Pernell 'SweetPea' Whitaker, vanquisher of Azumah Nelson, dies in car accident

Pernell 'SweetPea' Whitaker, vanquisher of Azumah Nelson, dies in car accident
Source: Ghana/Joy Sports
Date: 15-07-2019 Time: 03:07:56:pm
LAS VEGAS - MAY 19,1990: Pernell Whitaker (L) throws a punch against Azumah Nelson during the fight at the Caesars Palace, on May 19,1990 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pernell Whitaker won by a UD 12. (Photo by: The Ring Magazine via Getty Images)

Pernell Whitaker, famously known in Ghana as the boxer who dealt Azumah Nelson's title hopes a serious blow, has died.

The retired boxer, who held world titles at four weight classes, died after being hit by a car, Virginia Beach police said Monday.

An emergency call came in Sunday night about a vehicle-pedestrian accident and when officers arrived at the scene, they located an adult male who was hit by a vehicle, police said in a news release.

Whitaker, 55, of Norfolk, Va., was identified as the victim. Police said he died at the scene.


After enjoying a dizzying period of highs, Azumah Nelson had to go a step up in weight to face Whitaker in 1990.

Whitaker was in his prime, while Azumah was 32. Crucially, the Ghanaian great had received news of his ailing wife just days before the bout in Las Vegas.

In a 2014 interview, Azumah admits to that circumstance being a big distraction for him. His wife, Beatrice Tandoh, died shortly after the bout.

Nelson never had the chance to fight the brilliant American again.