In this November 1995 file photo, WBC welterweight champion Pernell Whitaker, right, delivers a right to the head of challenger Jake Rodriguez in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photo: Donna Connor/AP

VIRGINIA – Former US world champion Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker has died after being hit by a vehicle in Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to police.

He was 55.

Whitaker was a world champion in four divisions – WBC lightweight, IBF light welterweight, WBC welterweight and WBA light middleweight.

He retired in 2001 after compiling a 40-4-1 record, including 17 knockouts, and later worked as a trainer.

A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Whitaker was named boxer of the year by Ring magazine in 1989.

He also won an Olympic gold medal in 1984.

Whitaker was pronounced dead at a Virginia Beach intersection on Sunday night after police were called to the scene of an accident, a police report said.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene, and the accident is still under investigation, police added.

Reuters