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Mayweather vs Whitaker - Best Defensive Fighter?


Floyd Mayweather jr. and Pernell "sweet pea" Whitaker are two fighters who both have the words "the greatest defensive fighter of all time" attached to their names.

Who do you think is better and why?

I've never liked Floyd as a person, but as a boxer, i think he is brilliant defensively. By that same token, Sweet Pea was also amazing defensively. However a direct comparison is rather hard to achieve in my mind.

Pernell moves better, his ability to create angles and slip punches is second to none, and I don't think he was ever seriously hurt in his prime, even against some very game opponents.

Conversely, FMJ utilizes the shoulder roll and parry without wasting much energy and creates excellent counter punching opportunities, but he has been seriously hurt a number of times.


I'm going to surprise absolutely no-one by going with Pernell. He made great fighters look like amateurs.

I don't think either Pernell or Mayweather has been hurt often enough for us to seriously compare their chins. Remember that Whitaker was downed by Roger Mayweather.


I like Mayweather, but I am going to go with Whitaker. I remember watching him make a prime Oscar DLH miss a 4-5 punch combination with just head movement. To this day, I still think Pernell got robbed in that fight.


I think Whitaker wins 116-112 on all three cards.


I believe that was end of round 1. I remember watching it in slow motion with Oscar fans, and they couldn't believe it. But Oscar sold it like he did hit him, so he probably won that 1st round with that flurry.
Whitaker won against Oscar and Chavez in my opinion.

Whitaker by decision over Money.


There could be countless things factoring into it. promoters even take judges out to dinner and put them in nice suites in expensive hotels.


id go with pernell

he was slick like floyd, but much more of the aggressor. With the speed to match floyd, I think pernell would edge floyd via aggression and just pure finesse.


Aussie - I'm going to disagree that Floyd has been seriously hurt. I can literally count the time on one hand that I've seen him even knocked off balance or hit cleanly - once in the Judah fight, once against Hatton, a couple time against Castillo, two punches against Mosley... that ain't bad.

That being said Pernell was definitely slicker, and Floyd ironically has trouble with fighters who fight like him. I have not watched enough of Pernell as I should, though, so I can't act like an expert on him.

It is hard to see Mayweather in his prime losing though...cause he hasn't..So I think ti's a close fight. Let's not forget that Mayweather is probably the most accurate fighter I've ever seen, and his hand speed might be better than Whitaker flat out.

It's a closer fight than people think.


Yes I probably exaggerated the number of times, but it occurs to me that generally the only times he has been hit cleanly he's been wobbled. I don't think he has a very solid chin.


While I would be interested in the outcome of this fight and I might well be persuaded to watch the highlights, I can think of few more boring matchups in boxing history. Two of the most accomplished defensive technicians of all time going at it like skittish meerkats is not my idea of a good fight. I would much rather see Mayweather fight Meldrick Taylor and Pernell take Pacquiao. You need a bull to flatter a matador etc.


Certainly, I am not suggesting it as an interesting matchup, rather just a comparison of who is the better defensive fighter.

Because you are correct, it would be a boring miserable fight with occasional flashes of brilliance.


Mayweather has better raw physical gifts, Whitaker was the better technician. It's really that simple. Not to say that Mayweather is purely an athlete or Whitaker was some lumbering oaf who got by solely on brains, 'cause that's obviously not the case, just that Mayweather can get away with things few others have ever been able to due to his foot [and hand] speed in conjunction with his understanding of the game. Sweet Pea was a hell of an athlete, but not quite on Mayweather's level, but i think he understood the game better. What's kinda funny about all of this is Whitaker fought JCC who was basically the Pacqiuiao of his day while we're waiting on Mayweather to do his thing.


Sup all i'm new here. I agree with your statement 100% sir, Pernell wins every time and i would thoroughly enjoy watching Floyd be bested at his own game.. i have serious respect for FMJ as a boxer but that smart ass attitude needs knocked out of him.. i think Pac. will do it if they do end up fighting as i hear is almost a certainty at this point.


It has to happen, it would make ridiculous amounts of money. Question is when will mayweather stop fucking around.


Can't really agree here. I think that Mayweather has a highly technical (and damn near perfect) style. I'm not sure if he's the best boxer to study for the average pugilist, but I'd recommend him light-years before Pernell. Sweet Pea himself said that much of what he did was for the purposes of showmanship. I sure as hell think he knew his way around the ring. And I doubt anyone save Pythagoras knew more about angles. But if you don't have the reaction time of a gazelle, you best not be trying to look like Pernell.

I think Pernell was just flat-out more talented. I've never seen anyone else do what he did against the level of opposition he did it against.


I'd say Sugar Ray Robinson, from the footage I've been fortunate enough to watch, is the only fighter who decimated better opposition in a more impressive and dominant manner than Pernell.

I think Floyd gets a bad rap. He can clearly be an idiot, but I think there is a good man underneath the brash trash talk and stupid statements. I think he doesn't make the top 10 of all time, both because he hasn't fought the calibre of opponent that the true greats fought regularly and because he simply doesn't have the talent of the all time greats. Allo opinion in the end though. I just think that it is much easier for him to have looked good against the fighters he's fought than it was for someone like Pernell with the fighters he fought.


I have made these statements in the past:

Sugar Ray Robinson was the best modern boxer, meaning gloved, of all time.(I am not sure about bare knuckle and Irish's thread reminds me that I need to qualify this statement.)

Willy Pep > Sweat Pea > Mayweather Jr. And I can't imitate any of 'em, but I love watching what they could/can do.


Robert A


Willy Pep is a good call. I have seen far more of Pernell than I have of him though, so my orignial opinion may be poorly founded. Time for some research.

Just a random thought, but if there is one fighter I would give a limb to see more of, it has to be Charlie Burley. The guy sounds like a breathtaking fighter from the write ups and articles I have read.


You and me both bub. Seems like he had a very technical 'spoiler' style. Sort of like a MEGA-Hopkins. That sweet science video on youtube is pretty cool even if it does have some bollocks in it.

Some Harry Greb would be most welcome aswell. Something other than that weird awkward sparring vid.