PG Talk: Pernell Whitaker

Retired Professional Boxer 40-4-1 Profile: Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker | Age: 52 | Norfolk, VA Accomplishments: Member of the 2016 Boxing Hall of Fame, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist, WBC, IFB, WBA Champion Glenn Healy: Congratulations on your recent induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. I enjoyed your acceptance speech, especially the part about the great Muhammad Ali. How has Ali affected your life inside and outside of the boxing ring? Pernell Whitaker: Thank you, it was an honor to be inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Due to the timing of Ali’s passing, I felt the need to bring him up in my acceptance speech as a way to honor him. I didn’t know him personally, but I admire the tremendous impact he has had not only in the ring, but in our country and throughout the world. That’s why he is the greatest. As a fighter, I respect the way he prepared himself for a fight. You were a part of arguably the greatest USA Olympic boxing team in history. 11 medals, 9 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze. While this year's team showed some promise, what can our amateur program do to get back to where it once was? Fighting as an amateur and being on that stage was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. We all know that the main issue in amateur boxing is corruption with the judges. The better fighter is not always getting the win. USA boxing will be fine. You have accomplished so much in the sport of boxing. World titles in 4 different weight classes, Olympic gold, International Boxing Hall of Fame. Do you have one accomplishment that stands out from the rest? I love them all! I am proud of all of my accomplishments and appreciate everyone who helped me get there. However, if I had to choose one I’d have to say the gold medal is my favorite. I look back at that as one of the key moments in my career. You fought some terrific fighters throughout your career. Was there one fighter in particular that gave you more problems than the rest? No, I cannot pick one. Each fight is only as hard as you make it. I worked hard to make each fight as easy as possible. If someone wants to know the answer to that, I suggest that they watch all of my fights and let me know what they think. You have had the chance to fight all over the world. France, Spain, Mexico, and all across the U.S. as a pro. Where did you enjoy fighting the most? Virginia was my favorite place to fight. Having the support of my family and friends meant everything. They supported and loved me, and I loved them back. I fought in Virginia 14 times, including 8 titles fights and 6 world title fights. I loved fighting all over the world, but Virginia will always be my home. What advice would you give to a young boxer looking to follow in your footsteps? Put the work in! Hard work will get you the good results you are looking for. Nothing has ever been achieved in the sport of boxing without hard work. Quick Jabs Favorite sport, besides boxing? Football Favorite sports team? Steelers Favorite food? Pasta