Parnell “Sweet Pea” Whittaker Tribute
Parnell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker Shown sweet science in its purest form to pick the most talented fighters. And the martial arts community will forever be able to appreciate and enjoy his brilliance thanks to the memory of this great fighter.
Whitaker’s greatness is much appreciated, but the extent of his greatness is arguably overlooked.
He’s one of the best, purest boxers to ever lace up gloves. He’s one of the best defensive fighters, if not the best ever.
Jim Lampley told the New York Times: He smiled at you and, smiling, showed you how amazingly easy this was for him.
It’s essential to take into account when outlining his prodigious defensive abilities.The opponents Whittaker has floated in the past are world-class fighters and fellow Hall of Famers, and they clean him up. I couldn’t hit it.
George Byers, “the colored heavyweight champion” from 1898 to 1901, told a young Sam Langford: Hitting hard enough to cause a building to collapse is meaningless if you can’t avoid being hit. ”
This basic premise has existed throughout the sport’s existence as a guaranteed recipe for success for those who can master it, and Whitaker certainly did.
Crazy to say, but “Sweet Pea” is one of the most unlucky fighters ever. The only thing that seemed to have been able to beat Whittaker in his prime was not another boxer, but the politics of boxing. When he clearly outboxed Jose Luis Ramirez and undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez, and arguably Oscar de la Hoya, they would have taken a nice win from him.
Nevertheless, Sweet Science’s hardcore fans and true advocates hold Whitaker with respect and admiration, and do not allow what Lennox Lewis called a “politrick” to downplay Whitaker’s legacy. I did.
When boxing historians mention modern greats like Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard alongside great boxers of yesteryear like Sugar Ray Robinson and Henry Armstrong, Whitaker should be mentioned with them. is. Sweet Pea is one of the most skilled and naturally gifted fighters he’s ever had. He had an otherworldly boxing IQ that matched his defensive genius. Throughout the history of the sport blessed with southpaws such as Tiger Flowers, Vicente Saldivar, Marvin Hagler and Manny his Pacquiao, Sweet His Pee is arguably the best southpaw of them all.
Whittaker has had a stellar amateur career, winning silver at the 1982 World Boxing Championships, gold at the 1983 Pan American Games, and Olympic gold as captain of the legendary US team at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. was Professional heavyweight champion.
After starting his professional career with an 11-game winning streak, Whittaker took his first big step in March 1987 with former and future world champion Roger Mayweather. After knocking down and hurting Mayweather in the opening round, Whitaker had to survive the knockdown late in the round 9 fight and managed to survive after virtually getting back on his feet. In the match, Whitaker defeated Mayweather by unanimous decision, fighting like a veteran and earning a very impressive victory early in his career.
Three more fights later, Whittaker lost a highly controversial points decision in one of the worst ever decisions to Jose Luis Ramirez in his world lightweight title challenge for the WBC belt.
In his 16th fight, against a Ramirez fighter with a 100–6 record who turned pro at the age of 14, Whittaker dominated and blatantly robbed. His ring generalship, along with his timing against the veteran, was a stunning and beautiful sight early in his career, and ironically his first setback was a sign of something special to come. .
A year later, in 1989, Whittaker won his first lightweight world title, the IBF strap, and gave a flawless performance to beat Greg Haugen in a convincing points victory, defeating Haugen for the first time in his career. did. The next series of events in Whitaker’s Hall of Fame career made it one of the most dominant lightweight reigns in history.
After defending his title once against undefeated Rui Romeli, Sweetpea got a chance for early redemption in a rematch with Ramirez and got revenge with a flawless performance, this time with an undisputed result. left and added the vacant WBC title to his title, the IBF belt.
Not surprisingly, Sweet Pea was named Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year in 1989.
In 1990, Whitaker suffered his first loss in eight years to Asma Nelson.
There hasn’t been an undisputed lightweight champion since Roberto Durán’s devastating reign of terror in the 1970s. This changed when Sweet Pea knocked out his WBA lightweight champion Juan Nazario in his first round in August 1990.
Whitaker moved on and embarked on a period of glory and began to dominate the sport over the next few years, which lasted until 1997.
In 1992, he defeated Rafael Pineda to become the IBF super lightweight champion.
Then, in March 1993, Whitaker overtook James “Buddy” McGirt to become the direct WBC welterweight champion.
This set up “The Fight” with the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters.
By the time he was in the ring set to face Chavez in front of a crowd of 60,000 Chavez supporters at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, Whittaker had won 17 straight and was a three-division lightweight champion. did. , ultralight and welterweight.
Whittaker was defending the WBC welterweight title against the undefeated Chavez. Chavez had a staggering record of 75 KOs he went 87-0. Instead of running away, Whittaker did all he could to respond to the outbreak of the fight. Showed everyone how special he is.
He boxed Chavez out, beat one of the greatest inside fighters of all time on the inside, and beat Chavez in the Mexican’s own game. Sweet Pea should have been the first man to beat the legendary Mexican, but was awarded a draw after a shocking jury decision. established gender.
In 1995, Whittaker defeated the massive Julio Cesar Vazquez, who had a 53-1 record, to become the WBA Super Welterweight Champion. He has won four weight classes.
Late in Whitaker’s career, drugs and alcohol began to take effect, but not before cementing a lasting legacy.
Perhaps years into his prime, Sweetpea faced Oscar de la Hoya in his prime in 1997. He won titles at super featherweight, lightweight and super lightweight. In his 147-pound debut, De La Hoya braved Whittaker, who was making his ninth defense of the WBC welterweight title. Although not as controversial as the battle between Ramirez and Chavez, Whittaker again lost points hard. This was the most controversial fight of De La Hoya’s career. As De La Hoya later admitted, Sweet Pea was the best he has fought in terms of defense and ring generalship.
Whitaker was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.
The main purpose of boxing is simple: “If you hit, you won’t get hit.” With that in mind, if boxing he wants to see what in-ring perfection looks like, watch Sweet Pea in full.