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“Sweet Pea” Pernell Whittaker enters International Boxing Hall of Fame

Four-time world champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY, as part of its 2007 class, it was announced today by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. The museum will conduct the induction festivities on June 7-10th.

LOOMFIELD, NJ (December 7, 2006) – Four-time world champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY, as part of its 2007 class, it was announced today by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. The museum will conduct the induction festivities on June 7-10th.

“This is the final step, the last piece of the puzzle,” said Whitaker. “I can honestly say I have completed the whole cycle of boxing. From amateur to pro I have won everything. But this is bigger than any world title. This is the biggest thing of all.”

“Pernell is one of the greatest fighters to ever put on a pair of boxing gloves,” said Duva. “We are delighted to have been in his corner throughout his brilliant career and we look forward to continuing our association with him in his new life as a trainer.”

Whitaker (40-4-1, 17 KO’s) captured a Gold Medal in the 1984 Olympics and went on to become the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighter during a career that spanned over 15 years. The 42-year-old Norfolk, VA native earned the title of Undisputed Lightweight Champion by defeating Greg Haugen (IBF title), Jose Luis Ramirez (WBC title), and Juan Nazario (WBA title). The Ramirez victory served as particularly sweet revenge for Whitaker. Just 17 months earlier Whitaker dominated Jose Luis Ramirez in Levallois-Perret, France, but was robbed of the victory when the judges’ awarded Ramirez a split decision (L 12).

“Sweet Pea” successfully defended his undisputed crown three times before moving to the jr. welterweight division and defeating Rafael Pineda to earn the IBF jr. welterweight crown on July 18, 1992 (W 12). Eight months later he captured the WBC welterweight crown by defeating James “Buddy” McGirt (W 12). Following the McGirt bout Whitaker suffered the second indignity of his career when he whipped then-recognized best “pound-for-pound” boxer Julio Cesar Chavez for 12 rounds, but was forced to settle for a draw in what most boxing insiders believe is one of the top-five worst robberies in boxing history.

Whitaker added the WBA jr. middleweight belt to his collection on March 4, 1995, by defeating Julio Cesar Vasquez (W 12). Later he would lose a decision to Oscar de la Hoya in a bout many believe he won.

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