Pernell Whitaker career timeline

  • Born 1/2/64, Norfolk, Virginia

  • Nickname "Sweet Pea"

  • Won lightweight gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

  • Made pro debut at Madison Square Garden, 11/15/84 , beating Farrain Comeaux

  • Defeated former champion Alfredo Layne in 11th pro bout, 12/20/86

  • Exchanged knockdowns with power-punching veteran Roger Mayweather in 12-round win for NABF lightweight title, 4/28/87

  • Danced rings around WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Ramirez but lost disgraceful split decision in Paris, 3/12/88

  • Won IBF lightweight belt from Greg Haugen, 2/18/89

  • Beat Ramirez in rematch for both IBF and WBC lightweight titles, 8/20/89

  • Named The Ring magazine "Fighter of the Year" in '89

  • Scored surprisingly easy unanimous decision over future Hall of Famer Azumah Nelson, 5/19/90

  • Won WBA version of lightweight belt with 1st-round stoppage of Juan Nazario, 8/11/90

  • Abandoned lightweight division to fight for IBF junior welterweight title vs. Rafael Pineda, 7/18/92, winning unanimous decision and belt

  • Challenged WBC welterweight champion Buddy McGirt, 3/6/93, and won close bout and title

  • Next bout ended Julio Cesar Chavez's 88-bout winning streak in a controversial 12-round draw in San Antonio, Texas, 9/10/93

  • Beat McGirt in rematch, 10/1/94, then moved up to junior middleweight to beat Julio Cesar Vasquez, 3/4/95, winning title

  • Lost WBC welterweight title in 9th defense vs. Oscar De La Hoya, 4/12/97, despite flooring De La Hoya in ninth

  • Faced Andrei Pestriaev in WBA welterweight title eliminator, 10/17/97, but bout declared no-contest after Whitaker tested positive for drugs

  • Whitaker's struggle with cocaine addiction continued as scheduled April '98 bout vs. Ike Quartey canceled after he tested positive again

  • Lost 12-rounder to Felix Trinidad, 2/20/99

  • Tried comeback, 4/27/2001, vs. Carlos Bojorques, but was stopped in four

  • Complete record: 45 total bouts, 40 Wins, 4 losses, one draw, 17 KO's

    From "Boxing's Greatest Fighters"

    copyright Lyons Press