Boxing legend 'Sweet Pea' Pernell Whitaker passes away at 55 after being hit by car

Pernell Whitaker was regarded as one of the most gifted boxers of his generation, a skilful technician who enjoyed a successful professional career after winning gold as a lightweight at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Agence France-Presse July 15, 2019 20:33:48 IST
Boxing legend 'Sweet Pea' Pernell Whitaker passes away at 55 after being hit by car
  • Pernell Whitaker was killed after being struck by car at an intersection in Virginia Beach

  • Whitaker enjoyed a successful professional career after winning gold as lightweight at 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles

  • He fought 46 times as a professional, winning 40 with 17 knockouts

Los Angeles: Former Olympic boxing gold medallist and four-weight world champion Pernell Whitaker has died after a traffic accident in Virginia, police confirmed on Monday.

The 55-year-old was killed after being struck by a vehicle at an intersection in Virginia Beach on Sunday, police said in a statement.

Boxing legend Sweet Pea Pernell Whitaker passes away at 55 after being hit by car

File image of Pernell Whitaker. Reuters

"When officers arrived on scene they located an adult male victim who had been hit by a vehicle," the statement said.

"The victim succumbed to his injuries on the scene."

Police said the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident remained on the scene and was helping with inquiries.

Whitaker was regarded as one of the most gifted fighters of his generation, a skilful technician who enjoyed a successful professional career after winning gold as a lightweight at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

He fought 46 times as a professional, winning 40 with 17 knockouts. He suffered four defeats, one draw and a no contest before his retirement in 2001.

He won world titles at lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight.

Whitaker, affectionately known as "Sweet Pea", was named fighter of the year by Ring magazine in 1989 and was regarded as the best pound for pound boxer in the world during the early to mid 1990s.

His career highlights included a controversial battle with Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez.

The two fought a bruising battle which went the distance in San Antonio in September 1993.

Many pundits believed Whitaker had won the fight but it was scored a majority draw.

The defensive-minded Whitaker would also go on to lose another hard-fought battle against Oscar de la Hoya in 1997, when he put his WBC welterweight title on the line.

After a comprehensive defeat by Felix Trinidad in 1999, Whitaker fought on before finally retiring following a loss to lightly regarded journeyman Carlos Bojorquez in April 2001.

Updated Date:

also read

We want to be number one team in the world, says India hockey forward Shamsher
Sports

We want to be number one team in the world, says India hockey forward Shamsher

The Indian men's hockey team produced an inspiring performance at the Tokyo Games, where it edged out Germany 5-4 to claim a bronze medal, the country's first in the sport in 41 years.

Ex-Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario, Olympic team leader Stephen Soi convicted for Rio 2016 embezzlement
Sports

Ex-Kenyan Sports Minister Hassan Wario, Olympic team leader Stephen Soi convicted for Rio 2016 embezzlement

Wario, who served as the country's sports minister from 2013 to 2018, was one of six Kenyan officials charged with abuse of office and the misappropriation of 55 million shillings ($545,000) during the Rio Olympics.

National Boxing Championships: Gaurav Bidhuri bows out after first-round loss to Haryana's Sachin
Sports

National Boxing Championships: Gaurav Bidhuri bows out after first-round loss to Haryana's Sachin

Sachin was up against one of the strongest contenders for the title in Gaurav (Railways Sports Promotion Board) and came out triumphant by a 4-1 margin.