Oscar De La Hoya overcame crafty Pernell Whitaker in the toughest fight of his young career Saturday night, winning a unanimous decision to take Whitaker's WBC welterweight title.
It was the fourth title for De La Hoya, who was knocked down in the ninth round and was bleeding from the nose as the fight entered the final round with Whitaker seemingly beginning to dominate.De La Hoya was frustrated by the left-handed champion throughout, but kept his patience and was attacking at the end, winning the final round when Whitaker decided to dance around and throw only his jab and a few meaningless combinations.
De La Hoya won by six points on two ringside cards and four on another as he made his 147-pound debut a successful one against his fellow former Olympic gold medalist.
Whitaker had promised to turn back the clock and become the fighter he once was, and he did, frustrating De La Hoya with his head movement and forcing the fight to be fought on his terms as the rounds wore on.
But in the final seconds, Whitaker was almost on his rear end in the corner, clowning to the very end before embracing De La Hoya with a big smile.