Norfolk City Council votes for Pernell ‘Sweetpea’ Whitaker Boxing and Fitness Center at Harbor Park

Pernell Whitaker (Southside Daily/Courtesy of 13NewsNow)
Pernell Whitaker (Southside Daily/Courtesy of 13NewsNow)

NORFOLK — The Norfolk Boxing Center at Harbor Park has officially been renamed the Pernell ‘Sweetpea’ Whitaker Boxing and Fitness Center at Harbor Park.

Councilman Paul Riddick introduced the idea at a prayer vigil for the homegrown boxing champ in the week prior to their formal meeting when City Council would vote to adopt the resolution.

“Now is the time when we have the chance to honor one of the most important figures who’s come out of Norfolk athletically to show that we appreciated him,” Riddick said.

On Saturday following the vigil, Whitaker was laid to rest after a public viewing and memorial service in the Scope Arena.

RELATED STORY: Pernell ‘Sweetpea’ Whitaker, ex-world champ and Olympic gold medalist, struck, killed by vehicle in Virginia Beach

According to the city’s website, the Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker Boxing and Fitness Center at Harbor Park is a 13,000-square-foot facility equipped with two USA Boxing regulation-sized competition rings and stadium-style seating.

The state-of-the-art boxing and fitness center also has:

  • Hosting for large shows/state championship
  • Parents’ Lounge
  • Homework/tutoring classroom
  • Fitness equipment/classes
  • Plenty of parking
  • Light rail stop just steps from the door

As Whitaker trained youth and amateur boxers in the city, the facility offers boxing training programs with “life skills and scholastic support,” according to the site.

For more information about the center, click here.

RELATED STORY: Norfolk may rename city boxing center after Pernell ‘Sweetpea’ Whitaker

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Lucretia Cunningham is a multimedia journalist at Southside Daily covering hyper-local stories in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Her stories focus on public safety, tourism, and city government. She is a Virginia transplant and military spouse originally from Chicago. Lucretia also served on active duty from 2006 to 2016 and started her journalism career as a broadcaster in the Virginia Air National Guard. When she’s not covering stories on the Southside, she’s covering stories with her Air National Guard unit.