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After the news broke that Pernell Whitaker had died tragically in a hit and run. Former and current boxers, fans and journalists came together to remember and honor the legacy that was left behind by the legend.
After starting his amateur career at the age of 9, Whitaker went on to have 219 fights where he won 201 of them, 91 were by knockout and it helped a lot when the 1984 Olympics came where Whitaker won a gold medal when he beat Luis Ortiz.
Whitaker made himself known at a quick pace by going becoming 12-0 where he had wins against Alfredo Layne, before he went on to defeat Roger Mayweather, the uncle of Floyd Mayweather Jr. It was for the NABF’s Lightweight title that was vacant at the time.
Over the next 5 years, Whitaker went on to defeat the best in the lightweight division where with only 1 loss, he’d go on to win the NABF, USBA, WBC, IBF, The Ring, WBA and lineal lightweight titles before he decided to move up to the Welterweight division.
Starting himself off in the junior Welterweight division, Whitaker went on to win the IBF’s Junior Welterweight title before going on to take over the division for the next 5 years.
Deciding to repeat exactly what he did inside of the Lightweight division, Whitaker went on and won WBC, WBA Super and the lineal titles where he defended them multiple times before he suffered his second loss on his career to legendary boxer Oscar De La Hoya. With 40 wins, only 2 losses and a draw. Whitaker was seen as one of the greatest to be in a boxing ring.
After suffering 2 more losses, he decided to retire with a record of 40-4-1 and a no contest cause of a failed drug test. Despite that, this was the best way for Whitaker to hang up the gloves after a career that was full of a southpaw from Virginia creating his own legacy.
During and after his long career, Whitaker would be honored by The Ring who named him as the 10tb greatest fighter of the last 80 years, and in 2006, Whitaker was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in his first eligibility.
With 17 years spent inside of his pro boxing career, Whitaker had defeated Greg Haugen, Jose Luis Ramirez, Freddie Pendleton, Azumah Nelson, Juan Nazario, Poli Diaz, Jorge Paez, Harold Prazier, Rafael Pineda, James McGirt, Julio Cesar Vasquez, Gary Jacobs, Jake Rodriguez, Wilfredo Rivera and Diosbelys Hurtado to win or retain the 10 titles that he acquired in his career.
After retiring, Whitaker decided to become a trainer for boxers like Dorin Spivey, Calvin Brock and was also the head trainer to former undisputed Welterweight title holder Zab Judah.
Whitaker was only 55 when he died, he was crossing the street before being hit by a car on the intersection of the Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road in his hometown of Virginia Beach. As the news broke, many boxers to personalities spoke of Whitaker with respect, honor and privilege of knowing one of the greatest to step foot inside of a boxing ring.
Featured Image: New York Post.