Olympic boxing legend Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker dies in crash

Pernell Whitaker dead boxer boxing legend hit car

Pernell Whitaker dead boxer boxing legend hit car

Whitaker, who was scheduled for a meet-and-greet at the MGM Grand for this weekend's Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman fight, was just 55 years old. The driver of the vehicle remained there with police.

Whitaker turned pro in 1984 after the Olympics and went on to become a world champion in four different weight classes: lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight. He began his journey in the sport with a tremendous amateur career, which he completed by capturing a Gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games. Starting in 1993, The Ring ranked the athlete as the best active boxer in the world for the next four years.

Devon Whitaker, his youngest son, told the Virginian-Pilot that visibility may have been an issue. Several publications, including Sports Illustrated, wrote opinion pieces about why Whitaker deserved the win.

He fought as a professional 46 times, winning 40 of those fights - 17 by knockout.

The American retired in 2001 before working as a trainer. He also had another daughter from a previous relationship.

He was married to Rovanda Anthony in 1985 but the couple later divorced.

In terms of his defense and ring generalship, Pernell Whitaker was the best fighter that I ever fought.

He later fell into debt while accumulating a rap sheet with a number of drug abuse incidents.

Whitaker was a boxer for almost 20 years and had quite the accomplished career.

'It's significantly diminished over the years and he's not able to maintain this $400,000 house for his mother and siblings to live in, ' Gould said.

The Norfolk, Va., native continued racking up wins and titles en route to cleaning out the lightweight division.