The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced today four-division world champion Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker is confirmed to attend festivities planned for the 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend June 9-12th.
Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker in training
“’Sweet Pea’ Whitaker was a fantastic fighter who thrilled fans with his incredible boxing skills in the ring,” said Hall of Fame director Edward Brophy. “We are so happy he will be in Canastota for the 2016 Hall of Fame Weekend.”
Fighting out of Norfolk, VA, Whitaker captured gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. After turning pro at Madison Square Garden, “Sweet Pea” won world titles in four weight divisions – lightweight (IBF / WBC / WBA), junior welterweight (IBF), welterweight (WBC) and junior middleweight (WBA). During his nearly seventeen year career, the pound-for-pound star posted a 40-4-1 (17 KOs) record that includes wins over Roger Mayweather, Greg Haugen, Jose Luis Ramirez, Freddie Pendleton, Jorge Paez, Buddy McGirt, Julio Cesar Vasquez and Azumah Nelson. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, the southpaw Whitaker was known for his quick and evasive ring moves.
Events planned for the weekend include a banquet, Flashback Friday: 1990s Night, parade, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, cocktail party and the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the Class of 2016.
Inductees include Puerto Rico’s multi-division champion Hector “Macho” Camacho (posthumous), Mexico’s two-division champion Lupe Pintor and Panama’s two-division champion Hilario Zapata in the Modern category; judge Harold Lederman, commissioner Marc Ratner, journalist Jerry Izenberg and broadcaster Col. Bob Sheridan.
Posthumous inductees Petey Sarron in the Old-Timer Category and trainer Whitey Esneault in the Non-Participant Category will also be honored.
An impressive list of over 40 boxing greats from the United States and abroad are scheduled to participate in weekend festivities.
In addition to Whitaker, returning Hall of Famers include three-division champion Julio Cesar Chavez, middleweight champion “The Raging Bull” Jake LaMotta, light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Michael Spinks, welterweight champion Pipino Cuevas, three-division champion Mike “The Body Snatcher” McCallum and lightweight king Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.
Special guests confirmed to participate include gold medalist and heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, junior welterweight star “Irish” Micky Ward, heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney, 1976 Olympic gold medalist Leo Randolph, female boxing legend “The Coal Miner’s Daughter” Christy Martin and1990s heavyweight star Andrew Golota.
Additional Hall of Famers and special guests will be announced in the coming months as the 27th Annual Induction Weekend nears.
For more information on the 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, please call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.