The rawhiders in the crowd, who disdain slick fighters like Whitaker, booed the decision. Whitaker ignored them. He had just made $1 million fighting what he felt was the finest bout of his lightweight career. Let them boo. Whitaker, who writes verse with red leather, knows that not everyone appreciates poetry.
Now 27-1, Whitaker is, at 27, the finest pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and he's ready to move up in weight. "I've run out of competitive opponents," he said. Whitaker had planned to fight Edwin Rosario, the WBA junior welterweight champion, in January, but Rosario recently fractured a rib. "There are three 140-pounders we want," said promoter Dan Duva. "Julio Chavez, Hector Camacho or Rosario. The other two guys keep ducking us. While Pernell is waiting, he can always make another lightweight defense."
"You know what that means?" said Whitaker. "That means making 135 pounds, and no cold beer. You think this life is easy?"
A restaurant that will serve very fast food is revving up
The Red Line Grill won't have a drive-thru window, but the restaurant with an auto racing motif, now under construction in Long Beach, Calif., will have a window that looks as though someone drove through it. In the window will be the chassis of a Formula One car suspended in midcrash, with shards of broken glass strewn between the double panes to give it that special, just-shattered effect.
Says Paul Alanis, one of the owners of the restaurant, "We want people driving down the road to look over and say, 'What the hell is that?' We want tourists to walk across the street after visiting the Queen Mary and take pictures of their children under the car."
Alanis and his partners are hoping that the Red Line, named after the red line on a car's tachometer, will become the Hard Rock Cafe of auto racing, and similar restaurants are planned for Monte Carlo, Indianapolis and Daytona.
The glass bar of the Long Beach grill, which is scheduled to open early next year, will contain a slot-car track patterned after the course for the Long Beach Grand Prix, which in real life runs right by the restaurant. "We plan to hold races a couple of times a day," says Alanis. "If the red car wins, margaritas will be one dollar. And if the blue car wins, piña coladas will be one dollar."
In keeping with the motif, the menu sounds as if it were guaranteed to give you gas. Among the food offerings will be Dipsticks, which are "the longest French fries you ever saw," according to Alanis. They will be served on a platter accompanied by oil cans filled with such sauces as All-Weather Blue Cheese and 10W40 Barbecue.