Sunday night was a sad night in the world of boxing as American Olympic gold medalist Pernell Whitaker got killed after he was struck by a car while crossing the street at Virginia Beach, VA. The olympian Whitaker was only 55 years old.
Police are still investigating the accident, but Whitaker was wearing dark clothes late at night and the car driver didn't see him in as per the boxer's son Devon who was with his father that night.
Whitaker, nicknamed "Sweet Pea," is an Olympics gold medalist, who represented the United States and even brought home a gold medal in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in Men's Lightweight Division. Whitaker beat Puerto Rico's Luis Ortiz in the gold medal fight. South Korea's Chun Chil-sung and Cameroon's Martin Ndongo-Ebanga were other two names winning bronze.
He was one of the world's best defensive fighters that ever entered the ring:
In the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Whitaker was one of the nine American boxers winning a gold medal. He joined Paul Gonzales of Pecos, TX (light men's flyweight, "Detroit's Steve McCrory MI (flyweight), Philadelphia's Meltrick Taylor, PA (featherweight), Colombus ' Jerry Page, OH (light-welterweight), Brooklyn's Brand, NY (Welterweight), Determining Frank Tate, MI (light-middleweight), Los Angeles ' Henry Tillman, CA (heavyweight), and Philadelphia's Tyrell Biggs, PA (heavyweight) Heavyweight.
Whitaker also won a gold medal as an amateur boxer at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas and a silver medal at the 1982 World Championships in Munich. Whitaker had an excellent record of 40 victories and four losses as a professional. Of his 40 victories, 23 went by choice and 17 went by knockout.
On March 12, 1988, in the WBC lightweight championship in Levallois-Perret, France, Whitaker lost to Mexican Jose Luis Ramirez. On February 18, 1989, in Hampton, VA, Sweet Pea captured the IBF lightweight title by defeating Greg Haugen of Auburn, WA. On August 20, 1989, Whitaker won Ramirez in a rematch in Norfolk, VA and won the undisputed WBC lightweight championship.
Then on August 11, 1990, as he beat Puerto Rico's Juan Nazario in Stateline, NV, Whitaker became the WBA lightweight champion. In 1992, Whitaker took the shift from lightweight to welterweight and quickly won the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles there. We will surely miss one of the greatest old-Gs of Boxing.