Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker, the retired boxing champ who held world titles at four weight classes, was killed Sunday after being hit by a car. Whitaker, 55, was crossing the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road in Virginia Beach
Welterweight boxing champion Keith Thurman must like his name because he sure says it a lot — as in “When Keith Thurman steps in the ring, you’re dealing with Keith Thurman and he’s a baaaaad man.” Or, “I fight in the ring wearing red, white and
'Welterweight boxing champion Keith Thurman must like his name because he sure says it a lot — as in “When Keith Thurman steps in the ring, you’re dealing with Keith Thurman and he’s a baaaaad man.” Or, “I fight in the ring wearing red, white and blue because when Keith Thurman is in the ring..'
The Filipino superstar plans to show Keith Thurman how terrific a fighter he still is at the age of 40 when they tangle in a welterweight title fight on July 20
'HOLLYWOOD — It was Monday. All-time great Manny Pacquiao sat in a dressing room at Wild Card Boxing Club, wrapping his own hands ahead of a workout in preparation for his July 20 welterweight title fight against Keith Thurman at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Fox pay-per-view). It was a scene I had been a part of many times over the years. That it would be the last time is emotional, as I will be taking on additional duties at the Southern California News Group that make it virtually impossible to keep this column. Therefore, after 25 years and four months, it’s gone after this one. More about that later. For now, let’s talk Pacquiao. Biggest victory I have to admit it was interesting to find out which of Pacquiao’s 61 career victories he considers his most satisfying. He’s beaten Juan Manuel Marquez twice, Erik Morales twice, Timothy Bradley Jr. twice, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. That’s not to mention that Pacquiao’s sixth-round TKO victory over Lehlo Ledwaba on June 23, 2001, for a super bantamweight world title at MGM Grand was really something. It was Pacquiao’s first fight under trainer Freddie Roach. Pacquiao had never fought in the U.S. and few knew who the heck he was – until that night. It was, in essence, the real beginning of his storied career. But Pacquiao, 40, likes another victory more than all of those. “The (Oscar) De La Hoya fight, because going from 135 to 147, it’s not easy,” said Pacquiao, who stopped De La Hoya after eight rounds at MGM Grand in December 2008. “Can you imagine? When moving up to 135, I only had one fight at 135 and then moved to 147.” For effect, he reiterated. “From 130 to 135, one fight, then moving up to 147,” he said, looking into my eyes to make sure I got it. Fair enough. Funny guy Pacquiao on this day also showed his sense of humor. I asked him how much pride he takes in having been part of an incredible four-fight series with Marquez. Pacquiao went 2-1-1 against Marquez, but he was knocked cold by Marquez in the sixth round of their final go-round in 2012 at MGM Grand. “Oh, yeah, four good fights,” Pacquiao said, smiling. “That’s good. But the only sad thing is the ending of the series.” Pacquiao began to laugh, as did other camp members in the crowded dressing room. “But it’s part of boxing,” he said. “It didn’t bother me. Don’t take it too hard, and chalk it up to experience and learn from what mistake you did and move past it.” Sage advice, indeed. He wants Mayweather again Anyway, there is little else for Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) to accomplish in boxing. But he would love to again tangle with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao entered their 2015 fight with an injured shoulder and lost a unanimous decision. Mayweather is 42 and hasn’t fought since stopping MMA star Conor McGregor in the 10th round in 2017, so it’s not all that likely Mayweather will come out of retirement. Pacquiao remains hopeful. “If he really comes back and fights with me, then that’s good for me,” Pacquiao said. “We can show who is the real winner. I would be healthy.” He really wants this. “Oh, it means a lot,” Pacquiao said. Proving something Pacquiao knows his career needs no further validation. But he does like the idea of showing that a fighter his age can be elite and defeat a world champion 10 years his junior – such as the 30-year-old Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs). “The thing is at the age of 40 it’s something to prove that I have disciplined myself, I am able to continue fighting,” said Pacquiao, who said he’s fighting at his advanced age because “boxing is my passion,” and not because he needs the money. Pacquiao, a senator in his native Philippines, might one day run for president there. For now, he said he has a “couple of fights” left in him. Unfortunately, I don’t. Adios I can’t begin to say how hard it is to give up this column after doing it for more than a quarter of a century – it began March 7, 1994. But duty calls. Besides continuing my role as L.A. Kings beat writer, I will also now be in charge of local sports coverage for the Long Beach Press Telegram, one of our 11 daily newspapers. Additionally, I will be overseeing coverage in the Big West, a mid-major conference with nine schools, five of which are in our vast circulation area. With all this, there won’t be time for me to cover boxing the way I have in the past. I don’t want to get too sentimental here. But I do want to say that, more than anything, I’ll miss the boxers themselves. By and large, they are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. When I think of local champions I covered, the names Zachary Padilla of Azusa and Steven Luevano of La Puente quickly come to mind. The former junior welterweight and featherweight champions, respectively, are two of the sweetest guys I met in this sport, or any other. Others include the world-champion Ruelas brothers – Rafael and Gabe – of the San Fernando Valley. As well as the aforementioned Bradley, a former two-division champion out of Palm Springs. There are more, but that list would be long. Area trainers I came to admire and respect include Abel Sanchez of West Covina, Ben Lira of South El Monte, Victor Valenzuela of Azusa and Freddie Roach of Hollywood. Again, there are more. I won’t get into memories, because it was only four months ago I did a 25-year anniversary column containing much of that stuff. But I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention some of the public relations folks who helped me do my job the past 25-plus years. Related Articles \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tUFC 239: Jorge Masvidal wishes historic 5-second KO of Ben Askren was more\t\t \t\t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tPhotos: UFC 239 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas\t\t \t\t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tUFC 239: Jon Jones retains title with split decision over Thiago Santos\t\t \t\t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tUFC 239: Amanda Nunes blasts Holly Holm with 1st-round KO\t\t \t\t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tUFC 239: Live updates from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas\t\t \t\t\t \t There’s John Beyrooty, the first publicist I dealt with when he was the PR guy for Forum Boxing in the ’90s. Great guy, great friend. Then there are Fred Sternburg, Bill Caplan, Debbie Caplan, Lee Samuels, Rachel Charles, Bernie Bahrmasel, Kelly Swanson and Ricardo Jimenez. If I forgot someone, please don’t punch me. Adios, sweet science. Until we meet again.'
Heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and his wife Julie Ruiz wave to supporters during a parade in his honor on Saturday, June 22, 2019 in Imperial. (Credit: SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images) Heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and his
'Heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and his wife Julie Ruiz wave to supporters during a parade in his honor on Saturday, June 22, 2019 in Imperial. (Credit: SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images)\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\tHeavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and his wife Julie Ruiz wave to supporters during a parade in his honor on Saturday, June 22, 2019 in Imperial. (Credit: SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images) \t\tRinged into the southeast corner of California by mountain ranges, deserts, Baja California and the Colorado River, the Imperial Valley has historically been regarded a little like California’s appendix: mostly quiet and forgotten until it flares up to cause a hell of a pain. Unemployment here is the worst in the Golden State. The Salton Sea, a man-made lake that became a postcard-worthy exemplar of cabana living during the 1950s, is now a much-cited case study in environmental degradation. People who live here take pride in a kind of pugnacious, underdog spirit. But until hometown boy Andy Ruiz Jr. walloped the heavyweight champ at Madison Square Garden, this wasn’t a place you’d find as the setting for a Rocky Balboa tale. Boxers of Mexican descent have had a storied history in the sport, but never before had one done what Ruiz, 29, accomplished: becoming the first fighter of Mexican descent to hold a belt in the sport’s prestige division. Making the victory more improbable was the stark contrast between Ruiz — big, beefy, like someone who just stepped out of a Fernando Botero painting — and his immaculately sculpted foe. Read the full story on LATimes.com . \t\t\t32.737548 \t\t\t-114.963301'
Arturo Gatti’s presence will be missed Sunday when Micky Ward is inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Ward’s trilogy with Gatti was one of the last great rivalries in an era when boxing was bustling along the Boardwalk. Their three
'Arturo Gatti’s presence will be missed Sunday when Micky Ward is inducted into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Ward’s trilogy with Gatti was one of the last great rivalries in an era when boxing was bustling along the Boardwalk. Their three fights consisted of 30 brutal rounds over the span of 13 months,..'
LAS VEGAS — Tyson Fury stopped Tom Schwarz with 6 seconds left in the second round Saturday night, with the British heavyweight star remaining unbeaten and putting on a show in his Las Vegas debut. Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) made short work of his
'LAS VEGAS — Tyson Fury stopped Tom Schwarz with 6 seconds left in the second round Saturday night, with the British heavyweight star remaining unbeaten and putting on a show in his Las Vegas debut. Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) made short work of his previously unbeaten German opponent, battering him with a jab before knocking..'