George Foreman couldn’t do it. Neither could Riddick Bowe.
No one, in fact, has been able to score a knockout against journeyman heavyweight Everett “Bigfoot” Martin during his 13-year professional career.
Add to the lengthy list Lance Whitaker of Granada Hills.
Whitaker, a 6-foot-8 power puncher, improved to 14-0 but had to go the distance to do it. And for the first time in his 19-month pro career.
Whitaker, 26, who had knocked out all of his 13 previous opponents in 2 1/2 rounds or less, won an eight-round unanimous decision over Martin before about 800 on Friday night at the Sportsmen’s Lodge.
Whitaker delivered a bevy of hard combinations that had the 6-1, 255-pound Martin on the verge of falling near the end of the fourth, sixth and eighth rounds.
Martin, 33, absorbed all of Whitaker’s blows without hitting the canvas. He also delivered a fair share of his own, although he failed to so much as stun Whitaker.
“I knew I had to box with him,” a winded Whitaker said. “‘I knew he was a very experienced fighter. I’ve never been eight rounds before. He hit me with some good shots, but I feel pretty good.”
After the decision was announced, Martin, 20-21-1, grabbed the ring microphone and addressed the crowd. He praised Whitaker and announced his retirement.
“He is a good fighter,” Martin said. “I wish I had his height. He hit me with some hard shots, but after the first round, he didn’t have much power. I don’t want to take anything away from him, but I’ve faced harder punchers.”
In other bouts, Robert McCracken of Birmingham, England, won a 10-round unanimous decision over Lonny Beasley of Detroit in a middleweight main event.
In a co-main event, Adan Vargas of Mexico City won the vacant North American Boxing Federation bantamweight championship with a 12-round unanimous decision over Narcisco Rodriguez of Newark, N.J.
McCracken, ranked No. 3 by the World Boxing Council, improved to 31-0, flicking a fast left jab and following his attack with solid combinations. Beasley is 27-5-2.
“I have a lot of rough edges,” McCracken said. “But I’m ready to work now. My jab was catching him and so was my left hook downstairs.”
Effi Schneider of Los Angeles, trained by Joe Goossen of North Hollywood, lost an eight-round unanimous decision against Stanley Longstreet of Los Angeles in a junior middleweight fight. Schneider’s record is 8-4-1.
Junior-middleweight Carlos Martinez of Oxnard, another of Goossen’s fighters, improved to 7-0 by winning a four-round unanimous decision over Alejandro Jimenez of Canoga Park.
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Friday’s results from Sportsmen’s Lodge
Robert McCracken (31-0) def. Lonny Beasley (27-5-2), 10-round unanimous decision.
Adan Vargas (26-1-1) def. Narcisco Rodriguez (17-2), 12-round unanimous decision.
Anthony Green (10-2) def. Louis Monaco (7-11-2), eight-round unanimous decision.
Stanley Longstreet (22-3-1) def. Effi Schneider (8-4-1), eight-round unanimous decision.
Chuck Goossen (12-2) def. Patrick Reeder (5-4-2) four-round majority decision.
Carlos Martinez (7-0) def. Alejandro Jimenez (2-5), four-round unanimous decision.