by Pedro Fernandez

Pernell Whitaker is back in the news. No, he wasn't caught doing Colombian Dust again! It was a USA Today interview earlier this week in which he denied ever doing the stuff that's got people talking. This is even though he recently came out of a 21 day Drug Rehab program.

And that was only after Whitaker had been caught twice. The first time Pernell came up positive for Cocaine was when he was tested by the Pequot reservation at Mashantucket, Connecticut after winning a decision over Andre Pestriav last October. The bout was declared a no contest and Whitaker had his license to box pulled.

With some slick lawyering by one Patrick English, Whitaker managed to get the automatic six month suspension lifted if he would submit to random testing. Whitaker and English, as well as the Pequot Commission signed off on the agreement.

It was during the "initial" random test that Whitaker's urine again tested positive for Colombian Dust. In the USA Today interview, his first since leaving re hab, Whitaker sounded like he was still high!

"I'm not ashamed of anything. I haven't done anything wrong. I stand behind my innocence." Wait a second. Is this the same guy that just got out of re hab? "If I ever have to do (another drug test), I'm not letting my urine out of my sight."

It turns out Sweet Pea is only denying the substance abuse publicly. English inferred that he was doing the public denial routine for the sake of his kids

Failing the test nixed an April title bout with WBA titilist Ike Quartey. That bout will never happen because the World Boxing Association has a two-year ban on anybody who tests positive for illegal substances.

In the world of multiple sanctioning bodies, Pernell will go after the WBC champ Oscar De La Hoya or IBF champ Felix Trinidad when he gets his right to fight back in October.

Whitaker had a funny quote in the USA piece. "Just give me one of them and I will take care of the rest." He followed that with. "I'm going to be 10 times better when I get back in. I wouldn't want to fight me."

In no uncertain terms, that verbiage right there is about as close as you're going to get Whitaker to admitting he had been doing Colombian Dust for years.


If you didn't catch the first Oscar De La Hoya-Julio Cesar Chavez fight because it was on Closed Circuit TV, and not PPV, you can see act #2 on TV KO PPV September 18.

The first fight ended really before it began. Chavez had hidden a cut from the medical doctors of the Nevada Athletic Commission by wearing his customary bandana to the pre-fight check ups. When Oscar landed that first hard jab in the first round, Julio was bleeding like a stuck pig.

The fight ended in the fourth round when referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight as De La Hoya was cracking Julio, both hard and often. Obviously, the rematch won't have the "cut" factor and it will be at 147 lbs. When the pair met in their first encounter on June 7, 1996, it was for Chavez' WBC 140 lb. diadem.

It's hard to think Julio could change anything other than he probably won't bleed to death this time. But he's still getting whipped! Tickets will go on sale after Oscar devours French pastry Patrick Charpentier June 13, and Chavez prevails over an opponent yet to be named on June 25.

Pedro Fernandez

The writer hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show on boxing in "Ring Talk." It airs Saturday and Sunday evening at 11 PM ET on the TALK AMERICA Radio Networks. Both shows are carried live on the Internet at www.talkamerica.com Be advised the Sunday edition of Ring Talk is one only an hour in duration, and is carried on the TALK AMERICA 2 network aka "The Deuce."

Saturday's two hour show is carried on the TALK AMERICA 1 Network. Pedro also has his own site at www.fighters.com and can be reached at flash@inow.com

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4.25.98 [Return to Top]