Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker was hit by a car and died at age 55 on Sunday, July 14th, 2019. This incident occurred in Virginia Beach, Virginia around 10 p.m. local time as he was walking near the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road. There is an active ongoing investigation into this tragic situation.
In 2006, Whitaker was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He won titles in four different weight classes. The Norfolk, Virginia native was the undisputed lightweight world champion. Whitaker also won titles at junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight during his boxing reign throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s.
At one point, he was considered the best pound for pound boxer in the world. “Sweet Pea” also won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. He was in a lot of big time fights, and I’m sure he made people in the sports betting world a whole lot of money.
Professional Boxing Record
|46||Loss||40-4-1(1)||Carlos Bojorquez||TKO||4 (10),0:27||27-Apr-01|
|43||Loss||40-2-1||Oscar De La Hoya||UD||12||12-Apr-97|
|42||Win||40-1-1||Diosbelys Hurtado||TKO||11 (12),1:52||24-Jan-97|
|39||Win||37-1-1||Jake Rodríguez||KO||6 (12),2:54||18-Nov-95|
|37||Win||35-1-1||Julio César Vásquez||UD||12||4-Mar-95|
|34||Draw||32-1-1||Julio César Chávez||MD||12||10-Sep-93|
|32||Win||31-1||Ben Baez||KO||1 (10),0:37||1-Dec-92|
|30||Win||29-1||Jerry Smith||KO||1 (10)||22-May-92|
|24||Win||23-1||Juan Nazario||KO||1 (12),2:59||11-Aug-90|
|20||Win||19-1||José Luis Ramírez||UD||12||20-Aug-89|
|19||Win||18-1||Louie Lomeli||TKO||3 (12),2:37||30-Apr-89|
|17||Win||16-1||Antonio Carter||TKO||4 (10),2:37||2-Nov-88|
|16||Loss||15-1||Jose Luis Ramirez||SD||12||12-Mar-88|
|15||Win||15-0||Davey Montana||TKO||4 (10),2:14||19-Dec-87|
|14||Win||14-0||Miguel Santana||TKO||6 (12),1:02||25-Jul-87|
|13||Win||13-0||Jim Flores||TKO||1 (10)||28-Jun-87|
|7||Win||7-0||Jesus De la Cruz||TKO||1 (8), 2:22||12-Nov-85|
|6||Win||6-0||Teddy Hatfield||KO||3 (8), 2:42||29-Aug-85|
|5||Win||5-0||John Senegal||TKO||2 (8), 1:29||20-Jul-85|
|3||Win||3-0||Mike Golden||TKO||4 (6), 2:54||13-Mar-85|
|2||Win||2-0||Danny Avery||TKO||4 (6)||20-Jan-85|
|1||Win||1-0||Farrain Comeaux||TKO||2 (6), 2:50||15-Nov-84|
"When officers arrived on scene, they located an adult male victim who had been hit by a vehicle. The victim succumbed to his injuries on the scene," says Virginia Beach Police Department spokesman, L.M. Bauder. "The driver of the vehicle remained on scene with police."
"That's all I can say about him," his youngest son, Devon Whitaker, 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."
"I loved Pernell Whitaker, and he loved me -- there was no doubt," stated Main Events promoter, Kathy Duva. "He was this person who was only comfortable in the ring. He had demons, but when he was in the ring, that was when he was in control and when he was happy and when he was the very best at what he did, and he wanted to show that to everybody."
"From Olympic gold to world championships in four weight divisions, Pernell Whitaker was one of the greatest boxers to ever lace up a pair of gloves," explained Hall of Fame executive director, Edward Brophy. "Everyone at the Hall of Fame joins the boxing community in mourning his passing and offers our condolences to his family."
Evander Holyfield tweeted
“I am saddened to learn of my good friend and Olympic teammate Pernell Whitaker's untimely passing last night. We share so many great memories. He was small in stature but yet so big in heart and skills inside the ring, there will never be another like him, he will truly be missed.”
"He had a lot of problems outside the ring, and those problems probably cut his career short," says Duva. "He was far from a perfect person and a pain in the ass at times, but I still loved him. He was one of the greatest boxers of all time. There's no doubt."
"Pernell Whitaker was beautiful -- both as a fighter and as a human being," HBO proclaimed in a released statement. "An artist in the ring, 'Sweet Pea' appeared on our World Championship Boxing platform for a decade [1990-1999], giving fans many unforgettable moments. His is a Hall of Fame legacy, which we are forever grateful to call our own heritage. Pernell's passing is a great loss. We send our condolences to his family, as well as his extended family at Main Events and throughout the boxing community."
"I'm deeply saddened by the loss of this great champion, who gave a tremendous amount of joy to those who watched him," says chairman of Golden Boy promotions, Oscar De La Hoya. "It was an honor to share the ring with him. In terms of his defense and ring generalship, Pernell Whitaker was the best fighter that I ever fought. On behalf of everyone at Golden Boy, we send our prayers and condolences to his family and friends."
"We thought, hey, here's an idea, but we can't actually do that, can we?" Duva exclaimed. "But we said we can ask him, right? He jumped at it, and Rovanda loved it also. After the fights, we dropped the ropes, and they got married in the ring. We ended up paying for the wedding and had the reception after the show at the fight hotel."
“Hall of Fame boxer Whitaker hit by car, dies”, Dan Rafael, espn.com, July 16, 2019.
“Pernell Whitaker”, boxrec.com, July 16, 2019.