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Subject: Former world champ boxer Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker dies after crash in Virginia Beach

He was 55
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Date Posted: Monday, July 15, 06:38:44am


Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker, a former professional boxer, died Sunday night after being hit by a vehicle in Virginia Beach, according to police.

Whitaker was hit near the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road, police said in a news release.

The call came in at 10:04 p.m.

Officers arrived and found a man who had been hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle remained there with police.

Whitaker, 55, was a four-time world champion who grew up in Norfolk. He won an Olympic gold medal in 1984. The magazine Ring named him its 1989 boxer of the year.

Whitaker retired in 2001 and spent six years working as a trainer. By 2006, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Reached Monday morning by phone, his youngest son, Devon Whitaker, was shocked after hearing his dad died last night.

"I guess he was wearing dark clothes, the road was dark and the driver didn't see him," said the 23-year-old.

He said his dad was a "cool guy."

"That's all I can say about him," he 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."

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Such a world class athlete, to be killed by car just crossing the street! Whitaker was a four-weight world champion, having won titles at lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, and light middleweight! ...To-this-DAY, he is holding the longest unified lightweight championship reign in boxing history at 6 title defenses!Tuesday, July 16, 03:44:14am

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