Boxing world mourns legend's tragic end

Tanya Simon
July 18, 2019

Boxing Hall of Famer Pernell Whitaker passed away on Sunday after being hit by a auto in Virginia Beach, according to USA Today.

Whitaker changed into once an global champion in four divisions - WBC lightweight, IBF light welterweight, WBC welterweight and WBA light middleweight.

Whitaker was a native of Norfolk, Virginia, and worked as a trainer after he retired from boxing. He also won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. The American, affectionately known as "Sweet Pea" during his fighting career, was hit at an intersection in Virginia Beach on Sunday night.

Police said the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident remained on the scene and was helping with inquiries. By 1988, he stirred his way up to his first world title shot, losing by split choice to Jose Luis Ramirez. I'll never forget his two most controversial fights, a draw against the great Julio Cesar Chavez, and a still debated loss to Oscar De La Hoya.

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Sweet Pea was Whitaker's nickname, and it fit perfectly.

Four years later, Whitaker was on the losing end of another hard decision against Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas, a fight many ringsiders thought he had won. "He said it was the most lovely feeling in the world, to hit the other guy and not get hit". From 1993 to 1997, The Ring ranked him as the best active boxer in the world, pound for pound. In April 2001, he lost against Carlos Bojorquez (Mexico) for the first time, by a knockout, and subsequently ended his career.

"R I P champ, one of the best fighters to ever do it", he wrote on Monday.

"Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker was in the class of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard as one of the most entertaining fighters in my lifetime". He was booked to complete a meet-and-welcome at the MGM Grand as a feature of this Saturdays Manny Pacquiao versus Keith Thurman battle.

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