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Pernell Whitaker (1964–2019), boxing legend

by Kirk Fox

Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker was a boxing legend who was considered one of the best boxers pound for pound in the history of the sport. Whitaker won world championships in four weight divisions, lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, and light middleweight. He won a boxing Olympic gold medal in the 1984 games in Los Angeles. One of the great defensive boxers in the sport, he had a memorable title bout in 1997 against Oscar De La Hoya, losing a close decision. He had a career record of 40 wins, 4 losses, and one draw.

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Died: Sunday, July 14, 2019 (Who else died on July 14?)


Details of death: Died at the age of 55 when struck by a car while crossing a street in Virginia Beach.

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What they said about him: “The best lightweight I ever saw passed away today. Yes, that includes Roberto Duran, Floyd Mayweather, Ike Williams, and anyone else you want to mention. RIP Pernell Whitaker.” —ESPN boxing commentator Max Kellerman

“So sorry to hear of the passing of a defensive genius and one of the all time greats, Pernell Whittaker. May he rest in peace. My thoughts are with his family & close ones.” —Former heavyweight champion Frank Bruno

“Wow I can’t believe this!!! Somebody that I’ve always loved to watch and wanted to meet so bad and now it will never happen. SMH RIP SWEET PEA you will for ever be one of the greatest to ever lace em up.” —Welterweight champion Terence Crawford

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

Birthdate: January 2, 1964 (Who else was born on January 2nd?)

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