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City council votes to guide resolution to rename Norfolk boxing middle in ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker’s honor


City council votes to guide resolution to rename Norfolk boxing middle in ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker’s honor


NORFOLK, Va. – In a proper consultation Tuesday night time, the Norfolk City Council voted to support a resolution that will rename a boxing center in honor of a local legend. The Norfolk Boxing and Fitness Center at Harbor Park can be renamed the Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker Boxing and Fitness Center. Whitaker was tragically hit and killed with the aid of a vehicle at the same time as crossing the road in Virginia Beach on July 14.

The Norfolk native became an Olympic gold medal winner and 4-weight international champion. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and trained at Wareing’s Gym on the Oceanfront before excelling as a newbie and professional boxer, prevailing an Olympic gold medal in 1984.


Whitaker was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006.

I want everybody to recognize that he has become an outstanding man. Energetic, kindhearted – all of the above,” the champ’s youngest son, Dontavious, told News Three reporter Margaret Kavanagh. “He was a real champion – pound-for-pound winner; you couldn’t deny him. [He was] a terrific own family guy, incredible father, an exquisite buddy to my friends, to his buddies – to anyone. Just an excellent man all around. Family, pals, and fans said goodbye to Whitaker at a memorial provider on the Norfolk Scope on July 20.

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Erika Norman

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