Bob Arum, decided against it. 
Whitaker's next bout was against Russian born fighter Andrey Pestryaev in a world title elimination fight, where the winner would earn an automatic #1 contender spot for the WBA Welterweight crown, held at the time by Ike Quartey. Whitaker originally won the fight, but the win was nullified & changed to a No Decision after he failed a post-fight drug test.
Trinidad vs Whitaker
On February 20, 1999, Whitaker suffered his first sound defeat against the much bigger, much fresher Félix Trinidad, gamely taking the Puerto Rican the distance in an attempt to win Trinidad's IBF welterweight title. The fight began with both boxers displaying aggressive styles, which included excessive pushing. In the following rounds, both boxers used their jabs most of the time, with Trinidad gaining an advantage when Whitaker attempted to attack inside, eventually scoring a knockdown in round two. In the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds the fighters exchanged combinations. Later in the fight, both boxers fell to the canvas in what were ruled as "accidental slips." On the seventh round, Whitaker displayed more offense, trading power punches with Trinidad, but the champion retained control in the fight's tempo during the eight, ninth and tenth rounds. In the last round, Whitaker, with a badly swollen right eye, displayed a purely defensive stance, avoiding his opponent throughout the round while Trinidad continued on the offensive until the fight concluded. The judges gave the champion scores of 117–111, 118–109 and 118–109.
His last fight came on April 27, 2001, against journeyman Carlos Bojorquez. Whitaker, the former lightweight, entered the ring at 155 pounds. He broke his clavicle in round four and was forced to retire; at the time of the stoppage Whitaker was trailing in all the judges' scorecards by 28-29. Following this fight, Whitaker officially announced his retirement. He finished his professional career with an official record of 40-4-1 (17 knockouts).
In 2002, The Ring ranked Whitaker as the 10th Greatest Fighter of the Last 80 Years.
On December 7, 2006, Whitaker was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame along with contemporaries Roberto Durán and Ricardo López. They were all elected in their first year of eligibility.
As a youngster, Whitaker was known to friends and family as "Pete" and when he began to emerge as a top amateur, fans in his hometown of Norfolk used to serenade him with chants of "Sweet Pete." This was misinterpreted by a local sportswriter as "Sweet Pea." When this erroneous report came out in the local newspaper, the new nickname stuck.
Pernell married Rovanda Anthony on December 21, 1985 in the boxing ring at the Virginia Beach Pavilion Convention Center after a boxing card he had originally been scheduled to compete in until a broken left foot forced him to withdraw. The couple later divorced. They had four children together: Dominique, Pernell Jr., Dantavious and Devon. He has a daughter from a prior relationship Tiara. In February, 2014, Whitaker made national headlines after he evicted his mother, Novella Whitaker, out of the house he purchased for her shortly after he turned pro. Apparently, back taxes were owed on the house and Pernell said that neither his mother nor his siblings, who also stayed in the house, were doing anything to help financially keep the house afloat. Whitaker's lawyers said that Pernell isn't making the same kind of money as a trainer that he was as a boxer, and needed to sell off the home to satisfy the tax debt owed. Outside of the Virginia courtroom where the eviction proceedings took place, Pernell called the ruling in his favor "A beautiful moment."
In the early morning hours of September 1, 2015 Pernell Whitaker Jr. passed away from a rare form of cancer. He died in Virginia Beach, Va surrounded by family and friends.
In June 2002, Whitaker was convicted of cocaine possession after a judge found he violated the terms of a previous sentence by overdosing on cocaine in March.
As of December 2005, Whitaker has taken on the role as trainer in his home state of Virginia. While the decline of speed and agility pushed him into retirement, his knowledge of the ring and components have led him to seek out up-and-coming boxers and train them to fight the way he did.
Pernell Whitaker is also the trainer for heavyweight Calvin Brock who, as recently as November 2006, fought for the IBF and IBO titles against Wladimir Klitschko, where Brock was knocked out in the 7th round.
In 2010, he was inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, honoring those who have contributed to sports in southeastern Virginia.
Professional boxing record
|40 Wins (17 KOs), 4 Losses, 1 Draw, 1 No Contest|
|Carlos Bojorquez||TKO||4 (10)||2001-04-27||Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada|
|Felix Trinidad||UD||12 (12)||1999-02-20||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York||For IBF welterweight title.|
|Andrey Pestryaev||ND||12 (12)||1997-10-17||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut||WBA welterweight eliminator. Result changed to a No-Decision after Whitaker tested positive for cocaine.|
|Loss||40-2-1||Oscar De La Hoya||UD||12 (12)||1997-04-12||Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada||Lost Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||40-1-1||Diosbelys Hurtado||TKO||11 (12)||1997-01-24||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||39-1-1||Wilfredo Rivera||UD||12 (12)||1996-09-20||James Knight Convention Center, Miami, Florida||Retained Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||38-1-1||Wilfredo Rivera||SD||12 (12)||1996-04-12||Atlantis Casino, Cupecoy Bay, St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles||Retained Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||37-1-1||Jake Rodriguez||KO||6 (12)||1995-11-18||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||36-1-1||Gary Jacobs||UD||12 (12)||1995-08-26||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||35-1-1||Julio Cesar Vasquez||UD||12 (12)||1995-03-04||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Won WBA light-middleweight title.|
|Win||34-1-1||James McGirt||UD||12 (12)||1994-10-01||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia||Retained Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||33-1-1||Santos Cardona||UD||12 (12)||1994-04-09||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia||Retained Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Draw||32-1-1||Julio Cesar Chavez||MD||12||1993-09-10||Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas||Retained Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||32-1||James McGirt||UD||12 (12)||1993-03-06||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York||Won Lineal/WBC welterweight titles.|
|Win||31-1||Ben Baez||KO||1 (10)||1992-12-01||Virginia Beach, Virginia, Virginia|
|Win||30-1||Rafael Pineda||UD||12 (12)||1992-07-18||Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada||Won IBF light-welterweight title.|
|Win||29-1||Jerry Smith||KO||1 (?)||1992-05-22||El Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, Mexico City, Distrito Federal|
|Win||28-1||Harold Brazier||UD||10 (10)||1992-01-18||Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||27-1||Jorge Paez||UD||12 (12)||1991-10-05||Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno, Nevada||Retained IBF/WBC/WBA/The Ring lightweight titles.|
|Win||26-1||Policarpo Diaz||UD||12 (12)||1991-07-27||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia||Retained IBF/WBC/WBA/The Ring lightweight titles.|
|Win||25-1||Anthony Jones||UD||12 (12)||1991-02-23||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained IBF/WBC/WBA/The Ring lightweight titles.|
|Win||24-1||Benjie Marquez||UD||10 (10)||1990-11-22||Sports Palace, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid, Spain|
|Win||23-1||Juan Nazario||KO||1 (12)||1990-08-11||Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada||Retained IBF/WBC lightweight titles.
Won WBA lightweight title.
Won vacant The Ring lightweight title.
|Win||22-1||Azumah Nelson||UD||12 (12)||1990-05-19||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||Retained IBF/WBC lightweight titles.|
|Win||21-1||Freddie Pendleton||UD||12 (12)||1990-02-03||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Retained IBF/WBC lightweight titles.|
|Win||20-1||Martin Galvan||TKO||3 (?)||1989-12-11||Paris, Paris, France|
|Win||19-1||Jose Luis Ramirez||UD||12 (12)||1989-08-20||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia||Retained IBF lightweight title.
Won vacant WBC lightweight title.
|Win||18-1||Louie Lomeli||TKO||3 (12)||1989-04-30||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia||Retained IBF lightweight title.|
|Win||17-1||Greg Haugen||UD||12 (12)||1989-02-18||The Coliseum, Hampton, Virginia||Won IBF lightweight title.|
|Win||16-1||Antonio Carter||TKO||4 (10)||1988-11-02||Virginia Beach, Virginia, Virginia|
|Loss||15-1||Jose Luis Ramirez||SD||12 (12)||1988-03-12||Stade de Levallois, Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine, France||For WBC lightweight title.|
|Win||15-0||Davey Montana||TKO||4 (10)||1987-12-19||Paris, Paris, France|
|Win||14-0||Miguel Santana||TKO||6 (12)||1987-07-25||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia||Retained NABF lightweight title.
Won USBA lightweight title.
|Win||13-0||Jim Flores||KO||1 (?)||1987-06-28||Las Americas Arena, Houston, Texas|
|Win||12-0||Roger Mayweather||UD||12 (12)||1987-03-28||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia||Won Vacant NABF lightweight title.|
|Win||11-0||Alfredo Layne||UD||10 (10)||1986-12-20||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia|
|Win||10-0||Rafael Gandarilla||UD||10 (10)||1986-10-09||Felt Forum, New York, New York|
|Win||9-0||Rafael Williams||UD||10 (10)||1986-08-16||Sands Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||8-0||John Montes||UD||10 (10)||1986-03-09||The Coliseum, Hampton, Virginia|
|Win||7-0||Jesus De la Cruz||KO||1 (8)||1985-11-12||Norville, Texas|
|Win||6-0||Teddy Hatfield||KO||3 (8)||1985-08-29||The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia|
|Win||5-0||John Senegal||TKO||2 (8)||1985-07-20||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia|
|Win||4-0||Nick Parker||UD||6 (6)||1985-04-20||Memorial Coliseum, Corpus Christi, Texas|
|Win||3-0||Mike Golden||TKO||4 (?)||1985-03-13||The Scope, Norfolk, Virginia|
|Win||2-0||Danny Avery||TKO||4 (6)||1985-01-20||Harrah's Marina Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||1-0||Farrain Comeaux||TKO||2 (6)||1984-11-15||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York||Professional debut.|
- Ranking the 15 Worst Judging Decisions in Boxing History
- 5 More Of the Worst Decisions in Boxing
- The List: The 10 Worst Decisions in Boxing History
- "Robbed": Whitaker-Chavez bout, September 1993 Cover - Sports Illustrated
- The Whitaker-Chavez fight, September 1993 Article - Sports Illustrated "Beaten To The Draw"
-  Boxing Illustrated: Chavez-Whitaker cover
- http://boxrec.com/media/index.php?title=Fight:15499 | Whitaker vs. Vasquez
- http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/25/sports/whitaker-knocked-down-comes-back-to-knock-out-challenger.html Whitaker, Knocked Down, Comes Back to Knock Out Challenger
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfhLQ2QALW8 Whitaker vs Hurtado
- A Look Back At Whitaker v De La Hoya, And A Bitter End To "Sweet Pea's" Time At The Top
- De La Hoya Proves He Can Win Ugly
- "Oscar Time". CNN. 1997-04-21.
- http://articles.philly.com/1997-04-14/sports/25528706_1_duva-of-main-events-dino-duva-lou-duva De La Hoya Camp Says No Rematch Fighting Whitaker Again Would Not Be ``good Business, The Boxer's Promoter Claims.]
- http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1997-11-02/sports/9711020396_1_unidentified-commission-member-russian-andre-pestriaev-fight-against-ike-quartey Ex-champ Whitaker Could Face 6-month Suspension For Drugs
- Luis Escobar (1999-02-20). "Trinidad Outduels The Master". The Boxing Times. Archived from the original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- Velin, Bob (March 4, 2011). "Zab Judah continues his personal road to redemption". USA Today. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
|Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
Julio César Chávez
|BWAA Fighter of the Year
|BWAA Fighter of the Year
|IBF Lightweight Champion
February 18, 1989 – 1992
Julio César Chávez
|WBC Lightweight Champion
August 20, 1989 – 1992
Miguel Ángel González
|The Ring Magazine Lightweight Champion
August 11, 1990 – January 14, 1992
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
|WBA Lightweight Champion
August 11, 1990 – 1992
|IBF Light Welterweight Champion
July 18, 1992 – 1993
|WBC Welterweight Champion
March 6, 1993 – April 12, 1997
Oscar De La Hoya
|Lineal Welterweight Champion
March 6, 1993 – April 12, 1997
Julio César Vásquez
|WBA Light Middleweight Champion
March 4, 1995 – 1995
Julio César Chávez
|The Ring Pound-for-Pound #1 Boxer
September 10, 1993 – July 29, 1994