5. Pernell Whitaker

‘Sweet Pea’ was the perfect example of boxing’s key mantra: hit and don’t get hit.

A master of the sweet science, few have been able to make an art of not throwing punches the way Whitaker did. A 1988 points loss to WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Ramirez was a straight robbery and Whitaker avenged it a year later having already picked up the IBF title against Greg Haugen.

Azumah Nelson was scalped before Pernell moved to super-lightweight and then welterweight, winning world honours at both. He drew with Mexican great Julio Cesar Chavez, though the result is still disputed today – Whitaker looked to have won.

Oscar De La Hoya outpointed him in a close fight in 1997 before he was handed his first conclusive loss in 1999 at the hands of a bigger, fresher Felix Trinidad. Carlos Bojorquez stopped Whitaker in 2001 and he hung them up for good.

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