Pernell Whitaker

One of the best ever. Anyone ever heard him talk about what his training regimen was? Did he do any special drills to hone those defensive skills?

I'd imagine he would just develop it through lots and lots of sparring.

Ring Magazine voted him their fighter of the 90's.

Best defensive fighter ever. I felt he beat Oscar when Oscar was still in his prime.

A master of physical geometry.

A lot of it is "natural development" (an overused term, basically how fighters as individuals fill in the gaps) and even more of it due to George Benton's teachings. If you've ever seen Benton fight, you'll see immediate stylistic resemblances. Whitaker has more than once credited Benton with making him the no. 1 p4p fighter in the world.

hmm George Benton, I shall check him out.

IIRC Joe Frazier got the idea of hip-punching from George Benton.

any clips of George Benton?

None on youtube.

Benton was instrumental but Pea was a natural. He was also a southpaw and had great feet and legs. He was also tough. He was seen as a slick fighter but he had alot of heart. He fought Tito in his prime and took 147 pound Tito bombs and kept fighting and he wasa shell of his former self. At 135, IMO he was the greatest to ever lace them up and probably 140 as well.

i have him as the best at 135 and 140 but duran and he would have been great. i give whitaker the edge.

FYI they had three of Pernell's fights on ESPN Classic today (Ramirez,Azumah Nelson, and Buddy McGirt). Be on the lookout for the replays.

Saw the Ramirez one yesterday for the first time in ages. Closer fight than I had remembered, and it was Whitaker's fault for making it that way.

He just didn't throw his hands enough in the 2nd half of the fight. Similar to what happened with De La Hoya.

His performance against Azumah Nelson was a thing of beauty though. Consistent punch output throughout, with great combinations (except for that clownish behind the back punch. LOL)

And as always he was a nightmare to try and land on, although Nelson did have a couple of good moments here and there.

Originally I HATED Whitaker for his clowning and rare displays of overt aggression but I was young and didn't appreciate a true stylist.

The Azumah Nelson fight cinched it for me that nobody was gonna beat this guy except maybe Chavez, and Chavez didn't either.

What's impressive is his chin he showed vs. Tito. If you put that kind of chin and heart into the prime defensive skills he had, he was as knockout-proof as any fighter that ever lived. He got floored a few times (Mayweather, Hurtado, McGirt) but those were often off-balance or Whitaker getting caught in a flash shot. He was always right up. In his prime he would give any lightweight or 140 hell and probably beat a lot of great 147s, too. He was a defensive marvel.

For a defensive marvel who didn't get hit too often he sure slurs his speech a lot.

Cocaine is a hell of a drug Joe Ray.