This 1987 12 round NABF lightweight title fight featured two outstanding boxers who fought during the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995)…..with one being a super great to legendary in Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker…..and the other being a truly great boxer….as each are too soon being forgotten in the world of boxing in 2017 in boxing circles today….whereas each deserves their place in boxing history for the great talentsthey exhibited in the ring during their illustrious careers….but also because the lightweight to welterweight divisions was jammed packed with super great to legendary boxers during this awesome age of boxing.
Pernell Whitaker is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2001….and currently in 2017, works as a boxing trainer….who is a former world champion in 4 different weight divisions….having won titles at lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, and light middleweight, as well as the undisputed lightweight title, and the lineal lightweight and welterweight titles In 1989, Whitaker was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). From 1993 to 1994, The Ring ranked him as the best “pound for pound” boxer in the world..
As an amateur, Whitaker won a silver medal in the lightweight division at the 1982 World Championships….followed by gold at the 1983 Pan American Games….and then a gold medal at the 1984 L A Olympics. In 2002, The Ring ranked him tenth in their list of “The 100 Greatest Fighters of the Last 80 Years”. In 2006, Whitaker was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility.
Whitaker had an extensive amateur boxing career, having started at the age of nine. He had 214 amateur fights, winning 201, 91 of them by knockouts, though he says that he has had up to 500 amateur fights. He lost to two-time Olympic Gold medalist Ángel Herrera Vera at the final of the World Championships 1982 but beat him four other times, notably in the final of the Pan American Games 1983 in Caracas. He crowned his amateur careerwith an Olympic Gold Medal in 1984.
In just his eleventh and twelfth pro bouts, Whitaker defeated Alfredo Layne on December 20, 1986 and former WBA Super Featherweight title holder Roger Mayweather on March 28, 1987….as seen in the video below….as Whitaker won both bouts before hometown crowds at the Norfolk Scope, less than a mile from where he lived as a child in a Norfolk housing project. Whitaker would fight nine times in the Scope arena during his career.
Roger Mayweather is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1981 to 1999….while working as a boxing trainer since his retirement…..who was a two-weight world champion by having held the WBA and lineal super featherweight titles from 1983 to 1984….and the WBC light welterweight title from 1987 to 1989. Additionally he held the IBO light welterweight title in 1994….along with the IBO welterweight title from 1994 to 1995.
Roger is part of the Mayweather boxing family along with his brothers are Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Jeff Mayweather…..and his nephew is Floyd Mayweather Jr….with who he served as Mayweather Jr.’s trainer from 2000 to 2012.
On this night of March 28, 1987….Roger Mayweather fought against Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker for the NABF lightweight title…..when Mayweather was knocked down in round 1….but he knocked down Whitaker in round 9….as “Sweet Pea” would go on to win by unanimous decision…..for this was an outstanding fight that is well worth watching over and over again.