Boxing legend and former P4P #1 Pernell Whitaker passes away aged 55
One of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of gloves, Pernell Whitaker has sadly passed away aged just 55 years old.
The former four-weight world title holder, who competed from 1984 to 2001, was revealed to have died by son Domonique on social media.
A reported road traffic accident over the weekend claimed the life of a supreme athlete who will be sorely missed.
Domonique said: “To everyone please respect my family’s privacy in this trying moment. I wanna inform people that today we lost a legend truly one of boxing’s greatest Pound for Pound champions, my father Pernell ‘Sweetpea’ Whitaker.”
Whitaker was world-renowned for his defensive capabilities inside the ring. Only recently rivaled by Floyd Mayweather in the present day.
Turing from in 1984 following a gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics, Whitaker shone throughout his tenure in the sport.
Taking top spot in arguably the best Olympic squad of all time, featuring the likes of Evander Holyfield, Mark Breland and Meldrick Taylor, Whitaker was an ace in the pack.
Not known for his chin initially, having been down three times in his career before his first world title shot, Whitaker lost for the first time to Jose Luis Ramirez in 1988.
Dusting himself down, the Virginia man came again. He then went undefeated for the next nine years.
Claiming the IBF lightweight strap in 1989, Whitaker would eventually become undisputed. Reigning supreme until 1991, Whitaker then moved up to 140.
Winning the world championship in his first attempt, the big money was at welterweight. That’s where Whitaker headed in 1993.
A triumph over WBC ruler James ‘Buddy’ McGirt followed. Whitaker then took on Julio Cesar Chavez in 1993. Chavez was 87-0 at the time.
Inflicting the first blemish (a draw) on the legendary Mexican, Whitaker claimed the super-welterweight version in 1995.
Heading back down to 147 soon after, there’s no doubting Whitaker’s best weight class was at lightweight.
It took a peak Oscar De La Hoya to stop Whitaker’s domination at the higher welterweight limit. Two subsequent comebacks in 1999 and 2001 ended badly.
Forever etched in the WBN P4P list, Whitaker is rightly regarded as a supreme fighter who will always be remembered.
WBN would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of Whitaker at this sad time.