Whitaker takes shots current state of boxing | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whitaker takes shots current state of boxing

Matt O'Neill

Even with 26 months away from the ring, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker is not taking anything lightly.

From respecting his opponent at Carlos “El Elegante” Bojorquez at Wednesday’s press conference at Caesars Tahoe to talking about the state of the sport today, the six-time champion has an opinion about everything.

“You can ask me about the Trinidad fight two years ago, but that is all history,” Whitaker said. “Right now, I’m focused on Carlos and the fight on Friday.

“I’m not looking past him, you can’t look past a fight, just look at Lennox Lewis. I bet he’s feeling pretty bad that he looked past that fight.”

During his hiatus from the business, Sweet Pea said he hasn’t followed the sport at all, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any thoughts about the current state of his trade.

From Oscar De La Hoya to Roy Jones Jr. and Prince Naseem Hamed, no one is safe from Whitaker’s verbal jousting.

“I exposed Oscar’s vulnerabilities (when Whitaker lost a decision to the “Golden Boy” in April 1997),” he said. “I wanted a rematch right after that. It’s been three years, so if I can’t find him now that should tell you something. He does not want to see Pernell Whitaker again.

“They (promoters and television) wanted him to succeed because he’s a pretty face to attract women to the sport, but he’s soft as tissue.”

When it comes to the Prince, Whitaker doesn’t have a very high opinion of the British featherweight.

“He’s not a good fighter, but he’s got one heck of a sideshow,” he said. “That’s the biggest hype I’ve ever seen in my life.

“I’ve been with HBO and I’m embarrassed that they’ve given this kid a contract. It takes him a half an hour to get to the ring and then he does that crap he does in the ring, putting his hands by his sides, doing that wild crap.

If I had to wait a half an hour for you to get into the ring, I’ll whip your (butt).”

As for Jones, Whitaker has a great deal of respect for light heavyweight, but feels the competition he has out there is far below Jones’ standards.

“He doesn’t have anyone to bring the best in him,” Whitaker said.

As for his own plans, he has no timetable for himself.

“I’ll stay as long as the competition is there,” Whitaker said. “I’ll be the first one to tell you, if I step in that ring and I can’t get out of the way and my defensive skills start to go, I’ll be the first one to send all my equipment to the Salvation Army.”

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