Sheer anguish struck the boxing world on Monday when it was first reported that Pernell Whitaker was struck and killed in a Virginia Beach car crash late Sunday night. The man nicknamed "Sweet Pea" was simply one of the most irrepressible forces in boxing for a majority of the 1980s and into the mid-1990s, and is rightly regarded as one of the greatest defensive fighters and couter-punchers in the history of the fight game. In honor of his life and prestigious career, let's take a look at some Pea's greatest moments in the ring. We'll start with his 1993 instant classic against one of Mexico's greatest fighters.
Pernell Whitaker vs Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. Highlights (1993)
Of course, this fight when down as one of the most controversial in boxing history as Whitaker ultimately drew with Chavez despite a clear majority of observers and pundits being in unanimous agreement that Sweet Pea deserved to win.
And who could forget Whitaker's iconic bout in 1997 for the WBC and lineal welterweight championships, a title that Whitaker held for the four previous years? Most boxing devotees will remember that this melee with a certain Golden Boy ended with another disputed finish.
Pernell Whitaker vs Oscar de la Hoya Highlights (1997)
But we aren't here to discuss the judges contentious rulings; we're here to celebrate Whitaker's brilliance. He was Floyd Mayweather before Mayweather even stepped foot in the ring -- a defensive and counter-attacking wizard. You literally only have to watch two minutes of Whitaker hard at work to recognize his greatness.
Pernell Whitaker Knockout Highlights
The late legend retired in 2001 with a 40-4-1 professional record, which included 17 KOs. He won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics and was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006.
Rest easy, Sweet Pea. And thanks for the countless memories.