Whitaker, Pernell, 1964–2019, American boxer, b. Norfolk, Va. A left-handed fighter with brilliant defensive skills, he was a 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the 132-pound lightweight division. Turning professional in 1984, he won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) world lightweight title in 1989, the IBF light welterweight title in 1992, and the World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight title in 1993. He retained the last after a much disputed fight with Julio César Chávez that ended in a draw. In 1995 he also won the World Boxing Association super welterweight title. Another disputed fight, against the undefeated Oscar De La Hoya in 1997, cost him his welterweight championship. Having tested positive for cocaine and suffered numerous injuries, he retired in 2001, with 40 wins, 4 losses, and one draw.
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