Pernell Whitaker, the legendary boxer popularly known as”Sweet Pea”, died on Sunday after a vehicle hit him late night. The details of the accident were later reported by the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Who was Pernell Whitaker?
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Whitaker was one of the well-known boxers of his time. He took up professional boxing up in ’84 and went on to win the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. He defeated the uncle of Floyd Jr Mayweather, Roger Mayweather and went on to earn his first lightweight title belt.
Two years later, in 1989, he was named as the Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He also has three more titles under his belt in the light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight category.
Pernell Whitaker retired in 2001 when he broke his clavicle in a fight. He was a professional boxer for almost 15 years. According to the Virginian Pilot, the boxer also spent some time in prison for cocaine use.
Five years after his retirement, he was included in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Investigation still under process
According to the Virginia Beach Police Department, a man was struck by a vehicle at an intersection somewhere in downtown Virginia. The incident took place at around 10 pm (local time). He was declared dead at the scene.
The police later identified the deceased as Pernell Whitaker. Virginia’s police spokesperson Linda Keuhn told the USA today in an email that the investigation is under the state’s Fatal Accident Crash Team. It is still going on as we speak.
Before there was Floyd Mayweather
There was Sweet Pea
R.I.P Pernell Whitaker pic.twitter.com/FRGDPNMyun
— Undefeated Podcast (@undefeated_pod) July 15, 2019
When reached by phone by the Virginian Pilot on Monday, Whitaker’s youngest son, Devon, said his father
“was wearing dark clothes, the road was dark and the driver didn’t see him.”
According to the Virginia Police Beach Department, the driver remained on the scene after the accident and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.