Olympic gold medilist and former world champion Pernell Whitaker was 55
Pernell Whitaker, one of the greatest boxers to ever lace on the gloves, died Sunday night from injuries suffered after being hit by car while crossing an intersection in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Whitaker was 55.
An emergency call was received at 10:04 P.M. E.T. about a pedestrian being down at the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road in Virginia Beach. Whitaker, identified as the victim, died at the scene.
“I guess he was wearing dark clothes, the road was dark and the driver didn’t see him,” Whitaker’s son, Devon, told the Virginian-Pilot. The driver of the car that struck Whitaker remained at the scene.
Whitaker captured Olympic gold at the 1984 games. He won the IBF and WBC lightweight world titles in 1989, defeating Greg Haugen and in a rematch, Jose Luis Ramirez.
Whitaker’s “draw” against Julio Cesar Chavez is considered one of the worst decisions in boxing history. "Robbery" is the best way to decribe what went down at Alamodome in 1993. Whiaker’s defensive capabilities were magical, leading to victories over Azumah Nelson and Buddy McGirt twice, and Roger Mayweather.
Whitaker lost a controversial decision to Oscar De la Hoya in 1997, and a wider unanimous decision to Felix Trinidad two years later. After being stopped by Carlos Bojorquez in 2001, Whitaker, then 37, retired. His career record was 40-4-1, 16 KOs.
Whitaker was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006, his first year of eligibly.