Categories: National News

Hundreds Gather For Whitaker’s Candle Light Vigil

By Randy Singleton
New Journal and Guide

NORFOLK

Family, friends, and fans from across Hampton Roads gathered Tuesday evening (July 16) for a candlelight vigil to honor the life and legacy of boxing hall of famer Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker at Whitaker Lane, near P.B. Young Elementary School. Remarks were given by Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander, Virginia Beach City Councilman Aaron Rouse, Delegate Jay Jones, and Norfolk City Councilman Paul Riddick. 

Riddick told the hundreds gathered that he would petition the Norfolk City Council to change the name of the Harbor Boxing Gymto the Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker Boxing Gym. Riddick and other speakers said, “Sweetpea” put Norfolk on the map.”

Whitaker was born in Norfolk and grew up in the Young Terrace neighborhood.  Whitaker, an inductee in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, won 201 of 214 amateur fights before turning pro in 1984 at Madison Square Garden.  Sweet Pea won Fighter of the Year in 1989. 

Over the next 15 years, he won championships at light welter-weight, welter-weight, and light middleweight.  Sweat Pea retired in 2001 with a pro record of 40-4-1, including 17 wins by knockout.  Despite the objections of his promoters, the networks and HBO, he insisted that his big fights be held at Norfolk Scope and that his Booker T. High School marching band play him into the ring.

And instead of training in Las Vegas, he would stay home and work with the late great Bobby Wareing in Virginia Beach. Whitaker died after he was hit by a car on Northampton Blvd, Sunday night.

A vigil attendee said that “Whitaker was crossing the street to go to a corner store to buy a pack of cigarettes.”  Police say the driver of the car stayed with police at the scene, and it does not appear that drugs, alcohol or speed were factors in the accident. The Commonwealth’s Attorney will determine if charges are necessary.

Web Staff

Comments are closed.

Share
Published by
Web Staff
Tags: Crowd Memorial SweetPea Whitaker

Recent Posts

  • Uncategorized

Trending Story Virginia Beach Ministers Want City Manager Out Over “Poor Leadership”

By New Journal and Guide Staff VIRGINIA BEACH The Virginia Beach Interdenominational Minister’s Conference (VBIMC) is calling for the immediate…

3 days ago
  • Hampton Roads Community News

Activists March Outside Court In Support of Vets’ Lawsuit

NORFOLK Veterans, Civil Rights Activists and Citizens held a demonstration against Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Physical Assault, Rape and Sexual…

3 days ago
  • Health

Rotator Cuff Injuries – One of the Most Aggravating and Painful

By Glenn Ellis TriceEdneyWire.com As I write this column, I’m in pain from a torn rotator cuff. It’s been a…

3 days ago
  • Black Arts and Culture
  • Black College News

Black Wealth 2020 Adds HBCUs To Its Economic Empowerment Agenda

By Hazel Trice Edney TriceEdneyWire.com The short-term economic impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is $15 billion – rivaling…

3 days ago
  • Black Arts and Culture

Events Will Commemorate 1619 African Landing In Hampton

By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia In August 1619, more than 20 Africans landed at Old Point Comfort,…

4 days ago
  • National Commentary

Healing Hate As Hate Crimes Increase

By Rosaland Tyler Associate Editor New Journal and Guide Many individuals nationwide are busy trying to heal hate; although hate…

4 days ago