In terrible and shocking news it has been reported how the great Pernell Whitaker has been killed in a traffic accident. The 55 year old former multi-weight champion was attempting to cross a road in Virginia Beach on Sunday night when he was hit by a car. Whitaker later passed away due to the injuries he had sustained.
The accident took place at just after 10 pm local time and reports say police are investigating the tragedy. Our condolences go out to Whitaker’s family and friends.
One of the most superbly gifted boxers of the last thirty years or more – some say “Sweet Pea” was THE finest defensive fighter in history regardless of weight class – Whitaker really did do it all during his career.
An amateur standout, Whitaker capped off his unpaid career by winning Olympic gold at the 1984 games. Turing pro, the super-slick southpaw who also carried quite deceptive punching power would go on to win world titles in no less than four weight classes: lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight and light-middleweight. Incredibly hard to hit, Whitaker appeared all but unbeatable.
Only a quite disgraceful robbery saw him lose just once in his first 42 pro bouts, when Jose Luis Ramirez was somehow awarded a 12-round decision in a WBC lightweight title fight that took place in March of 1988. The “loss” was soon avenged and it wasn’t until 1997, when Oscar De La hoya picked another, slightly less controversial decision over Whitaker that he lost again.
Along the way, Pernell was held to a draw in THAT fight with Julio Cesar Chavez; many fans and experts saying the draw was the worst ever witnessed in modern day boxing history.
Whitaker faced too many great fighters to be able to list, including: Roger Mayweather, Freddie Pendleton, James McGirt, De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad.
An all-time great of the highest order, Whitaker retired with a 40-4-1(17) record in 2001. Whitaker was stopped just once, when he broke his collarbone in his final fight, with Carlos Bojorquez.
Later, in retirement from the ring, Whitaker made a very good trainer.
Tributes are pouring in and all of the boxing world is both shocked and hugely saddened by this news.