On this day, Pernell Whitaker made history. The way he did it was less remarkable, but sometimes the ends justify the means.
In simply one round Whitaker knocked out the Puerto Rican WBA lightweight champion Juan Nazario in one round to become the undisputed lightweight world champion. The bout was called to a halt at 2:59 of the first round.
Nazario had beaten his career-rival Edwin Rosario in his previous bout stopping him in the eighth round. This was three years after Rosario had knocked out Nazario.
Whitaker won the IBF lightweight title from previously unbeaten Louie Lomeli and became the unified champion when he defeated the WBC lightweight world champion, Jose Luis Ramirez for the vacant title. Whitaker would defend his titles until 1992 in which he would move up n weight actively pursuing the best fights in the sport of boxing.
Whitaker's legacy is huge. He has been cited by a modern great Shakur Stevenson as a heavy inspiration for his career, Stevenson has even watched Whitaker fights prior to taking the ring. Whitaker is often thought of as one of the best if not the very best defensive fighter in the history of boxing up there with Willie Pep. Whitaker was unique in the sense that despite having great defense he also had one-punch KO power which was evident in his stoppage of Juan Nazario.
Often great defensive fighters have a habit of making you miss, but not making you pay - Whitaker was far from that. If you didn't earn his respect you would feel the intention and mockery of each missed punch you threw at him.
Sadly, Whitaker passed away in 2019.