Legendary boxer Pernell Whitaker who is better known as ‘Sweet Pea’ has been reported dead after he was knocked down by a car on Sunday night. He was until his death, age 55.
The accident that killed Pernell Whitaker happened around 10:04 PM at the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road in Virginia Beach, according to Virginia Beach PD, who identified Whitaker as the victim.
Police say that when officers arrived on the scene, they located an adult male victim who had been hit by a vehicle. Whitaker succumbed to his injuries on the scene. The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and cooperated with police.
Pernell Whitaker was from the Virginia area and was a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker won 201 amateur fights, was the lightweight silver medalist at the 1982 World Championships, won a Gold Medal at the 1983 PAN American Games and took home the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
He turned pro in 1984 and won titles at the lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, and light middleweight weight classes.
Whitaker won his first 15 fights as a pro (including one against Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s uncle, Roger Mayweather) before suffering his first defeat to Jose Luis Ramirez in 1988.
He did not lose again until 1997 when he was defeated by Oscar De La Hoya.
Whitaker only fought three more times after that and did not win any of those fights.
In 2001, he officially retired to become a trainer and in 2002, The Ring magazine ranked him as the 10th greatest fighter of the last 80 years. He was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006, his first year of eligibility.