RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia boxing legend Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker died over the weekend after being struck by a vehicle in Virginia Beach.
The driver of the car remained on the scene, and police said they were investigating the circumstances of the 55-year-old’s death.
8News spoke with a young boxer who reflected on the impact Whitaker had on Virginia and the world.
The accident sent shockwaves across the Commonwealth and beyond. As people try to come to grips with the reality that “Sweet Pea” had died.
“The name just rings a bell. When you hear it, you know who they’re talking about. You know who Pernell Whitaker is,” Local boxer Kameron Caldwell said.
What started out as just a way to get in shape has now become a daily activity for Caldwell. Caldwell draws inspiration from the legendary boxer.
“He goes down in history as one of the best boxers ever,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell remembers “Sweet Pea” as a legend. A legend Caldwell hopes to be one day.
“Everyone has to start somewhere. If you believe that you could do it, then you can go for it. I’m going to keep going for it, I’m going to continue to try my best,” Caldwell said. “Whatever outcome comes out of it, I’m going to keep trying my best.”
The impact of Whitaker’s death has touched many in the sporting world including Magic Johnson and Mike Tyson, who are just some of the few that have shared their condolences.