Legendary Boxer Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker Has Died at the Age of 55

The boxer won titles in four different weight classes.

Legendary boxer Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker has died, according to Virginia Beach police. 

On Sunday, July 14, 2019, the Hall of Famer was hit by a car in Virginia Beach, where he lived, just after 10 p.m. According to police, Whitaker, who was only 55, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This remains an active investigation,” the department said.

Whitaker, will go down as one of the greatest boxers of the last 40 years. Whitaker, who fought from lightweight to welterweight, winning titles in each division, was a defensive wizard, one of the best pure technical boxers ever. In 1984, he won an Olympic gold medal. Five years later,  Ring Magazine named him as boxer of the year.

Whitaker’s most famous match in the ring came in 1993: when he fought an undefeated Julio César Chávez in front of 63,000 in the Alamodome. Whitaker dominated the fight; but, in the end, the fight was deemed a draw. Years later, he would lose to a young Oscar De La Hoya; another fight that would be disputed.

He retired in 2001 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006.

Devon Whitaker, his 23-year-old song, talked to the Virginian-Pilot over phone. He said:

“I can’t really say how I’m feeling because I’m feeling shocked. I’m still trying to process everything that’s going on. But he was a cool guy.”

Source: PilotOnline

Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

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